OPINION

Opinion: Cuba in a perfect world after Fidel

People celebrate outside the restaurant Versailles on November 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida.

People celebrate outside the restaurant Versailles on November 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  (2016 Getty Images)

In a perfect world, Cuba would wake up tomorrow a free nation, free of the Castro dictatorship, free of political prisons, and every Cuban that wished could start his/her own business or emigrate to America to join his/her family. Lastly, every Cuban or American that owned property in Cuba on Jan. 1, 1959 could return to Cuba and reclaim that property. These things would happen in a perfect world.

If only we had a hyper-negotiating president who would cut the deals to make these things possible, unlike the present occupant of the White House who joyfully “yukked” it up with Dictator Raul Castro at a baseball game while Cubans were being arrested and imprisoned for political crimes — like asking for free elections, for free speech and for free exercise of religion.

- Raoul Lowery-Contreras

Every Cuban would have unrestricted use and access of and to the Internet. Every Cuban could have his/her own Android phone with service charges less than what a bottle of rum costs. “The Ladies in White” would no longer march on and through Havana’s streets protesting their missing men, their husbands, fathers, sons or brothers who have disappeared into the maw of the Castro Brothers’ political prison system.

American Major League Baseball would dramatically improve and million-dollar-earning .200 batsmen would spend their lives in “A” minor league ball teams instead of soaking up millions in over-inflated salaries in the “bigs.”

In this perfect world, the United States would inform the Cuban leadership that the following must happen if they want more than one American airliner-a-day, or more than a dozen new cars sent to dealers in Cuba, or wheat for bread or refineries to turn sugar into alcohol for cars to run on.

All political prisons will have to be shut down and monitored by international observers. Allow American bilingual newspapers to open unfettered editions in Cuba. Roman Catholic and Protestant churches must be allowed to lead their parishioners without any interference whatsoever. All soldiers who have participated in firing squad executions for the Castro brothers must be expelled from public service for at least ten years. The names of every Cuban secret police officer and spy on the United States must be presented to the United States for prosecution of any violations of American law in the United States. Every single fugitive from American justice in Cuba must be extradited immediately before another American airliner is allowed to fly to Cuba.

Once these conditions are met, 10 percent of the long-standing embargo will be lifted and more will be lifted on an annual basis until the Cuban government is “de-Nazified” so to speak of the Castro/Communist and apparatchiks are flushed out of the Cuban government. When that is done, any remaining embargo will disappear.

There is one more condition; it must occur within six months.

President Raul Castro must announce that six months from that day he will resign when the newly elected Cuban President is sworn in, chosen by a majority of Cubans who would register and vote in a highly observed general election. Cuban-American expatriates born in Cuba would be allowed to vote.

These things would happen in a perfect world. If only we had a hyper-negotiating president who would cut the deals to make these things possible, unlike the present occupant of the White House who joyfully “yukked” it up with Dictator Raul Castro at a baseball game while Cubans were being arrested and imprisoned for political crimes — like asking for free elections, for free speech and for free exercise of religion.

Viva Cuba Libre!

Raoul Lowery Contreras is a political consultant. He was formerly with the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate. Contreras's books are available at Amazon.com

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