Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cuban Reversal

Better get yourself together
And hold on to what you got
Once the music hits your system
There's no way you're gonna stop
--Miami Sound Machine

One of the few bright spots in the Obama administration was the lifting of sanctions on Iran and Cuba. Last week, the Trump administration began reversing those policies with Cuba and, effectively, putting previous sanctions back in place.

While not all of Obama's reforms will be overturned, Trump will reinstall travel restrictions and once again make it difficult for US business to trade with Cuba. The president argues that such restrictions are necessary to penalize Cuba for its poor human rights record under the current governing regime.

But the effect of these sanctions is to penalize US citizens who would otherwise want to travel and trade with Cuba. Moreover, the benefits of voluntary exchange are likely to strengthen Cuban appetites for governance that respects life, liberty and property rights.

As do all policies grounded in sanction, the president's actions make both the US and Cuba worse off.

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