The President now opens relations with Cuba. Why?
“The idea of reasoning with terrorists without force or with appeasement is naive, and I think it’s dangerous.” – George Allen
We live in a savage world, a world in which powerful leaders display a depth of indifference, and cruelty toward their people that is nothing short of horrifying. We live in a world in which governments tell their citizens what to watch, what occupations they must have, with whom they can interact, and even what they can, and cannot say. The weight of our freedom is in its non-universality. We enjoy what others cannot, and will not ever experience, given their life circumstances. Our freedom is made all the more poignant because it is not shared globally.
Yesterday, president Obama made a shocking announcement, declaring the Cuban-American stalemate essentially over. According to The New York Times:
“President Obama on Wednesday ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and the opening of an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century as he vowed to ‘cut loose the shackles of the past’ and sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War.“
According to Obama, “We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries…begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas…”
He declared that our previous standing is a “rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.”
Obama has come under tremendous criticism for his decision, most notably from Senator Marco Rubio, whose parents fled Castro’s Cuba. Rubio made a powerful speech on the Senate floor decrying this decision:
“It is a victory for the oppressive governments, and a serious setback for the repressed Cubans. The White House has conceded everything, and gained little. They gain no commitment on the part of the Cuban regime on freedom of press, or freedom of speech, or elections. No binding commitment was made to truly open up the internet. No commitment was made to allow the establishment of political parties, or to even begin the resemblance of a transition to democracy. And in exchange for all of these concession, the only thing the Cuban government agreed to do is free fifty-three political prisoners, who could wind up in jail tomorrow morning as they once again take up the cause of freedom, and to allow the United Nations, and the Red Cross to monitor conditions on the island. The same United Nations that did nothing when Cuba, last year, was caught helping North Korea avoid UN sanctions. This entire policy announcement today is based on an illusion, on a lie. The lie and the illusion that more access to goods will translate to political freedom for the Cuban people. All this is going to do is give the Castro regime—which controls every aspect of human life—the opportunity to manipulate, to perpetuate itself, and power. These changes will only lead to greater wealth, and influence for the regime.”
Marco Rubio is correct on all fronts. Obama’s actions seem to stem form a naïve belief that by being friendly to our enemies, they will, in turn, soften their iron grip upon their people. Obama decries what came before as “a rigid policy” that is seemingly outdated because of the time during which it was enacted. What he fails to understand is that although the ceasing of relations—which was first enacted by president Eisenhower in 1961—was related to Cuba’s ties with communist Russia, Cuba is as much an unpredictable and dangerous regime as it ever was during the Cold War. Cuba remains one of the world’s most oppressive countries, and just like Iran, its leaders seem to have absolutely no desire to change—despite the bevy of empty promises, and useless UN sanctions.
Moreover, according to the Washington Times:
“Months before President Obama announced on Wednesday that he is seeking to do away with decades of U.S. economic sanctions against the communist regime in Cuba, Russia concluded a security deal with Havana aimed at bolstering intelligence and military ties to the island dictatorship. The Russia-Cuba agreement was announced May 16 when a memorandum was signed in Moscow establishing a joint working group between Russia’s Security Council and the Cuban Commission for National Security and Defense…The security agreement comes amid fresh U.S. intelligence agency concerns that Russia is taking steps to follow through on plans to conduct strategic nuclear bomber flights over the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, possibly with the help of Cuba and Venezuela.”
With Russia’s recent aggressive behavior, and its cooperation with Cuba, an opening of any relationship with the communist nation is not only an imprudent move, but one that reverses anything accomplished by the embargo in the first place. It’s unwise on all fronts. Moreover, the reasoning behind the original ceasing of relations was because of Cuba’s ties to an aggressive, militant Russia. Given the current circumstances, in which Russia has reverted to a version of its former USSR self under the leadership of Vladimir “KGB” Putin, the original intent to which Obama referred to as “rigid and unnecessary is as much a necessity as ever.
According to Western Journalism:
“One of the ‘Cuban five,’ [three of whom Obama exchanged for Gross, a humanitarian hostage released by Cuba] Gerardo Hernandez, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of four people, members of Brothers to the Rescue. The four were shot out of the air in international waters by Cuban MiGs after the spy alerted Cuba to their plans. Through this deal, Obama is equating murder and spying against the U.S. with Alan Gross trying to bring Internet freedom to the Cuban people.“
Additionally, Obama is allegedly reviewing, and considering removing the label of “state sponsor of terrorism” from Cuba, despite its ties with numerous terrorist acts, and perpetrators of terrorist acts over the last several decades.
This is where I leave the reservation, and delve into speculation. These next two years are going to be a beast. Obama has no more campaigning to do, no more elections to win, and as such, he is free to do whatever he wants. That is why he decided to implement his executive amnesty, and I believe that is why he is opening relations with Cuba. Obama is an arrogant man, who has led a failed presidency. His only achievements thus far have been met with extraordinary contention, and failure. His administration has been plagued with scandal after scandal, and he needs to leave a mark. Even with the dogged help of his sycophant media, who have done their level best to spin, and cover up all his ills, Obama is looking at an amateurish and disastrous legacy. Given that, he needs something big in order to truly leave a mark. Cuba, he believes, could be that mark. Obama believes that because a majority of Americans seemingly favor opening relations with Cuba, he can get away scot free with his actions. He seems to believe that the positivity regarding his move will overshadow any negativity. But his enthusiasm for his endeavor cannot overshadow its negative impact.
To open relations with Cuba is to spit in the face of all who have been—and continue to be—oppressed, imprisoned, tortured, and killed by the Castro brothers over the last 50 years. By opening relations with Cuba, Obama is telling the world that the United States doesn’t much care for those who are suffering under the enormous oppression of the Castro’s, so long as Obama gets a nice footnote in the history books as the guy who changed the game with Cuba.
We would never open relations with Iran, and similarly, we should not open them with Cuba. It’s a disgrace. But, as Castro himself said of this new relationship: “…We should learn the art of living together in a civilized manner in spite of our differences.”
Killings, torture, imprisonment, oppression: they’re all just minor differences, aren’t they?