Saturday, April 11, 2015

Reset! (Press 1 to Continue in Spanish)

Ah, the thrill of making new friends!

U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will share the same stage on Friday in an encounter rich with symbolism as their countries set aside decades of mistrust and attempt to restore diplomatic relations.

You remember the Cuba reset, of course.

President Obama likes to say that after 50 years of a policy not working because Cuba isn't free, it only makes sense to change our policy.

Perhaps. But is the policy really not working when Cuba is too weak to threaten our vital interests in the Caribbean region?

Shouldn't that be the minimum objective rather than the maximum goal of liberty for all Cubans?

Who's the democracy-promoting NeoCon, now, eh?

Seriously, if Russia under Putin becomes a major military threat to NATO, the impact of Cuba on our security reappears:

By gaining allies and bases in the Caribbean--whether in Nicaragua, Cuba, or Grenada--the Soviets could interfere with (delay or sink) our shipping of American Army heavy forces through Gulf ports to Europe to resist a Soviet invasion of NATO country West Germany; and could interfere with our use of the Panama Canal to shift Pacific fleet ships to the Atlantic to help get convoys of troops and supplies from America and Canada to NATO Europe.

And it would tie down our forces while we secured the sea lines of communication that otherwise might go to Europe earlier.

Is making Cuba prosperous under communist rule just making it easier for Russia to afford Cuba as an ally?

And even if our Cuba policy hasn't worked, it does not logically follow that the policy the president has embarked on is the correct policy. What's in it for us?

Perhaps you can argue that opening up to Cuba to ties with America will expose the regime's lie that our policy of isolation is responsible for their poverty (Cuba is not isolated from the world) rather than their own communist governance model.

But I think you underestimate the ability of Cuba to find ways to blame us and underestimate the willingness of the global Left to believe those excuses.

In theory, an opening to Cuba could work. I have freely admitted that. But after 6 years of seeing President Obama run our foreign policy, this is one more initiative that will not be a "Nixon goes to China" moment.

Ultimately, I don't trust this administration not to screw this up. They will open up to the Cuban rulers rather than to the Cuban people. Just as President Obama still thinks that not being Bush is more than enough to be a monumental president and force for global good, he probably thinks a Cuba policy not like the old one that isolates Cuba from America must be spectacular.

I don't think that word nuance means what they think it means.