Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Cuba: Our pet pariah

Marco Rubio, who promises that he can lead his party and his country into the 21st century, today reiterated his support for a Cuban policy that was initiated under President Dwight David Eisenhower.

Because more than 50 years of estrangement, embargo and isolation have served us all so very well.

Earlier today, President Obama made the official announcement that he would reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, including opening an embassy in Havana. Even before the announcement came, Rubio was repeating his pledge to block confirmation of any U.S. ambassador whom Obama might appoint, and to also block funding needed for a new U.S. embassy.

Other Republican presidential candidates, from Ted Cruz to Jeb Bush, took a similar stance even though many Republicans and a majority of Cuban Americans now support normalized relations. It's as if the Cold War had never ended, as if today we don't have diplomatic relations with China, Russia, Vietnam and other one-time antagonists. Only little Cuba, ninety miles off our coast, still serves as our designated outlaw nation, our pet pariah.

Why? To what conceivable end, other than to satisfy old angers and resentments? We are not, or should not be, the petty nation that some would make us.

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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.