January 12. President Barack Obama has announced the termination of the “wet foot-dry foot” policy implemented by President Bill Clinton in 1995, as well as the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, fostered by President George W. Bush since 2006. Both announcements came after a recent meeting between Cuban and U.S. officials this Thursday in Washington in an effort to fight human trafficking.
The ending of a longstanding policy that rewarded risky trips with exclusive immigration privileges was the responsible thing to do. So it was putting a stop to a program that consistently drained the country of its professionals. Instead of promoting human rights, as their sponsors proclaimed these programs did, both policies allowed for an array of violations and inconsistencies, serving only as obstacles to the normalization of relations between both countries.
Once more, President Barack Obama acts in the right direction regarding Cuba and the U.S. Cuban Americans for Engagement can only hope its successor is guided by the same principles of pragmatic engagement and constructive diplomacy.