Sunday, March 20, 2016

Hasn't the Hope and Change Reached Its Best-By Date?

Some lunatic just hijacked a plane to Cuba!

Wait. What?

Oh, never mind. Air Force One touched down in Cuba:

President Barack Obama arrives in Cuba on Sunday for a 48-hour visit, making history by venturing into what was once enemy territory and sparking enthusiasm among Cubans who have seen their Communist government vilify 10 previous U.S. leaders.

What were those past presidents thinking when they vilified a cruel and aggressive communist dictatorship? Now it is all smiles.

Look, I don't think we have to have a frozen foreign policy against Cuba. That's not my problem with the presidential outreach. If we can have a policy that helps Cubans without tightening the government's grip on the Cuban people in the process, I say fine.

But you have to admit that our "frozen" policy of isolating Cuba from American trade at least--in the absence of a major power to subsidize them as the Soviets once did--helped keep a threat too weak to do a lot of harm in an important region.

And we at least didn't soil our hands with any type of approval of the Cuban regime.

Further, if you want sanctions as an alternative to militarized responses, what does ending sanctions without compelling regime changes say to current subjects of our sanctions?

Sure, Iran is the biggest sanctions example and Cuba just bounces the rubble. But anyone under sanctions knows that they can endure and see sanctions end in time with their regime intact. If their people are poorer, the regime supporters at least know they got through okay.

Sure, defenders of President Obama's policies say that opening up to Cuba will unleash forces that will liberalize Cuba in the long run.

Maybe. I can't rule that out.

But recall that the Castro regime agreed to open up not to doom their regime, but to save it.

Given how the world seems to burn wherever our president touches it, whose objective seems more realistic?

Although the way our president throws friends under the bus, Cuba may find being our foe brings greater respect from us.

Will liberals still swoon over Cuba when Starbucks and McDonald's move in and Cuba loses its glamour?

Really, I'll at least say that at this point Cuba is way down on my list of worries.

But perhaps that will change in a decade.

UPDATE: Well, duh:

"Decades of friendly partner-like relations link Russia and Cuba," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a teleconference with reporters. "We are interested in Cuba, which is friendly to us, maintaining good relations with all its neighbors and above all with the United States."

If we call off the cold war with communist Cuba, Russia's problem of defending their friend in the Western hemisphere decline immensely. And economic ties with America will reduce the need of Russia to subsidize Cuba to maintain this intelligence outpost just off our shores and logistics stepping stone to the Western Hemisphere.