The normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States is inevitable; there is no longer any ideological justification for a trade embargo (assuming there ever was one in the first place). Furthermore, Cuba is too important strategically to be left out of the US orbit; it was a dagger in our side when the Soviets had missiles there and it could be one again if we allow the Russians or the Chinese to take the lead in developing the island. Improvement of relations and reopening of trade with Cuba will also have the secondary effect of improving relations with other Latin American nations; the "anti-imperialist" club has always been built around Cuba. It becomes harder to justify this stance once the US starts practicing a good neighbor policy towards Cuba. Finally, the unique situation of Cuban Americans living in Southern Florida means that there is a tremendous pool of talent and capital waiting to develop the Cuban economy in ways that a "foreign investor" might not be able to do; tapping and directing that investment could bring about a real economic and political transformation within a generation, creating a powerful democratic impulse in Cuba as investment swells and the economy grows. It could be transformational across the Caribbean, not just in Cuba: but the US must take the first key step of trade liberalization.