• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • "Smart Policy" Change in Cuba Policy Will Not Advance U.S. Interests

    Cuban President Fidel Castro (L) and his brother Raul, chat on December 23, 2003 in Havana, during a meeting of the Cuban Parliament. Raul Castro succeeded his brother Fidel Castro as the president of Cuba on February 24, 2008, in a historic power shift expected to keep Havana firmly on its communist path, officials said.

    The Obama Administration is apparently readying a “Fall Surprise” regarding its policy toward Cuba. The New York Times reports that the White House intends to ease restrictions on travel to Cuba and return to the “people-to-people” policies of the Clinton Administration. It will also reportedly make private assistance flows easier. Claimed one Democratic policy mandarin, the Administration has worked up “a smarter Cuba policy.”

    The decision to loosen restriction comes as Cuba’s mismanaged economy is again in free fall and seeks help from any quarter. Cubans recently were informed that they must further tighten their belts since as much as a fifth of the nation’s workforce may soon be let go. Food production continues to fall despite Raul Castro’s tinkering. And Cuba’s exploitative export of doctors and medical personnel was recently exposed.

    Changes would also take place at a moment when the convalescent 84-year old Fidel Castro is making a return to the public stage. Acting more like Nostradamus than the “maximum leader,” Castro is given to prognosticating that nuclear Armageddon is just around the corner because of U.S. imperialistic confrontations with Iran and North Korea.

    It is surely an ironic fact that in October 1962 at the height of the Cuban Missile crisis, Castro urged the Soviet Union’s Khrushchev to launch a nuclear war against the U.S. if JFK landed U.S. troops in Cuba. An unrepentant Castro sees in Iran’s deadly nuclear quest the same visceral anti-Americanism that remains the guiding star in his geopolitical firmament.

    Fidel’s return is, according to veteran Cuba analyst Brian Latell, “unbridled narcissism.” Valiant blogger Yoani Sanchez captures the muddle that is the political scene in Cuba: Fidel, she observes, “has come forward again to shamelessly display his infirmities and announce the end of the world, as if to convince us that life after him would be lacking in purpose.”

    The Administration will move ahead despite the fact the Cuban are still holding AID worker Alan Gross, who was arrested in December, 2009 , and his being held without charges. Gross was engaged in a “people-to-people project” that ran afoul of Cuba’s ever-present security apparatus.

    While failing to advance any substantial U.S. economic [jobs, exports], political [democracy, respect for human rights, freedom for Mr. Gross ], or security interests, the Obama Administration proposes to serve up the Castros and their moribund communist regime with a fresh bunch of carrots—more visitors, easier private assistance aid, and heightened legitimacy. This policy is the opposite of “smart.”

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to "Smart Policy" Change in Cuba Policy Will Not Advance U.S. Interests

    1. jonas wilson says:

      yeah right…lets spend another 50 years with a useless policy while continuing to trade with vietnam, china etc….

      such sad little boy petty ploitics you advocate…when anyone with half a brain and knowledge of history would understand that exposure and interaction with cubs will bring positive change significantly quicker than 50 years of knuckledragging policy didctated by angry ex cubans with too much anger and not enough sense…


    2. Pingback: Virginia Right! News Hound for 8/18/2010 | Virginia Right!

    3. Pingback: Smart Policy Change in Cuba Policy Will Not Advance U.S. Interests | Cubaverdad

    4. Alberto Aza, Jackson Heights, NY says:

      The lack of understanding of the dynamics of the cuban government by the administration is unparalelled. All the cuban institutions, commercial or educational, are part of the giagantic goverment infrastructure. the Castros’s dictartorship is salivating to see american tourists basking in the waters of Varadero beach, Cayo Coco or any other summer resort paying for a “mojito” the equivalent of a month salary (USD12.00) for a professional worker such as an arquitect or a medical doctor.
      Many of my contacts in Cuba have expressed their overwhelming .dissappointment at the administration and they have referred to the policy of appeasement by the US as an approach that would make Chamberlain proud of them!

    5. Alberto N Jones says:

      It is really sad to see, how people with a certain perception of life, can remain fosilized in cold war era thinking. The aim of these poisonous articles, are to perpetuate the status quo, not to persue a new avenue, a different type of relations among neighbors.

      Ignoring a basic medical principle of changing a prescription when the patient have not responded to such therapy, the writer and others like him, are still hoping, that doing the same things, they can achieve a different outcome.

      The only loosers in this man-made tragdy are the average Cuban and American people. As with China, Viet Nam and the Soviet Union who were portrayed as monsters devouring babies, today we are very to happy to gobble up their Wall Mart cheap production, visit their country and hope no one remembers what we said or did to them, 20-30 years ago.

      Will the same happen with Cuba? History though, will record and remember the actions of each of us..

    6. Cho says:

      The author is well to the right indeed! Of course he is true in that that police will do little to advance U.S. or Cuban interests. I would say that economical problems in Cuba have two sources: U.S. blockade (5%) and economic mismanagement (95%). Then the most effective way of changing things, by destroying the excellent “U.S. is the guilty one” excuse of the Cuban government , as many have noted (including Yoani Sánchez), is to just lift the blockade. In that scenario the money coming from U.S. will corrupt a bit more the political class in Cuba, and corrupted functionaries are easy to buy (that would be readily done by interests groups both in and outside Cuba) and put in the way of “economic reforms”…

    7. Robert Annable says:

      Waiser is an idiot that makes up his facts. Castro is not supposed to be anti-American after giving Cuba dictator after dictator while being pillaged by United Fruit and the Mafia. The CIA's Miami terrorists made countless assassination attempts on Castro and murdered civilians. Then we invaded their country. He would be crazy if he wasn't anti-American. Some things Waiser left out. A large group of Cuban dissidents have called for the embargos end. As for Allen Gross, he gets no sympathy from me. Aid worker like hell. He was paid by a company espousing "regime change" for Cuba and entered on a tourist visa. He would have been arrested for the samething in the US. May he rot in jail. And I do not buy his tripe about his "contacts" in Cuba. I have been to Cuba many times and that is hardly what most Cubans are thinking. Heritage Foundation= right-wing fraud.

    8. Alberto N Jones says:

      Although everyone knows of the longstanding mismanagement of most of Cuban enterprises, I think Mr. Cho's conclusions are naive at best, by blaming the embargo for 5% of the destruction of that country.

      Does Mr. Cho knows that Cuba have to pay a prime cost for freighters to stop in Cuba, because after doing so, they cannot dock in the US, the largest trading nation in the world. for the next 180 days?

      Is Mr. Cho aware that the Treasure Department hired more people to track Cuba's financial transactions than to follow Al Quiada? Have he ever heard of the millions in fines that our country impose on foreign banks for simply performing normal banking transactions with Cuba?

      If Mr. Cho would have to purchase his grocery, medicines, gas and other basic goods, 300 miles from his home, would that be necessary him to understand the meaning of embargo?

      Is Mr Cho aware, that while tens of United States aircraft flies over Cuba everyday, Cuba's handful of flights are kept out of the US airspace, adding miles/fuel/time/maintenance to their schedule?

      Would Mr. Cho and others say it is OK to have an unwanted tenant illegally holding 45 square miles of prime land in your country, for which they pretend to pay $4200.00 a year and refuse to leave because of their military might?

      No Sir. Cuba has millions of faults, but please do not attempt to mask or justify the US abusive behavior against Cuba, not just now, but since 1820 with multiple invasion/occupation up until the Bay of Pigs!.

      I hope these irrefutable facts may help our readers understand the root cause of this intractable conflict, which most refuse to explain.

      As soon as the world begin to apply what Mexico's president Benito Juarez said 200 years ago: To Respect the rights of others is Peace!!!

    9. Chris Kenefick, Char says:

      Can't people do things without there always having to be political undertones? I'd like to visit Cuba to do some scuba diving. Plain and simple.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.