CUBA….Steve Clemons thinks the Democratic frontrunners are both way too timid on Cuba policy:
I asked [Obama advisor Susan] Rice if Obama — who has been the most progressive among the three standing presidential candidates on US-Cuba policy — would at least go back to the ‘status quo’ during the Bush administration in 2003. Before Bush tightened up the noose on Cuban-American family travel, remittances, and other exchanges, there was quite a bit of “non-tourist” travel to Cuba — usually for educational and cultural reasons.
Rice’s response was “no.” She said that those kinds of openings for non-tourist travel would depend on Cuba having “fair and free elections”, releasing political prisoners, adherence to human rights conventions, and the like.
….Hillary Clinton is far more restrictive of course and would maintain a Cold War-hugging stance on Cuba at least until Florida votes were counted — but at least her foreign policy adviser, Lee Feinstein, said that he’d be cool with the NY Philharmonic going to Cuba.
Read the whole thing. While even some hardcore conservatives are starting to realize that our Cuba policy is ridiculous and counterproductive, our political class remains in thrall to a small group of dead-end exiles who happen to reside in a swing state with lots of electoral votes. Where’s the cigar smoker’s lobby when you need them?