Raul Castro is a coward. That is, in part, why he has always been, and always will be, second fiddle to his brother Fidel. He is also a cold-blooded murderer, possibly, a character flaw that Castro uses to overcompensate for his Napoleonic, and now in his old age, deranged tendencies.
There are photos of Raul assisting in execution of opposition members during the Communist revolution. We also know, for a fact, the Raul ordered, and succeeded in, the murder of Americans in 1996. And there is so much more. I have no idea what possessed the President and his advisors to engage in this rather odd rapprochement with the butcher of Havana. Idiocy is a poor trait too, especially in statecraft.
Raul Castro’s eagerness to settle the score with the United States, just listen to what the little man had to say in Panama, is a clear indicator that the regime has no interest in reform. It is sticking to its founding principles, as outlined in the Cuban Constitution, that since at least 1953 the leaders of the revolution have committed to “construction of socialism and, under the direction of the Communist Party, continues said construction with the objective of building a communist society.” So why seek closer relations with the United States, today?
Raul Castro’s biggest fear is not the end of the revolution, a certainty, but his own. He fears spending the rest of life in a prison, or more to the point, meeting the same end as Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. If only. And that is the same issue driving the Cuban Communist Party to the negotiating table with the United States. They fear justice. They fear rule of law. They fear pain, suffering, and isolation.
President Obama and his advisors, for now, have handed these political troglodytes, for now, a get out of jail free card and, for others including Raul, a lifeline. They have also sent a very poor signal to potential reformers within the government that, again for now, the United States has no use for you. In addition to a political lifeline, the Obama Administration has handed the opposition movement a most certain dark future. Ever since December 17 the crackdown against the future leaders of Cuba has been unrelenting. The U.S. response? Tumbleweed (press releases and statements do not count).
De-listing Cuba as a state sponsor of terror was a strategic and tactical blunder. Not only are the analysts twisting the facts to meet satisfy the political demands of the National Security Council, a story in itself, but it signals to the anti-American left in the Western Hemisphere and beyond that it is alright to keep cavorting with terrorists, drug dealers, money launderers, human rights abusers, and other thugs because the United States is making peace with the lead thug, the butcher of Havana and the Communist Party that Castro leads.
Congress should, but will not, move aggressively to curtail the Obama Administration’s reckless foreign policy decision to engage with Cuba and remove it from the state sponsors of terror list. This means that sanction supporters do not have the votes to stop him, and they are marshaling political resources for other Cuba-related legislative battles. If this is so, it is a serious mistake. In the legislative process, you can’t make these decisions without forcing an up or down vote or, at least, a whip count.
The Castro brothers, and those who support them, should not celebrate their new-found good fortune. I’m certain it will be short-lived. While they may not face the same fate as Romania’s Nicolas Ceaușescu, the free people of Cuba will demand an accounting for past injustices, as will the families of slain Americans. There will be justice, I pray, sooner rather than later.
For now, someone in authority on our side needs to, frankly, put the Cubans back in their place. It is not very diplomatic, but most of what has been done since December 17 with respect to Cuba is downright un-American. Some Teddy Roosevelt diplomacy is called for, not this new age world first stuff. And while the subject of justice for victims of Cuban terrorism and other crimes committed by the Communist Party may not be a comfortable topic to talk about, but it must be on the table. By cozying up to the Cuban regime, the President, his advisors, and, yes, the Vatican, are facilitating a grave injustice. The United States is not supposed to be that type of power.