19 Jun 2010
A year ago, US President, Barack Obama, went to the Organisation of American States summit and heard from many Latin American leaders that America's continued isolation of Cuba was out of step with the rest of the nation's represented at the summit.
Larry Wilkerson, chair of the US-Cuba Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation contends that America has been muddling around with its foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and that US foreign policy toward Cuba is changing very slowly.
Cuba does not export revolution anymore, it exports doctors, he says. Adding further that Cuba probably has one of the most effective public diplomacy campaigns in the world today -- it sends doctors to help poor people in the developing world.
In terms of concrete measures to build bridges between the two countries, there is a bill before the American House of Representatives that will allow all Americans to travel to freely Cuba and ease the conditions for agricultural trade that will normalize trade between the two countries.
Wilkerson believes that the Obama administration is looking for congressional cover to take the lead in easing relations between the two countries.
Accordiing to Wilkerson, special interest groups in America, comprising 2% of the population, are responsible for demanding, managing and influencing US policy towards Cuba.