The Cold War continues to rage in one last place in the world — and that is between the United States and Cuba. It makes no sense for a democratic American government to unconstitutionally inhibit the travel of its own citizens to Cuba — when it has embraced China and Vietnam and is on the way to normalizing relations with North Korea.
One of the protectors of the status quo and a failed American embargo of Cuba is Lincoln Diaz-Balart, one of two Diaz-Balart brothers currently serving as members of the Florida Congressional delegation.
Lincoln and his brother are nephews by former marriage of Fidel Castro — and any scant investigation of the battle lines in the US-Cuba standoff will show the situation to be something of a nasty, Kentucky-style family spat.
But things are changing. Some of the elders who served on the board or as senior staff of the hawkish Cuban American National Foundation have defected from the pro-embargo Miami cartel against Cuba. Younger generation Cuban-Americans have also departed from the strident position of some of their elders.
And now there is news that Lincoln Diaz-Balart is underperforming in his fundraising and that the popular former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez is gaining some ground in unseating Lincoln, who has too frequently harmed American national interests by not using his influence and networks to change the course of US-Cuba relations rather than promoting a feud that serves only the interests of a small group.
I’m glad to see Raul Martinez putting pressure on him — and this blog plans to watch this race closely as it may be the first time in a long time that a popular Democrat with more enlightened views on where to take US-Cuba relations might unseat one of the most recalcitrant embargo promoters in Congress.
— Steve Clemons