home Cuba, Economic Sanctions, national security Losers Never Set the Terms of Surrender, But Cuba Is Trying

Losers Never Set the Terms of Surrender, But Cuba Is Trying

The Cuban Communist Party is a recalcitrant lot. Cuba is an economic basket case, broke. And it is about to get a lot more in the red. Meanwhile the majority of its population is disheartened and hungry. Castro, Machado-Ventura, Colomé Ibarra, Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, indeed mostly the entire Central Committee, is in denial. The upper echelons of the Communist Party still clings to something that no longer exists, much like Adolf Hitler did at the end of the World War II.

Rather than do as the Allied Powers did during World War II and press for something akin to an unconditional surrender, certain folks in the Obama Administration convinced the President take a huge political risk that will most assuredly backfire on the United States. The Cuban Communist Party is weak and for the first time in decades the U.S. could have taken the bold step of telegraphing a message of support to a new generation of Cuban leaders. For some odd reason, however, the United States threw a lifeline to the very cowards who hide, yes hide, behind certain sectors of the military as well as the intelligence services.

The Central Committee understands that the President Obama’s executive authority can only take the normalization process so far. As far as the Cuban regime is concerned, they already won. They played the Alan Gross swap a hostage card, a full house. This should have been an unconditional release, but the Cubans secured all five spies, relaxed travel rules, financial access to the U.S. market via credit cards, and a significant and at certain points, illegal easing of numerous other regulations that will put much-needed coin in the regime’s currently empty piggy bank. The Central Committee members are just getting started.

Yesterday, the head of the Central Committee, Raul Castro, dictated additional terms for the normalization of relations. Since we do the losers get to steer the conversations? Anyone with a college-level political science course could’ve have predicted what they want in return of the opening of a building, a U.S. Embassy: (1) the return of the Guantanamo base; (2) it wants to be removed from the State Sponsors of Terror list; (3)  the end of radio and television transmissions from the U.S. to Cuba; and (4) it wants to be, get this, “compensated” for the economic impact of U.S. sanctions. That’s just for starters, well, more like non-starters. Sí, they have many more demands.

As folks in this town – on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue – quibble about what to do next, the regime is using its newly granted recognition or political standing bestowed on them by these talks to go around the Americas and make trouble for the United States. Just yesterday Raul was in Costa Rica at an international conference demanding, yes demanding, that we remove economic sanctions on Venezuela, among other things.  Leaders present from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Venezuela, as if on cue, clapped and echoed similar sentiments.

Now that the regime has started to crack a hole in the economic sanctions, as well as U.S. policy, it is stepping up a strategy it has had in place for decades: the dilution of the economic value of U.S. certified claims held by thousands of Americans. The claims are valued at close to $8,000,000,000 and represent about 6,000 unlawfully confiscated properties, unpaid debts and other obligations. How did advisors at the White House miss all of this? Was this even on their political radar?

The Cuban Communist Party and the Revolution lost. Freedom won, long ago. The Cuban people should be trying these people for gross human rights violations, among many other crimes. Rather, they are stuck in a Potemkin world that the United States, for some odd reason, has decided that it wants or needs to prop up. This chicanery has gone far enough. Someone needs to step up and put an end to it. Engagement for engagement’s sake is not a policy. It is appeasement.  Lawmakers and the President must put U.S. interests, and taxpayers, ahead of everything else. This is not difficult, it’s a island and we have a laws and policy in place to deal with these matters. Or at least we used to.


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