No Legitimacy for Cuba’s Dictators
Frank Calzon is the executive director of the Washington-based Center
for a Free Cuba.
OCTOBER 12, 2014
There is no useful purpose served by legitimizing the Castros’ communist
dictatorship in Cuba and giving it an international propaganda victory
that would embolden the world’s other dictators.
Opening relations would give the Castros an international propaganda
victory that would embolden the world’s other dictators.
U.S. policy has changed dramatically since the 1960s when Havana
confiscated $1.8 billion in American properties. “Interests sections”
are open in both capitals. Cuba annually buys hundreds of millions of
dollars worth of American foodstuffs. The U.S. “embargo” requires they
pay cash, because Cuba owes billions to European governments that have
extended trade credits. Putting American taxpayers on the same hook is
what the current push to “normalize” diplomatic relations is all about.
But why do so? There are no “trickle-down” benefits to the Cuban people.
Foreign trade and investment in Cuba is solely with the Castro
government. There is no civil “rule of law” that settles disputes,
orders payments or protects investors from government seizures and
The 15-year prison sentence handed to an American aid contractor, Alan
Gross, for giving a satellite telephone and laptop to a Jewish group
should be a warning to anyone who thinks relations with Cuba can be
“normalized.” Gross was held for more than a year before the Castro
government even concocted a charge. Now the Castros are trying to barter
his release in exchange for the release of spies sentenced in U.S.
prisons for spying on military bases in Florida (one of whom was allowed
to visit his ailing mother in Cuba, whereas the regime denied Gross’s
request to visit his dying mother).
For good reason, the State Department keeps Cuba on its list of states
supporting international terrorism. Cuba has trained terrorists,
supplied troops to Marxist revolutionaries in Latin America and Africa,
is an important member of the anti-Israel coalition at the U.N. and
elsewhere, and last year was caught smuggling two war planes and missile
parts to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions. Today, the Castros
are close allies of Syria and Iran. Cuba’s terrorist designs are
undeniable and Havana is as repressive as ever.
Source: No Legitimacy for Cuba’s Dictators – NYTimes.com –