Cuba has no Intention of Abandoning Communism

I was conflicted about President Obama’s announcement that he was taking action to open diplomatic relations with Cuba. I’ve been interested in Cuba since my days as a teenager watching Walter Cronkite when he announced (as I recall), with what appeared to be satisfaction, that Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries had overthrown the “evil dictator Batista.” I began to notice as time went by that things weren’t improving for the Cuban people. Those who were suspected of being Batista supporters, or were accused by someone who didn’t like them of being Batista supporters, were being tried in a stadium by Che Guevara and either being executed or imprisoned. I became even more conflicted as the years passed as I noticed young people were eager to wear shirts with a picture of Che “celebrating the revolution.” I’ve always found it sad to see young Liberals (or Progressives, if you prefer) celebrating a man who oversaw the murder or imprisonment of people who “might” have disagreed with him. I wasn’t included in those who mourned his death.

My conversion to being a “Cuba policy skeptic” was intensified as Cuba began to be a proxy providing soldiers for the Soviet Union when they wanted a revolution in some African country. The willingness of Cuba to allow installation of Soviet missiles that could carry nuclear warheads to many American cities in the early 1960s (the Cuban Missile Crisis) ended any tiny remaining doubts.

There are undoubtedly large numbers of Cubans who would enjoy nothing more than being able to change the Communist system installed by Castro and his supporters to a free enterprise system. That thought gave me hope that President Obama’s announcement was the first step to a better life for Cubans. However, Raul Castro appeared wearing his high-level military uniform to announce, “Don’t expect détente to change the Cuban system.”  He also said in an Associated Press article by Andrea Rodriguez, “We must not expect that in order for relations with the United States to improve, Cuba will not abandon the ideas that it has struggled for.”

I’m skeptical that President Obama is taking actions to find some positive aspects to close out what I will call “his troubled Presidency.” I fear that he was much too eager to “cut a deal with Cuba” to achieve a decent result for Cuban citizens or the thousands of Cuban political prisoners. I’ll wish for the best for the Cuban people, but fear President Obama gave up hopes for their future for his “legacy.”  And I honestly hope I’m wrong! If the Cuban people begin to experience more freedom, I will proclaim, “Viva Obama.” I am sad to say I doubt that is what will happen.

One thought on “Cuba has no Intention of Abandoning Communism

  1. I think the attempt to normalize relations with Cuba is just the latest in Obama’s string of lame duck moves designed to dig his spurs into the soon to be majority Republican Congress. The new Republican Senate will rise to the bait and refuse to enable this, providing the Left with more opportunities to paint Republicans, particularly potential presidential candidates from the Senate, as uncooperative and regressive, not to mention racist. It’s a gamble that young Latinos of Cuban descent will outnumber and outvote the old guard Castro haters in Florida and play into the general feeling among Latinos that the Republican party is anti-Hispanic. There is literally nothing which the Left will not attempt to politicize in order to gain an electoral advantage.

    How much actual difference will normalization make for average Cubans? Almost none. This is not China. Cuba produces little more than sugar and cigars, and its economy, like its automobile fleet, is stuck in the 1950’s. If US dollars follow an ambassador to Havana they will be few, and will surely land in the pockets of the Castros and their military enablers. Even if the trade blockade were totally lifted, Cuba would not attract Western investment, because the risk is far too high. The island’s only real asset is the tropical beauty and unmodernized quaintness which are not all that unique in the Carribean, so even its appeal as a tourist destination is limited. Cuba will stay pretty much where it is and how it is, regardless of any action taken by Obama or Congress. The only change will be in Florida, and which way that will go remains to be seen.

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