… under U.S. law, a transition government in Cuba is one that “does not include Fidel Castro or Raul Castro.” There should be nothing more to say or do until that sinks in and something done about it. This should be the only message that the Obama Administration takes to Trinidad.
The Cuban Communist Party, supported by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and other leftist leaders in the hemisphere, is in search of a distraction to monopolize the agenda at the Fifth Summit of the Americans meeting in Trinidad. This serves Chavez, Lula da Silva, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, Daniel Ortega, and their supporters just fine. The less we talk about the destruction of democracy and freedom in the Americas, the better.
Yesterdays announcement by Raul Castro that all issues are on the table with regards to discussions with the U.S. is a good side show. It is a test of the Obama Administration and how far they can push this new team to granting unilateralconcessions on easing U.S. sanctions. The Cubans will not be at the summit, but they are already taking over its agenda.
The cold reality is that Cuba has nothing of immediate value to the U.S. but trouble and political headaches. It is a state sponsor of terror and a supporter of like-minded fellow travelers Iran, Syria, and Sudan. It harbors U.S. cop-killers, has engaged in advanced biological weapons research, and supports terrorists and drug dealers in the Americas.
Cuban Communist leaders are looking to consolidate power and desperately need the funds from U.S. travel to do so. They will say and do anything, including lie, to get the Obama Administration to ease sanctions. It will use illegal immigration with the same deftness as al-Qaeda and other radical Islamists use a suicide bombers.
In spite of these and other serious problem areas, the Obama Administration announced this week an easing of the Bush-era travel and remittance restrictions. It was done with some rather odd atmospherics and bumbling fashion, in Spanish no less, during a daily White House press briefing. This gimmicky approach to this long-standing matter signaled to the Cuban Communist Party, amateur hour.
It is not obvious yet, but it will be, that the Obama Administration is following the Carter-era foreign policy of engagement with our enemies. It has already done so in the case of Iran. With regards to Cuba, on March 15, 1977, President Jimmy Carter issued Presidential Directive/NSC-6 in which he directed that the United States “should attempt to achieve normalization of our relations with Cuba.”
Three years after the Carter directive was issued, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro responded with the Mariel boat lift. Before that he had increased Cuban military activities in places such as Angola and was fueling movements throughout Central and South America, to name a few things. In other words, the Cuban Communist Party used the Carter Administration for what it needed. Then came Ronald Reagan and, well, the jig was up.
Rather than take a sober, slow, and cold review of U.S.-Cuba policy matters, the Obama Administration seems to be needlessly rushing things. The Cuban Communist Party knows what it needs to do to secure concessions from the U.S. – it is as clear as a spring sunny day, our laws provide a clear road map. There are people on the island who would agree with this approach, even if it means risking their lives making such a view publicly known.
The Obama Administration should remind the Cubans, and their supporters in the Americas and in Washington, DC, that under U.S. law, a transition government in Cuba is one that “does not include Fidel Castro or Raul Castro.” There should be nothing more to say or do until that sinks in and something done about it. This should be the only message that the Obama Administration takes to Trinidad.