On Febuary 3, 1962, President John. F. Kennedy signed a trade embargo against Cuba. From that time on America has not allowed trade between the two countries. Being that they were communist country with allegiance to Russia during the height of the Cold War period such precautions were absoultely necessary.
But as Barack Obama walks on Cuban ground he does so as the first President to do so in 54 years. This indeed is an historical event, but as we have seen with Barack himself, just because it is historical doesn’t mean it is beneficial to the American people. How will this affect our foreign policy with Cuba? It is not like we don’t have any contact with Cuba, after all. They do house the world’s worst prisoners and terrorists. It always seemed like a strange arrangement to me; “No, we won’t buy your cigars (legally anyway.) but we give you the world’s most dangerous terrorists to house, how does that work for you?”
Of course, people are coming down on both sides of the issue. There are people who think the embargo is unneccessary and it is time to open up to Cuba and start establishing a new diplomatic relationship. In fact, prior to Obama’s vist there was already talk about opening up embassies in each country’s respective capitals. [http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/17/politics/cuban-embargo-questions-answers/]. And there are others like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who are both from Cuban parents, that feel Cuba hasn’t lived up to Proclamation 3447 and therefore the embargo should stay in effect.
During his campaign Rubio said: “In fact, I think they’re [the embassies] in violation of the law,” Rubio said during an interview at the tail end of a three-day campaign swing through Iowa. “The statute passed by Congress specifically prohibits many of the things he [Obama]’s now undertaking. It says those things can only happen after certain conditions have been met, none of which have been met. As president, I will follow the law.” [http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/10/marco-rubio-cuba-obama-policy-roll-back]
Ted Cruz broke his silence on the news with a bang, calling the decision “a tragic mistake.” He went on to further state: “Just like the administration did with Iran, right when the [Iranian] administration was feeling the maximum pain, [Obama] throws them an economic lifeline and continues the brutal repression and dictatorship of the Castro brothers,” said Cruz, whose father emigrated from Cuba in 1957, four years before the U.S. imposed a strict trade embargo on the country. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/ted-cruz-obamas-new-cuba-policy-will-be-remembered-as-a-tragic-mistake/451260/
And it is not just Cruz and Rubio who disagree but Cuba’s own anti-government protestors who were arrested shortly before Obama’s arrival. https://www.facebook.com/NBCMiami/videos/10153573880327582/?fref=nf [See video of protestors here] Just add this to another long line of Obama’s foreign policy failures. While many people are trying to paint this as Nixon’s reopening of China to the West, is that really a good thing? After all, we are up to our eyeballs in debt to China, we outsource all our work to China, and they only recent changed their one child policy so now people can have a whole two kids! Wow, two kids, let me catch my breath! China didn’t exactly stop its human rights abuses when Nixon normalized relations, so what is the likelihood that Cuba under Fidel’s brother, Raul will?
Obama has a penchant for making friends with our enemies and alienating our allies. From Benghazi to the deal with Iran he has consistently shown his ineptitude in dealing with foreign adversaries. Do we really need another Benghazi in Havana? If we do normalize relations with Cuba how will that affect Americans at home? For instance, will jobs now be outsourced to Cuba? After all, it much easier to send jobs to Cuba than to China. If that happens, how will that affect our relationship with China? Will that cause them to be less forgiving of the debt we owe them and if so, what will be the end result of their dissatisfaction? Not to mention, Russia is friendly with both nations. If Cuba restablishes its relationship with the United States how will Putin take that? It is not just simply a matter of “Oh I love Cuban food, Desi Arnaz and cigars, let’s be friendly with Cuba!” There is a lot at stake here and I don’t think Obama is grasping the entire situation. But then that is par for the course for him.
- Image sources:
- twitter.com (@Barack Obama)