Obama and Cuba: A Good First Step

05/16/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

President Obama recently announced a change in strategy regarding the U.S. embargo with Cuba. As the Washington Post noted Obama lifted the Bush Administration restrictions that limited Cuban American travel to the island to once every three years. The new policy also removes the limits on the amount of money and goods Cuban Americans can send back to their families. Also notable is the allowance of American high-tech companies to do business in Cuba.

The President's plan is a good -- though overdue and underwhelming -- first step. The unilateral economic and cultural disarmament that is the U.S. embargo policy is a joke and should be reversed - in its entirety - forthwith. Let's remember the embargo was established to limit the potential impact of communism on the U.S. Does anyone still believe that communism is something we should fear taking root in America? Cuba is not threat to the U.S.

We are alone on a policy island than has shown no signs of success. They say insanity is continuing to do the same thing while expecting a different result. Clearly, the Cuba embargo policy fits that definition. I can't imagine any other U.S. public policy that has been allowed to continue with NO tangible change as intended.

Cuban communism will fall of its own weight once their people see the impact of U.S. economic interaction with the island nation. It may not happen soon, but it will happen faster than if the status quo continued. The Castro regime may well prove to be a paper tiger and ending the embargo will get us closer to an answer. I am among those who believe that the U.S. embargo has delayed the inevitable in Cuba. Those arguing against this change - and defending a failed status quo - are locked into a failed ideological view of U.S.-Cuba relations and will be proven wrong. In some ways, it's not their fault. Many were born into a fiercely divided community on this issue and went with the prevailing sentiment. The results of the 2008 Florida general election revealed a generational divide that helps to make this policy all the more sensible.

I'm happy to see this first, albeit limited, step. Change is coming to Cuba.

Michael K. Fauntroy is an assistant professor of public policy at George Mason University. He blogs at MichaelFauntroy.com