Let's find a new arrangement to replace the old
It's been 36 years since the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and while the rest of the Soviet bloc turned its back on communism, that pesky Fidel Castro still hasn't gone away.
It's time to give up on the embargo and the refugees. Like former President George Bush said, it's a new world order, and the United States has to learn to deal with it in new ways.
Castro wants the embargo lifted. He wants self-determination for the people of Cuba. The U.S. government claims to want freedom for the people of Cuba, but really is more interested in the markets and resources of Cuba.
So let's take a daring step. Let's call Castro and offer to make his country part of the United States -- not a state, but a U.S. territory, like Guam and Puerto Rico. Offer to keep him in charge. After all, who knows Cuba better than Castro? And after he dies (can't be long now), the people can elect somebody.
Such an arrangement could benefit both economies. Cuba is an untapped market, with unique resources to share, including a tourist trade that has kept going even in the face of the embargo. All those anti-Castro Cubans in Florida, and the rest of the nation that want to do so, can return to Cuba to help rebuild the economy.
Cuba would still have its own identity, just as Puerto Rico does today. But it would end the embarrassment of having a defiant and occasionally hostile nation only 90 miles away.
The old way failed. It's time to try something new.