Huffington Post Media Group; The Berggruen Institute on Governance
So near and yet so far -- that's how most Americans like me feel after a visit to Cuba -- the largest Caribbean island and a country that the U.S. continues to treat as a political pariah. I returned from a visit there last month under a U.S. government licensed program with the Vermont Caribbean Institute to promote citizen diplomacy.
Since the 1959 communist revolution, Cuba has bedeviled U.S. policy makers and remains an authoritarian state. Yet politics cannot ignore the human and ecological reality of our relationship with Cuba. Only 90 miles away from the southern tip of Florida, Cubans have been isolated by a historic vendetta that has its roots in a bygone Cold War era struggle...