It is touching to see a group of very successful Cuban-Americans who signed a Dec. 20 Miami Herald full-page ad, An open letter to our fellow Cuban-Americans, so selflessly concerned with the welfare of the Cuban nation.
I do not question their good intentions, but as Henry Kissinger said recently, effective diplomacy is not an exercise in good feelings.
Any policy that hopes to effectively influence a society must be grounded in a comprehensive and rational understanding of the history and realities of such a society, the kind of knowledge you cannot expect to gain after a couple of brief visits.
Your letter reveals a woeful unawareness of the events and individuals who have shaped contemporary Cuban society, as well as a surprising naiveté.
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You could have endorsed the new policy by arguing that it is a worthy experiment in soft power to nudge the Cuban leadership towards a more open society.
Although intelligent people can disagree about the merits of such an approach, at least this would be an argument that acknowledges the nuances and limitations inherent to real diplomacy.
But if you believe the Cuban leadership is seriously committed to building a freer and more open society, then I have a bridge to sell you.