‘Opportunity’ in Cuba, but for whom?
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES – – Sunday, July 5, 2015
After 50 years an American flag will again fly over the American Embassy
in Havana. The Cubans, no doubt eager to sample the sweet life in the
West, will open their diplomatic representation in Washington.
President Obama tries to justify the renewal with the refrain that “it’s
time to change a policy that has not worked.” Like so many things this
president says, it’s not true. Over five decades, sometimes with direct
intervention (as with the Contras in Nicaragua), The United States
succeeded in preventing the spread of ruinous communism in Latin
America. It wasn’t for lack of trying by Fidel Castro and his Soviet
enablers. The list of Cuban attempts to subvert other governments in the
Hemisphere, sometimes with actual military infiltration, is a long one.
President Obama does not learn from his mistakes. There are already
demands that the United States lift the Cuban “embargo,” a misnomer for
the refusal of the Castro government in the 1960s to compensate American
investors for the seizure of their properties. Cuban propagandists, with
the help of supporters on the American left and the ribbon clerks in the
American business lobby, argue that it was the American blocking of
economic relations with Havana that brought on the Cuban disaster. These
voices tout all kinds of mutual economic opportunities for American
business if the United States takes the next big leap forward and
authorizes investment and trade — including economic aid.
But the Obama administration got nothing in return for resuming
diplomatic relations. What it did do, however, was give help to a dying
regime. Cuba has relations with 190 other countries. Some of them, in
Europe and in Canada, have tried to invest and trade and have achieved
It’s difficult to exaggerate the dismal Cuban situation as it returns
from immersion in the Marxist fairy tale to the real world. Much of its
educated elite has long since departed, and there’s no reason to expect
them to give up a good life, with their children long established as
American Indians, to “go home.” They are home already.
Cuba’s special quotas for sugar are gone, too. Not only will its sugar
industry have to rebuild from scratch, or close to it, but Cuban cane
sugar must compete now in a changed world. Subsidized beet sugar, corn
syrup and all the other sweeteners developed while Havana slept, have
The United States must, of course, do what it can to help the
impoverished Cubans sitting on the American doorstep. Humanitarian
generosity aside, it’s in the crucial interests of the United States to
contribute to a prosperous and stable Cuba. When the Castro regime
finally collapses — as it surely will — a freed but impoverished nation
of more than 11 million will start swimming toward Miami, and not all of
There’s considerable hot air about the prospects for American business
in Raul Castro’s Cuba, some of it coming from President Obama himself.
Some of it comes from American businesses which profit from export
subsidies. Lifting the sanctions before Raul Castro makes the
concessions necessary for economic and political progress on the island,
is for suckers.
Source: EDITORIAL: Obama’s Cuba diplomacy gives America nothing for
Castro opportunity – Washington Times –