In her astonishing feat of swimming from Cuba to the United States, Diana Nyad showed us how close the two nations are, yet how far apart [“In Florida Straits, Nyad realizes a 35-year dream,” news, Sept. 3].

A baby boomer can swim the strait, but a ferry, cruise ship or regular airline flight can’t cross the same space because the United States is stuck in a “regime change” policy that has failed for more than 50 years. It is ironic that the same edition of The Post also carried a story [“An airplane, and political crosswinds,” front page] describing the obscene waste of money that keeps a plane ready to carry out a “mission” — to combat communism by broadcasting U.S.-run TV into Cuba — that has failed since it began in the 1990s. The Cuban revolution did not collapse with the Bay of Pigs, with the end of the Soviet Union or with the exit of Fidel Castro from the scene. When are we going to learn?

Barely noticeable in the Nyad story was the quote from the Cuban facilitator of the event that “more than the athletic feat, she [Nyad] wants to send a message of peace, love, friendship and happiness . . . between the people of the United States and Cuba.” Ms. Nyad’s swim has symbolically shortened the distance between the two lands. If only U.S. policy would stop wasting money and follow the same direction.

Manuel R. Gomez, Washington

The writer is secretary of the board of directors at the Center for Democracy in the Americas.