As the unfavorable reviews of President Bush’s speech regarding Cuba keep piling up, a commonality becomes more and more visible. Almost none of the editorialists and journalists are attempting to argue the viciousness and vile behavior of the castro dictatorial monarchy (although some continue to paint prince raul as some kind of reformist), but almost every single one of them have taken issue with Bush’s plan to bring democracy to the enslaved island.
They are calling it everything from Yankee imperialism to the U.S. meddling in a sovereign nation’s business. They have labeled Bush the typical arrogant American that thinks he knows better than the Cubans what is good for them.
While I read these articles, one historical event in 1986 comes to mind. The US Congress passed H.R. 4868, a bill that punished South Africa’s government for their apartheid policy. The new law required a plethora of sanctions against the all-white leaders in an effort to force a change in the laws of their sovereign nation that America, and the rest of the world, disagreed with.
H.R. 4868 Declares that U.S. policy toward the victims of apartheid is to use economic, political, diplomatic, and other means to remove the apartheid system and to assist the victims of apartheid to overcome the handicaps imposed on them by apartheid. Sets forth actions the United States will take to help the victims of apartheid.
H.R. 4868 Declares that U.S. policy toward the other countries in the region shall be designed to encourage democratic forms of government, respect for human rights, political independence, and economic development. Sets forth actions the United States will take toward such countries.
I do not recall any of today’s editorialists (most were around in 1986) so flabbergasted by Bush’s supercilious attitude towards Cuba expressing the same disdain for the US Congress in 1986. Neither do I remember them commending President Reagan for his veto of the bill, even though the veto was overridden by congress.
This brings up some questions:
Why is it acceptable for us to negotiate with a despotic dictatorship that has killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children, and yet South Africa’s apartheid was unacceptable?
If extreme sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid regime were necessary due to the total failure of “constructive engagement,” why is the opposite true for Cuba?