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Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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“No” Needs To “Know”

By on December 19, 2014 in See It Here

As soon as President Obama announced the United States was going to move in the direction of re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, the usual crowd starting singing an all-too-familiar (and tiring) song.

And if that song sounds familiar, it’s the same routine we heard when he wanted to push the House to take a vote on the Senate immigration bill. Need I go on with all the other issues?

Here’s the thing: Most people with a pulse want to be able to travel the 90 miles across the Florida Straits to Cuba, buy things, drink things, smoke things, stay a few days and then come home. Casino owners would love to set up shop in Cuba and so on. Cubans want to come to the U.S. and do the same thing. The polls show this.

Ok, here come words from the aging hack:

I remember standing in front of a black and white TV on October 22, 1962 when President Kennedy told the country he was imposing a blockade of Cuba because surveillance had detected missile sites with weapons that could reach the U.S. I could see the look on my mom’s face as the president spoke and asked, “what’s going on?” She stayed fixed on the television, a hand over her mouth and said “We may be having World War 3.”

The embargo actually began two years earlier during the Eisenhower Administration when the White House stopped all exports to Cuba.

Now do the math. This was 54 years ago. We didn’t talk to Cuba and Cuba didn’t talk to us. We spied on Cuba and Cuba spied on us. After a few generations, you reach a point when the question has to be asked, in Washington D.C. as well as Havana, “How long do we keep this going?”

The “Bad Idea” crowd is pointing to hypocrisy because the US wants to do business with Cuba but is still having a tiff about the same issues with other countries (Venezuela and China come to mind). They say there is no foreign policy consistency.

I offer a sentence from someone the right, the-far-right, the-whacko-right, the middle, liberals and even whacko left quote time and time again:

“I’ve always believed that a lot of the troubles in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.”

Ronald Reagan said that 40 years ago in a speech to the Ford Motor Company.

The “Bad Idea” crowd has always been scared of trying a new approach because it is comforting to think about the good-old-days, the-simpler-days, the-traditional-values days….(yawn) …blah blah blah.

Just a little newsflash for you: all of that still exists, even when the calendar changes. After five decades, it might just make sense to step away from the way it used to be to the way it is.

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