For a few cycles now, I keep hearing talk that South Florida may be ready for a somewhat more enlightened approach to Cuba than the “starve them until they give us back our confiscated property” model that’s done so very little to drive Castro from power over the past 50 years. It seems like Joe Garcia’s ready to put that theory to the test in his race against Mario Diaz-Balart:
Real leaders don’t compromise principles for petty politics. I stood up and challenged the Clinton administration when they wrongly held Cuban refugees in Guantanamo; and I stood up to the Bush administration because of its policy of dividing Cuban families. This is the kind of leadership I will bring to Washington. [...] But Mario Diaz-Balart doesn’t want to work with other members of Congress to find solutions; he’d rather distract from the issues and muddy the waters. He’s made a whole career of intimidating opponents and accusing them of being Castro-sympathizers, but he can’t pull that stunt with me. I’ve spent my entire life working for human rights and freedom in Cuba and I can debate, point-for-point with him on this or any other issue.
At issue here is the fairly small beer point of the Bush administration’s restrictions on travel and family remittances, but any change for the better would be nice, and seeing the far-right position fail in Florida could cause a lot of people in Congress to rethink our whole approach to this subject.