On Wednesday, December 17, 2014 President Barack Obama read a Statement on Cuba Policy Changes. One could parse the fallacies, starting with “the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba,” when in fact the change is in the relationship with the Communist regime oppressing the people of Cuba. Cuban opposition leaders decry the move, clearly seeing it as a betrayal since the know that engagement won’t automatically promote freedom
Opposition leaders from throughout the island have agreed on four immediate demands to put before the government: the release of political prisoners; the end of repression against human rights and pro-democracy groups; the ratification of international covenants on human rights; and the recognition of Cuban civil society groups.
Nothing in the December 17 Statement refers to those demands.
Apparently 53 political prisoners are to be released; I’ll be most obliged if anyone could send me a link to the list of their names and the date(s) of their release, since I have not been able to find it.
The Liberal Fallacy of the Cuba Deal
Don’t get me wrong: I support the normalization of relations. But believing it can remake the regime in Havana is the worst kind of American exceptionalist fantasy.
The fantasy that U.S. policies and actions can reshape another country has been with us for far too long. The ability of the United States to change any country’s internal economy or politics is extraordinarily limited, as our most recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan show, yet again.
Mariela Castro, Raul Castro’s daughter, clarified,
Change must come from within Cuba: Only Cubans can save Cuba.
As things stand right now, the odds have vastly improved for Cuba to “transition” into a profitable Communist regime, like China’s. Or perhaps, even more likely, the Viet Nam outcome,
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.
Obama is trying to cement his legacy. Human rights (and true democracy) be damned.
Obama on video flaunting Cuban cigar hours after capitulating to Cuba
More ABC News Videos | ABC World News
As an aside, the Castro regime has availed itself of santería imagery to instill fear at home (even having members of his entourage pluck dead chickens at the Waldorf Astoria in 1960). Obama’s announcement came on St. Lazarus day, a saint in Cuban santería, as Val Prieto points out. When it comes to symbolism, Obama handed the Castros an ace in the hole.
CASTRO: CUBA STAYS COMMUNIST!
1960 article from The Economist: On The Rocks
In Cuba Policy Debate, Theories Don’t Cut It
Castros Pull It Off, Again? Some Preliminary Thoughts
Will Obama roll out the White House red carpet for Raul Castro?
‘Disturbing to say the least’: Something’s VERY wrong with this photo of Alan Gross
Krauthammer: Liberalization Won’t Work in Cuba
Details of the Unilateral Executive Cuba Deal
What Part of Keeping Cuba Isolated Has Not ‘Worked’?
Obama’s New Cuba Policy: Eating With Raul
Rand Paul Rand-splains Cuba to Marco Rubio
Castro’s Hipster Apologists Want to Keep Cuba ‘Authentically’ Poor
The thawing of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba has elicited a lot of patronizing, asinine fretting about the imminent “Americanization” of Cuba.
The WaPo sees the light on Obama and Cuba
Thoughts on Cuba
Odds & Ends: Cuba
Democracy in Cuba is a long-term project. One of the arguments from those who want to lift the embargo is that capitalism will bring democracy to Cuba. What this argument fails to take into account is that Cuban society from an ethics standpoint has de-evolved. Since Castro has taken over, Cuban society has regressed. Through its loss of freedom and the economic rations, the Cuban people have adopted a “survival of the fittest” mentality. In terms of daily life, this means that the Cuban people have to steal either materials, or food, or money in order for their family to survive. Their thought is that the consequences be damned, I have to do this for my family to survive. For foreign companies that want to do build factories and or businesses in Cuba, be prepared to deal with employees who will steal.
The democratic process in Cuba will take at least three generations. The first generation will need to fight for their democratic rights. This will either be a violent or a peaceful revolution. The second generation, once it has secured those rights, will need to have those rights protected through constitutional means. The third and subsequent generations will need to be vigilant in protecting those rights. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, Cuba will have a democracy, if they can keep it. In that democraticization process civil society will need to be re-established. The re-establish process needs to include a religious component.
Boycott Cuba, Conservative Hellhole
Why, again, are we celebrating a country run by elderly, militaristic white Hispanic men?
Cuba’s Maximum Wage, Or What Life Is Like When You Follow Gawker’s Economic Policy
¿Qué Ofrece Raúl Castro?
Will the Pope butt in? Argentina calls on Britain to discuss Falklands sovereignty after US and Cuba deal
ARGENTINA President Cristina Kirchner has today called on Britain to discuss the Falklands’ sovereignty in light of an historic deal between the US and Cuba.
24 de dezembro de 2014
Estados Unidos e Cuba reatam laços diplomáticos – mas é cedo para comemorar
Emanuel heading to Chile for holidays, despite possible criticism
Colombia Farc truce follows killings
Colombia’s Farc begins an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire, hours after the army said that the left-wing rebels had killed five soldiers.
Ecuador Ends Environmental Cooperation with Germany
Jamaica Urged To Take Lead In Renewed Cuba Relations
Cuba’s Tourism Gain Will Be Puerto Rico’s Loss Says Analyst
Uruguay’s Mujica Shows U.S. Letter De-Linking Ex-Guantanamo Inmates from Terrorism
Venezuela is done for; it is not me saying it, it is Raul Castro
Another thing is that the way Raul Castro has dumped Venezuela for the US tourism dollar. Now that Venezuela is bankrupt, the only quick fix available for Cuba is to open its tourism to US visitors, and to Miami Cubans eager to come back and buy back, say, their ancestral home. Raul Castro, for all practical purposes, told us today that Venezuela is done, that he cannot leech much more from it, and that he dumps us without ceremony. We are broke and not even the most idiot of chavistadom can pretend to ignore that for much longer.
But what worries me the most about the whole Raul-Obama deal is that a wind of impunity is blowing through the Caribbean. Thousands of Cuban criminals that supported the Castro horrendous dictatorship are now going to go Scott free. Sure, a couple of them will be somehow sent to trial, scapegoats for decades of tyranny and errors. But it looks like the Castros are now going to die peacefully in their bed while the cult to Che will grow even stronger as throngs of lobotomized US tourists will be driven to the high places of Che crimes.
Current occupant of the White House imposes sanctions on Venezuela, no one pays attention
US-Cuba: A Historic Decision
How Venezuela’s Collapse Helped Thaw Cuban-American Relations
The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez helped keep the Cuban regime propped up, but that’s not possible in an era of low oil prices
The week’s posts and podcast:
Cuba: Raul gets richer
Cuba: Q & A
Cuba: US law and dissidents’ objectives
Ecuador: Selling it to China
Cuba: What is the regime going to do?
Cuba: #AlanGross released – is Obama ending the embargo in exchange? UPDATED THROUGH THE DAY
Argentina: Cristina aims for The People’s Cube
Puerto Rico: NY Yankees’ Jorge Posada scammed out of $11million
Uruguay: Send more Gitmo alumni!
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Whose “outdated Cold War perspective”?
Brace yourselves: Obama to end the embargo after Gross’s release
A look at Venezuela, Cuba and other US-Latin America stories of the week