Reconciling the Cuban Embargo

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Heading the wrong way made Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan famous. When he filed his flight plan to fly from New York to California and wound up in Ireland there was much celebrity and very little downside for him. The US, may not be as lucky with our embargo policy towards Cuba. A policy that may have a major impact on the US, both domestically and internationally, is truly only actively discussed in the swing state of Florida. Is the US heading in the wrong direction with this policy? Certainly the author thinks so, and if he's right it's not likely that we'll receive a ticker tape parade at the end of journey like Corrigan did. Alex Lightman walks us through 78 reasons to end the embargo of Cuba. He does this by stating a reason and providing some support to each argument. He spends time debunking some myths and delving past the headlines to give the reader a deeper insight into how the policy developed and is applied. By contrasting other international relationships to the Cuban-American relationship, he tries to dispel some of the logical fallacies that have become intertwined in this policy debate. Lest you forget the bent of this book, he never forgets to remind you that dropping the embargo should be a first step towards normalizing relationships with our neighbor to the south. On the surface Lightman seems like an unlikely author for this work. He is accomplished in the world of technology having consulted on large scale projects like version six of the Internet Protocol (IPv6) and 4G wireless. Mostly of his publication and notoriety do come from this technical arena. However he did attend the Harvard Kennedy School where he studied under James Sebenius. His study of negotiation is showcased in this work. May... ... middle of paper ... ... some, and the varied reasons he gives can serve as excellent primer for those not familiar with the intended purpose of the embargo. The books quick reading style and topical organization, although the intermingling of issues does lead to some thought linking, makes this a good topical reference as well. In the end Lightman concludes we are on the wrong path and have been for some time. In one chapter he asks if we have the courage to change our obviously wrong course and take our lumps or will our pride force us to continue in the same direction. If Corrigan would have simply flew back to California his reception may have been unceremonious and today we probably would not know his name. There is no chance that the world will not notice where we land on this issue. Maybe if we do the unexpected, like Wrong Way, we can still get a hero's welcome in the end.

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