What This Guy Barack Obama Did With Cuba
We should all be concerned about Cuba‘s human rights violations; however, let’s not overstate them nor fail to recognize marked changes. Here’s the latest Human Rights Watch report on Cuba. When looking at our own record, we should not throw stones living in the glass house we do.
Dictatorship or Terrorist?
When did we start labeling all dictatorships as terrorist organizations? The answer is that we never have. Instead we conveniently label some dictatorships as terrorist regimes (Cuba, Iran) and others as friends (Cuba, Iran) even though the human rights violations are in most cases identical.
There’s been an outburst of American flags in Cuba since we’ve reached out to normalize relations. The Cuban people crave freedom and recognize the benefits that American trade and tourism can bring to Cuba. I believe now is the right time to make this move as the Castros will be gone in five years or less. Change is coming to Cuba, and we need to be ahead of it. For that matter, now with the death of President Hugo Chavez, change is likely coming to Venezuela as well.
Look to Nixon
Really, I’m serious. Our relationship with China, though fraught with problems, is certainly better today than it was prior to Nixon’s talks with Mao which opened up the country. This kind of political change isn’t easy and normally takes decades to develop. Still, I predict Cuban (like Chinese) relations now will be an improvement over the way they were in the past.
It will be interesting to hear what Rand Paul has to say about this. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio’s reactions were predictable, but Paul has shown some flexibility on this issue and has recognized the opportunity for change in Cuba as the Castro regime fades.
We had hoped that draconian sanctions would spur Cubans to overthrow the Castros for the past 50 years. It has not, and I don’t think continuing them will produce a better result than normalizing relations. It is time for a change in Cuba to freedom and free market principles. They currently don’t have much of either, and that’s what we’re trying to change by opening the country to trade, tourism, and investment.
Cuba is our neighbor 90 miles to the south. Geographically, normalized relations will help secure the USA’s leadership in this hemisphere. In fact, because of that close proximity, I would argue normalized relations with Cuba are certainly readily more beneficial than relationships with, for example, the United Kingdom or Israel.
Let’s evaluate Cuba on it’s improvements, it’s level of threat to the US, the effectiveness of our past policies, and the potential of a revision or change in policy.