“Obama’s Latin America team, especially NSC officials, have zealously made de-Bushification a priority in Western Hemisphere Affairs…”
The very targeted changes to U.S.-Cuba sanctions regulations announced late yesterday will allow for increased travel by Cuban-Americans to Cuba, more remittances, and travel by U.S. persons employed by telecommunications and agriculture companies. The amendment to the sanctions regulations were done in response to President Barack Obama’s April 13, 2009 memorandum outlining a so-called new approach toward state sponsor of terrorism Cuba.
These changes are not new but very Carteresque. Increased engagement with the political troglodytes currently in power in Cuba will do nothing but provide them with a political escape valve to consolidate power. Increase travel by Cuban-Americans and executives from U.S. corporations in the telecommunications and agriculture industries will put more money in Cuban Communist Party coffers. It will do nothing to advance the cause of freedom on the island.
The National Security Council (NSC) and State Department personnel pressing for these changes are pushing the envelope of what is legally allowable under the Cuban Liberty and Solidarity Act. The thing is, they know that in a challenge between the U.S. Congress and the Executive on the scope and reach of the law, they currently have the upper hand. Indeed, Obama’s Latin America team, especially NSC officials, have zealously made de-Bushification a priority in Western Hemisphere Affairs.
Cuban regime officials will hardly be able to contain their glee. The U.S. has given it everything it needed to continue causing mischief in the Americas and undermining U.S. interests. It has also handed regime officials much-needed hard currency and cracked open the door for U.S. tourism in the form of executive travel from the telecommunications and agriculture industries as well as for Americans of Cuban ancestry. The new regulations not only lift travel restrictions, but also increase the amount of money that can be spent and taken to the island.
Rather than focusing on advancing the cause of freedom and rule of law in the Americas, Obama officials have become de facto facilitators for Cuba-spawned Chavismo to spread and consolidate in the Americas. Democratically elected leaders such as those in Honduras, are relegated to pariahs, while state sponsors of terrorism, Cuba, coddled as much as legally possible. They make it harder for elected officials from Honduras to travel here, but have given Cuban regime officials a back door to penetrate the U.S. with Cuba’s robust espionage program.
By handing a bag of cash to the crown jewel of the anti-American movement in Latin America, NSC officials have made it easier for Castro, Correa, Chavez, Lugo, Ortega, Morales, and, of course, Zelaya, to continue causing mischief and consolidating power through extra judicial means. The Obama Administration approach toward bad actors sends very bad and conflicting messages to supporters of freedom and rule of law. It has empowered the Bolivarian Axis and made it much more difficult to project and protect U.S. interests.
If they are so willing to embrace bad actors around the world and disregard freedom to score political points, one has to wonder what these people have in store for the United States for the next four years?