PLYMOUTH, Mass., Dec. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ith the death of Fidel Castro, and a lack of clear policy ideas on a post-Fidel Cuba, political activist Jack E. Robinson suggests the United States should propose a bold deal regarding the future of Cuba's 11 million citizens.
"President-elect Donald J. Trump should make a deal to allow Cuba to become the 51st State!" states Robinson.
American presidents have long been interested in making Cuba part of the United States. In a deal brokered by Napolean, Thomas Jefferson unsuccessfully sought to acquire Cuba from Spain in the wake of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Since then, three different presidents on three separate occasions have attempted to annex Cuba (Polk in 1848, Pierce in 1854, and McKinley in 1897), but were unable to realize Jefferson's dream.
It is in this historical moment that President-elect Trump can succeed where his predecessors could not ― by inviting (rather than forcing) one of the world's most industrious populations to join the economic, social and political fabric of the United States.
And we're not talking about any sort of military action, which has already been attempted and failed. Early in 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower quietly authorized the CIA to start training Cuban exiles as a guerilla force to overthrow Fidel Castro. Three months after his inauguration, President John F. Kennedy authorized the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion. President Richard M. Nixon later said that Cuban statehood was the ultimate goal had the invasion succeeded.
The Castro brothers have argued over the course of the last 55 years that the U.S. embargo against Cuba has cost the island nation a total of $750 billion. Because it is the citizens of Cuba, not the Castro regime, who have had to bear the burden of the embargo, $750 billion should be provided directly to the Cuban people.
Here's Robinson's proposal. The U.S. would agree to (a) completely lift the embargo, and (b) with the cooperation of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, loan the people of Cuba $750 billion. In return, the Cuban government would agree to hold a free election, monitered by the United Nations, in which the Cuban people would vote for one of the following three options:
1) Become the 51st State;
2) Obtain commonwealth status (like Puerto Rico); or
3) Remain independent but with a free market economy and democratic constitutional protections (and without Raúl Castro or his extended family ― all of whom would be granted immunity and would be given asylum in, say, Venezuela).
Once the Cuban government frees all political prisoners and actually holds the election, the embargo would be lifted and half of the $750 billion would be released to a new "Cuba Development Fund" to be administered by the World Bank. The other half of the funds would be released once the Cuban voters' decision is fully implemented.
"I have spoken to many Cuban Americans who believe that statehood would be the preferred choice of the Cuban people ― especially given Puerto Rico's recent financial problems as a U.S. commonwealth," states Robinson.
Cuba is an entirely untapped market with trillions of dollars in pent-up economic demand, development and growth. Cuba's entry into the U.S. would stimulate the island's economy and promote economic, social and political stability for its residents.
According to Robinson, not only would this be an opportunity to afford the people of Cuba the chance to determine their own destiny, it would be the biggest real estate deal since the Louisiana Purchase.
There is no better person than President-elect Trump to broker a deal 214 years in the making; a deal of which Thomas Jefferson would be proud!
Jack E. Robinson is an attorney, international business executive, author, historian and GOP political activist in Plymouth, MA.
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SOURCE Jack E. Robinson