The Wall Street Journal
The ascendancy of Raúl Castro to Cuba's presidency has fueled expectations of reform in the 50-year-old dictatorship. Next week, President Barack Obama will be pressed on the issue at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad-Tobago.
It is a good time to acknowledge that neither the U.S. embargo nor engagement by the rest of the world have helped Cubans attain their rights. Sanctions, though ethically justified, can't work unilaterally; treating Cuba as a normal partner is immoral and counterproductive. A new unified approach is needed.
Just as the oppressed people of South Africa, Chile, and other tyrannies received international support, finding an effective approach to the Cuba problem is a shared duty. It is also in everyone's interest. A democratic, stable and prosperous Cuba would cease threatening the security of the region, slow the flow of Cuban refugees and provide better trade and business opportunities.
If the U.S. president understands totalitarianism better than his hemispheric counterparts, he will remind them that at the Ibero-American Summit in 1996 Fidel Castro signed the Viña del Mar Declaration pledging to support democratic pluralism. He has consistently ignored all such international agreements. Now Trinidad summiteers should jointly call Cuba's bluff.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with