BLUE STATE BLUES: THE CUBA DEAL IS DESTROYING AMERICA
by JOEL B. POLLAK 21 Aug 2015
Among the many foreign policy disasters for which President Barack Obama
has been responsible, none is uglier than the recent Cuba deal.
It is not as dangerous as the Iran deal, which virtually guarantees that
Iran will eventually become a nuclear power. It is not as irresponsible
as the premature, politically-driven withdrawal from Iraq, which allowed
ISIS to rise. It is not as naïve as the Russia "reset," which gave up
missile defense and emboldened Vladimir Putin's aggression.
But in terms of America's founding values, the Cuba deal is the worst so
President Barack Obama received almost nothing in exchange for restoring
diplomatic relations with the Castro regime. That would have been bad
But then Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Cuba to re-open the
U.S. embassy, and delivered a stomach-churning speech in which he wished
the Cuban regime well, and declared: "I feel very much at home here."
This, in a country that many have risked their lives to escape.
The Obama administration also excluded Cuba's dissidents from the
embassy ceremony, in deference to the Castros.
Worse, the White House is also circumventing Congress, and the law, in
order to appease the Cuban regime.
When the negotiations with Cuba were revealed in late 2014, Raùl Castro
demanded that President Obama take executive action to lift the U.S.
embargo, in direct violation of the law and the U.S. Constitution: "Even
though the measures of the blockade have been made by law, the President
of the United States can modify their application through his executive
powers," Castro said in a speech hailing Cuba's diplomatic achievement.
And President Obama is eager to comply.
ABC News reported this week that the Obama administration "plans to
unilaterally ease the travel restrictions to Cuba….The new measures
would bypass limits on travel imposed by Congress by changing
regulations at the executive level."
While there is still a travel embargo on the statute books, "Americans
going to Cuba would still have to fall into one of the 12 pre-approved
licenses to travel, but would merely attest to compliance on-line or at
the airport as they buy a ticket. No special visa would be required."
Travel and trade are both good things, and could help open Cuban society
to reform (though travel and trade with the rest of the world have
failed to loosen the Castros' grip thus far). Americans are curious
about Cuba, and even romanticize it somewhat–the old cars, the beautiful
women, the music and (of course) the cigars. Time magazine is already
selling a glossy Cuba travel guide at supermarket checkout lines. The
Cuban-American community itself is ambivalent, and opinion polls suggest
that Americans as a whole are eager for U.S. policy to change.
But if so, that policy is surely worth taking to Congress for approval.
The danger of breaking the rules for the sake of popular changes is that
it sets a precedent for unpopular ones. Already, Obama has circumvented
Congress by taking the Iran deal to the UN Security Council first. The
"Corker bill" guts the Senate's treaty powers. And the White House hints
it will carry out the deal regardless.
Kerry defended Obama's power grabs by saying it is "physically
impossible" to pass a treaty through Congress today, yet Republicans
just gave Obama fast-track authority on trade!
Instead of encouraging Cuba to become more democratic, the Cuba deal is
making the U.S. more autocratic. And Raùl Castro knows it.
That is why he is insisting the U.S. censor news broadcasts to Cuba, and
hand over the Guantánamo Bay naval base.
After all, Obama made sure an anti-Muslim filmmaker went to jail after
Benghazi, and he is desperate to close the GTMO prison. He broke the law
once by evading Congress at GTMO; he would surely do it again.
We are less safe because of Iran, Russia, and ISIS. But the Cuba deal
has made us less free.
Source: The Cuba Deal is Destroying America -