Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cuba and Florida

The relationship between Floridians and Cuba is often contentious. Many fled the Caribbean nation in the late 1950s at the beginning of the Castro dictatorship.

In Haiti, I have worked with several physicians from Cuba. Health care in Cuba is delivered by physicians hired by the state and paid approximately $50 per month. Physicians are responsible for all the people living in a particular geographic area. Many of the high tech tools that we have become accustomed to in the US are lacking.

Historically, Cuba has isolated itself and continues to prohibit many basic freedoms. Cubans cannot travel nor speak freely.

A recent bill passed in the Florida legislature prohibits companies with business operations in Cuba or Syria from obtaining any state or local contracts valued at more than $1 million. The goal of this bill is to place pressure on Cuba to allow free trade or remain isolated from the rest of the world.

I am personally in favor of isolating Cuba. While it is clear that they now need the support of capitalist countries like the United States, they continue to remain communist and denounce the American way of life.

How do you feel?
Should we open further trade with Cuba?
Should we encourage Americans to spend American dollars while vacationing in a communist dictatorship?

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