Saturday, November 8, 2008

Peace for Cuba 2009

President-Elect Obama plans to heal U.S. relationships with neighbors in the Americas. He promises principled and sustained diplomacy with Latin American countries. This represents a return to productive relationships built by Mr. Clinton, damaged by Mr. Bush.

Mr. Obama plans to lift restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba. He will open a dialogue, tied to democratic reforms, toward easing embargo restrictions. Speaking in Miami for benefit of the Castro brothers, he said, “If you take significant steps toward democracy, beginning with the freeing of all political prisoners, we will take steps to begin normalizing relations”.

Mr. Bush increased restrictions for Cuba in 2004. A new generation of Cuban-Americans reject this hard-line approach. Mr. Bush refused dialogue with Raul Castro after he indicated a willingness to reform his government, a position Mr. McCain supported. This type of arrogant neglect caused voters to demand a more reasonable President be inaugurated. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and the embargo has changed nothing in 30 years.

Insanity will be replaced with reason come 2009. Mr. Obama favors diplomacy to “advance the interests of the United States and advance the cause of freedom for the Cuban people.” He stated in Miami, “I would never rule out a course of action that could advance the cause of liberty”. Citizens throughout the hemisphere have expressed to me how refreshing this is. Foreign leaders anticipate improved relations with the USA according to a review of comments made to the press in S. America, C. America & Mexico since November 4.

The last Cuban administration supported by the USA was run by a military leader named Batista who gained power in 1933. He retained power as a dictator for 25 years while financed by U.S. gangsters. Castro came to power with a coup in 1958 with popular support from the Cuban people. Long-term U.S. support for Batista's criminal regime is viewed as hypocrisy in the eyes of the Cuban people. Such hypocrisy has been a common theme in dozens of U.S. interventions in Latin America, many of which have socialist leaning governments today.
Cubans wonder why gambling, prostitution, and state-sponsored murder were supported by the U.S. for 25 years, but not socialism? Or they ask why the U.S. conferred prefence to a criminal dictator but not a revolutionary who deported their own gangsters back to Florida, New York & Las Vegas for prosecution? Castro ended Batista's monthly receipts of $1.28 million from Meyer Lansky's bagmen. The U.S. media deemed Fidel "a tropical Robin Hood" until the Cold War intervened.

Regardless, the embargo should have been abandoned when the Soviet’s abandoned Cuba. As a policy to encourage government reform, the embargo is a complete failure. The Cuban people never deserved increased suffering at the hands of their neighbor, Uncle Sam. Simply stated, government reform is the furthest thing from the minds of people struggling to survive. While this concept comes from the pages of Political Science 101, Mr. Bush evidently failed this course in favor of fraternity parties reminiscent of the mob's heyday in Havana.

For a detailed analysis of “How the mob owned Cuba and then lost it all to the revolution”, read Havana Nocturne by T.J. English. Thanks to Bobbi for this photo from her Cuban journey.

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