Good for President Obama, and good for the Cuban American community. Thanks to yesterday’s new Treasury regulations, Cuban Americans can visit their family in
A humane step, long overdue.
And the definition of family, narrowed by President Bush, is now wide open. Treasury’s definition: “For purposes of this part, the term close relative used with respect to any person means any individual related to that person by blood, marriage, or adoption who is no more than three generations removed from that person or from a common ancestor with that person.”
The regulations also define the telecom business opportunities that President Obama announced last April. American companies will be allowed to negotiate satellite or fiber optic links to
“This gets the
Fair enough, I suppose.
But the new rules also create an odd, and I would argue unsustainable, situation where the
Cuban Americans can now travel virtually without restriction – for weekends, for tourism, for special occasions. Soon we’ll see a surge in Miami-Havana charter flights and images of Cuban Americans bringing their relatives to Cuban hotels, since Cubans are now allowed to stay in those hotels. For some, the ability to send unlimited remittances means that their loved ones won’t have to worry about basic needs. For others, it is an opportunity to invest by sending money to a relative to buy tools, to expand a house, or even to buy a new one with extra space for relatives who will visit now and retire there some time in the future.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country will remain under Cold War rules governing those activities, based on policies that designate Cuba an “enemy” country to which the flow of hard currency should be strictly limited.
The contradictory policy is now a perfect reflection of the contradictory politics of Cuban Miami.
Every two years, Cuban Americans vote in Congressional elections to sustain
Un-freakin’-real, as they say.