Why Normalized Relations With Cuba Is A No Brainer
Make no mistake. Cuba is a dictatorship where the rule of law is very different to what we in America hope it should be. Human rights violations occur more often than we would like to admit. The Cuban populace is miserable and isolated. To understand how Cuba got to where it is, we need to understand history.
To say the U.S. has handed anything to the Castro regime “for free” is a simplistic statement similar to saying that the U.S. will give Cuba anything for free in the years to come after the death of the regime. The reality is that diplomatic relations, even with your enemies (and Cubans are not the enemies of Americans) are always to be desired. The fact that the entire world, at many forums including the United Nations and the Organization of American States, have been demanding a change of policy towards Cuba for decades is evidence that maybe Obama’s change of policy is not as absurd as many would like to believe. Even the Vatican was a main actor in the rapprochement.
Why Is Cuba Different?
The U.S. has diplomatic relations with “evil” regimes around the world. What makes Cuba different from Syria or Sudan?
Furthermore, if the Cuban dissidents don’t like their government they should overthrow it….like Castro did. Perhaps the US should be supporting anti-Castro insurgents with arms and money, but as long as the majority of Cubans are not willing to support an insurgency it would be pointless to try. Besides, we already tried it once and it was a colossal failure with our would be allies thinking we were trying to bring back Batista and deciding to sit on the sidelines.
A New Approach
The United States has amply demonstrated to its citizenry that it has generally become ineffective when trying to influence governments around the world (without covert if not illegal actions) and that engagement abroad is a perennial loser militarily. We haven’t won a war since World War II. If you want to be generous, you can give us the First Gulf War though, looking back, that looks more like the opening series in a longer game which we are losing. Add to this record of international failure the fact there is discontent with government at home, and it isn’t surprising that American citizens have no stomach or interest in enforcing or encouraging human rights around the globe. We all know that whatever progress we initially make is eventually halted, stopped or corrupted. We can’t do worse doing something different.