Thursday, January 08, 2015

Congressional Politics of Cuba Policy

With some exceptions, the politics of Cuba policy have been quite partisan, with Republicans generally opposed to liberalization and Democrats more in support. That has been changing in recent years. Indeed, we now see the opposite with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As it turns out, the Republican victory in the Senate helps President Obama. The previous chair, Bob Menendez, is one of the biggest embargo supporters in Congress. He's already gearing up to block whoever Obama names as ambassador. But as Democrat, he's no longer committee chair.

That honor belongs to Bob Corker of Tennessee, and he has just said he believes the embargo has not achieved what we hoped. That sentiment is just common sense, but it's a big deal coming from someone in his position. He's willing to listen, whereas Menendez was not. It may well give room for other pro-liberalization (but especially pro-trade) Republican senators to speak out more.

His statements also reveal something that indicates how much Cuba policy had been locked up. Corker said that no one really knows much about the embargo, so senators need time to learn. There will be hearings. That will be interesting because the pro-embargo logic is difficult to support, and hearings will require it to be articulated. This too may embolden some senators to speak out because their states will benefit. There has not been real debate about Cuba in years, and Obama has forced it to happen.


Alfredo 9:22 AM  

I could be wrong but the dismantling of the embargo will proceed in snail's least the process has begun.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP