Expect Rep. Kristi Noem and Senator John Thune to join the mostly Republican and entirely hypocritical bluster against President Barack Obama's historic declaration that it's time to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. Senator-Elect Mike Rounds might go there, too, but then his friend and donor Jeff Sveen will remind him that he's been waiting over a decade to sell Hutterite turkeys in Havana. At that point, Rounds votes aye on lifting the embargo.
Our next junior Senator will see the same light our President made clear today: we've dealth with worse regimes with more openness than the failed embargo we've kept on Cuba:
...[T]hough this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions, no other nation joins us in imposing these sanctions, and it has had little effect beyond providing the Cuban government with a rationale for restrictions on its people. Today, Cuba is still governed by the Castros and the Communist Party that came to power half a century ago.
Neither the American, nor Cuban people are well served by a rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born. Consider that for more than 35 years, we’ve had relations with China –- a far larger country also governed by a Communist Party. Nearly two decades ago, we reestablished relations with Vietnam, where we fought a war that claimed more Americans than any Cold War confrontation [President Barack Obama, statement on Cuba policy changes, 2014.12.17].
Relations with China... Rounds saw the benefits of those relations right here in South Dakota, where millions of dollars from Chinese investors made his friends rich and apparently created so many jobs that neither he nor any of his rich friends can agree on a number. Rounds will apply the same thinking to voting to end the Cuba embargo... if we can get the GOP leadership to bring a bill to that effect.