Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Smart Policy Change in Cuba Policy Will Not Advance U.S. Interests

"Smart Policy" Change in Cuba Policy Will Not Advance U.S. Interests
Posted August 18th, 2010 at 1:00pm in American Leadership

Cuban President Fidel Castro (L) and his brother Raul, chat on December
23, 2003 in Havana, during a meeting of the Cuban Parliament. Raul
Castro succeeded his brother Fidel Castro as the president of Cuba on
February 24, 2008, in a historic power shift expected to keep Havana
firmly on its communist path, officials said.

The Obama Administration is apparently readying a "Fall Surprise"
regarding its policy toward Cuba. The New York Times reports that the
White House intends to ease restrictions on travel to Cuba and return to
the "people-to-people" policies of the Clinton Administration. It will
also reportedly make private assistance flows easier. Claimed one
Democratic policy mandarin, the Administration has worked up "a smarter
Cuba policy."

The decision to loosen restriction comes as Cuba's mismanaged economy is
again in free fall and seeks help from any quarter. Cubans recently were
informed that they must further tighten their belts since as much as a
fifth of the nation's workforce may soon be let go. Food production
continues to fall despite Raul Castro's tinkering. And Cuba's
exploitative export of doctors and medical personnel was recently exposed.

Changes would also take place at a moment when the convalescent 84-year
old Fidel Castro is making a return to the public stage. Acting more
like Nostradamus than the "maximum leader," Castro is given to
prognosticating that nuclear Armageddon is just around the corner
because of U.S. imperialistic confrontations with Iran and North Korea.

It is surely an ironic fact that in October 1962 at the height of the
Cuban Missile crisis, Castro urged the Soviet Union's Khrushchev to
launch a nuclear war against the U.S. if JFK landed U.S. troops in Cuba.
An unrepentant Castro sees in Iran's deadly nuclear quest the same
visceral anti-Americanism that remains the guiding star in his
geopolitical firmament.

Fidel's return is, according to veteran Cuba analyst Brian Latell,
"unbridled narcissism." Valiant blogger Yoani Sanchez captures the
muddle that is the political scene in Cuba: Fidel, she observes, "has
come forward again to shamelessly display his infirmities and announce
the end of the world, as if to convince us that life after him would be
lacking in purpose."

The Administration will move ahead despite the fact the Cuban are still
holding AID worker Alan Gross, who was arrested in December, 2009 , and
his being held without charges. Gross was engaged in a "people-to-people
project" that ran afoul of Cuba's ever-present security apparatus.

While failing to advance any substantial U.S. economic [jobs, exports],
political [democracy, respect for human rights, freedom for Mr. Gross ],
or security interests, the Obama Administration proposes to serve up the
Castros and their moribund communist regime with a fresh bunch of
carrots—more visitors, easier private assistance aid, and heightened
legitimacy. This policy is the opposite of "smart."

No comments:

Post a Comment