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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Is It Time To End The Book Embargo Against Cuba?



President Barack Obama announced this past December that the United Sates will restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.  Last July, the two nations reopened embassies in each other’s countries and our nation removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.  The president led a huge delegation to the nation island 90 miles off the Florida coast in March.  Is it time to lift the blockade against buying and selling books from and to Cuba?

Hardliners say we shouldn’t sell to a Communist country that doesn’t allow for certain liberties and freedoms to exist.  Others say that Cuba is no longer a threat to us and that we have to find a way to make peace.  After all, we usually end up befriending former enemies.  See Germany, Italy, Japan, Vietnam.

Some say we should lift the economic embargo and increase trade.  It will help our economy and create new business opportunities for America.  2015 Gallup and Pew polls overwhelmingly showed support for the elimination of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.  We do business with China and Russia, so surely we can do so with Cuba.

So what should be done?  Tell Congress that you want to see the book market open to Cuba.  The American book market would love selling books to a nation with a reported literacy rate for adults near 100%.  Consumers in America would love to read the works of Cuban authors for the first time in over 50 years.

Publishers Weekly recently publicly stated its request that people support action by Congress to open the doors to a free book trade between the bickering countries. If you want to “support the effort to promote the exchange of ideas found in books,” as PW stated, go sign the petition at www.publishersweekly.com/petition.

I would love to visit Cuba.  It’s a place that’s been mainly unavailable to three American generations.  I predict that eventually Cuba will become a socialist democracy that becomes so open to America that it becomes dependant upon us.  Maybe we can buy them and make them our 52nd state. Puerto Rico should become the 51st.  It could happen one day.  As our nation’s Hispanic population grows – legally -- it will influence American culture and policies.

Can Cuba handle a flood of American books and ideals?  Could this be the way America begins to turn Cuba into a more open, modern, freedom-loving society – by using books to educate and enlighten its people? One can only hope so.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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