Op-Ed

Now ditch the embargo, as well

PADGETT
PADGETT FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

In the wake of the historic Cuba policy changes President Obama ordered this week, Congress will now debate whether to scuttle the failed, 52-year-old trade embargo against the communist island.

Capitol Hill should indeed ditch it — and if it’s looking for reasons, it should consider some of the repulsive folks Washington has had to engage this year.

To win the release last May of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was being held in Afghanistan by the Taliban — the same animals who massacred scores of innocent kids in Pakistan this week — the U.S. handed over five of its Taliban prisoners.

Just last month, in order to spring two Americans from behind bars in North Korea — the same country believed responsible for the recent hack attack on Sony Pictures and threats to blow up theaters where the film The Interview would play — the U.S. secretly negotiated with a hellish, hair-trigger communist regime.

Yet we considered it off limits to broker the release of an American rotting in jail in Cuba.

That is, until Wednesday, when the Obama administration delivered three Cuban spies doing time in U.S. prisons in exchange for an unidentified intelligence agent Washington wanted freed from prison in Cuba.

To read the rest of this article, go to http://wlrn.org/post/cuba-illusion-has-vanished-and-now-embargo-should-too

Tim Padgett is WLRN’s America’s editor.

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