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By Staff | Jul 24, 2015

I have been to the Vietnam War Memorial. I have friends who fought in that war and I knew people who died in Vietnam whose names are on the wall.

Yet there comes a time when the war is over and life has to move forward, and further animosity produces no positive result.

The U.S. established full normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam 20 years ago in 1995. The Communists are still in control there yet ironically, recent polls show that the Vietnamese have high regard for Americans.

That may be because China is trying to set up military bases in the South China Sea nearer to Vietnam – but our Vietnam War is history.

It surprises me how much resistance that there is 50 years after the break of relations that resulted in the Cuban nuclear missile crisis that was diffused with the opposing power no longer in existence that many still hold on to their animosity over Cuba and refuse to support re-establishing diplomatic relations with that neighboring country.

The father of Sen. Ted Cruz rejoices for the great opportunity that he had coming as a refugee from Cuba to the U.S. and laments where we would go next if freedom was lost here.

I am glad the U.S. accepted the Cuban refugees. I do find it ironic, however, that while they came to the U.S. seeking a safe haven, they appear to want to deny others seeking similar sanctuary that same opportunity.

Those 50,000 children that came here were refugees. Some can’t tell an illegal alien from a refugee.

What makes Cruz such a special refugee that he would refuse others the opportunity that he enjoyed? Cuba is what it is – no less Communist than Vietnam or China – yet many wanting to withhold diplomatic relations with Cuba continue to harbor hard feelings.

While I can empathize with that, it is time to move on. Cuba has moved on – it harbors no Al-Qaida or ISIS in Havana. It has no wealth to ferment trouble elsewhere in Latin America that amounts to any significance. It has not so foolish to not recognize the failure of Venezuela.

Some of the negative choices It has made are because It has not been offered the opportunity by this country to make better ones.

Interaction, trade and commerce develop relationships and it is time to start that process in Cuba.

The National Corn Growers Association said it plainly, “NCGA will continue to educate Congress on the importance of the U.S.-Cuba relationship. We are committed to advancing legislation that will reduce trade barriers, normalize trade relations and help us build a two-way trade relationship.”

There are cities in China with more population than all of Cuba, so we are not talking about a windfall of trade with Cuba, but it is still the right thing to do.

There is no reason to not reopen relations with Cuba. It will be the Chamber of Commerce and Cargill and other business entities that heal relations with Cubans and create the basis for the friendship that should exist between us.

Carnival Cruise lines wants to book cruises to Cuba, and normal people meeting normal people will put the past behind us and set the course for the future.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio may not be able to do that politically, but they cannot be allowed to drag us back into their family history. They need to be better than that.

The U.S. ag sector strongly supports re-establishing fully normalized diplomatic and commercial relations with Cuba and has for some time.

It is not about greed looking to make big bucks from trade, but with so many things so messed up in the world we need to do what makes sense to normalize something and Cuba is a great place to start.

There is no reason not to. If we can normalize relations and trade with China and Vietnam there is certainly no reason to isolate Cuba. Anyone running for President trying to win Florida – Ted and Marco – likely worries about that, but the rest of the country has moved on.

The majority of Americans strongly support doing what President Obama is doing relative to Cuba. The two senators will block confirmation of any ambassador to Cuba as a political quester, but the U.S. embassy in Cuba will operate without such official title so their efforts means nothing.

This issue shows that neither senator is up to being President. Dwight Eisenhower had good reason to break diplomatic relations with Cuba and now there is good reason to re-establish them again.

House Speaker Boehner was looking backward when he stated, “The Obama Administration is handing the Castros a lifetime dream of legitimacy without getting a thing for the Cuban people being oppressed by this brutal communist dictatorship.”

Wasn’t Vietnam brutal? I think China still is. Are we going to re-call those ambassadors and close those embassies? If there was a “Ramirez” instead of a “Castro” serving as President of Cuba that would take away a lot of the opposition.

As I look at the GOP Presidential candidates, what I think will define them and determine who should be the next President is who is willing to look forward to making history and who is still focused on the rear view mirror stuck in the past.

Do they want to take the country forward or turn it back? I am a move forward kind of guy. Obama did the right thing with Cuba.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

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