On Wednesday, the Castros suddenly obtained a comprehensive bailout — from the Obama administration. President Obama granted the regime everything on its wish list that was within his power to grant; a full lifting of the trade embargo requires congressional action. Full diplomatic relations will be established, Cuba’s place on the list of terrorism sponsors reviewed and restrictions lifted on U.S. investment and most travel to Cuba. That liberalization will provide Havana with a fresh source of desperately needed hard currency and eliminate U.S. leverage for political reforms.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
I love how the Embargo hard-liners will ignore all evidence as to its effectiveness of the Embargo, not to mention the many other nations with leaders far more diabolical than the Castro brothers that we have very close relations with. If there’s one thing the U.S. has had in the last 55 years, it’s leverage for political reforms in Cuba! What’s better is bitterness of Hiatt and the WaPo editorial board that the U.S. has established relations with Vietnam:
Mr. Obama says normalizing relations will allow the United States to be more effective in promoting political change in Cuba. That is contrary to U.S. experience with Communist regimes such as Vietnam, where normalization has led to no improvements on human rights in two decades. Moreover, nothing in Mr. Obama’s record of lukewarm and inconstant support for democratic change across the globe can give Ms. Sánchez and her fellow freedom fighters confidence in this promise.
The Vietnam outcome is what the Castros are counting on: a flood of U.S. tourists and business investment that will allow the regime to maintain its totalitarian system indefinitely. Mr. Obama may claim that he has dismantled a 50-year-old failed policy; what he has really done is give a 50-year-old failed regime a new lease on life.
Yes, if only Vietnam was still isolated, it would have totally converted to a liberal democracy!
I also note how the editorial sort of kind of left China out of this analysis. Gee, I wonder why.
Personally, I think Obama is playing 18-dimensional chess here because if Cubans are going to have greater internet access as part of the deal, the CIA can finally undermine the Castro regime through a foolproof tool: cute cat videos.