Peter Brookes

We also don't need a pumped-up Cuba that could become a serious menace to US interests in Latin America, the Caribbean -- or beyond. (The likes of China, Russia and Iran might also look to partner with a revitalized Cuba.)

With an influx of resources, the Cuban regime would surely team up with the rulers of nations like Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia to advance socialism and anti-Americanism in the Western Hemisphere.

The embargo has stifled Havana's ambitions ever since the Castros lost their Soviet sponsorship in the early 1990s. Anyone noticed the lack of trouble Cuba has caused internationally since then? Contrast that with the 1980s some time.

Regrettably, 110 years after independence from Spain (courtesy of Uncle Sam), Cuba still isn't free. Instead of utopia, it has become a dystopia at the hands of the Castro brothers.

The US embargo remains a matter of principle -- and an appropriate response to Cuba's brutal repression of its people. Giving in to evil only begets more of it. Haven't we learned that yet?

Until we see progress in loosing the Cuban people from the yoke of the communist regime, we should hold firm onto the leverage the embargo provides.

Peter Brookes

Peter Brookes is a Heritage Foundation senior fellow and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Peter Brookes' column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.