WASHINGTON - Mark Hinkle, Chairman of the Libertarian Party, sort of commends President Obama for his decision to just barely ease travel restrictions and restrictions on sending private financial assistance to the people suffering under the socialist government of Cuba.
Hinkle said, "The president has shown less-than-tremendous courage here. I suppose it's a tiny positive step that our government will permit Americans to send $500 to a Cuban every three months. And churches will be allowed to arrange trips to Cuba, as long as they jump through a lot of bureaucratic hoops first.
"However, it's such a small improvement in such an awful policy, that I'm not sure the president really deserves a compliment.
"It's absurd that the U.S. government prohibits travel and trade with Cuba. In addition to being an unjust violation of Americans' rights, it's bone-headed policy. If the goal was to topple the Castro regime, then the policy has been a spectacular failure. The embargo has probably strengthened, not weakened, the Castro dictatorship.
"Libertarians call for unrestricted access to travel to Cuba and complete freedom for Americans to engage in economic activity there.
"Unrestricted access to the world markets will help Cubans lift themselves out of their disastrous socialist economy. Libertarians know that free trade and free travel are a fast-track ticket to prosperity.
"Next time, Mr. President, try to do something a little more impressive."
The Libertarian Party platform says the following on free trade and migration:
3.4 Free Trade and Migration
We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.