A new old approach to Cuba

One of the interesting things about reading editorials from liberal newspapers regarding Cuba is that they always unwittingly refute their own arguments. Their paradoxical explanations in these editorials as to why the US should capitulate to a murderous regime seem to go unnoticed by the writers themselves. There was a time, though, when I thought they were just being intellectually dishonest; but now I realize that they truly have no idea that their own argument for lifting the embargo is the strongest argument there is for not doing so.
A case in point is this latest editorial from the west coast’s equivalent of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times. In this editorial, like in vast majority of them, the argument is made that after fifty years of a US policy that isolates Cuba’s dictatorial regime, the US has failed to topple the Castro tyranny and has not achieved any democratic reforms on the island.

Since that New Year’s night in 1959, 10 U.S. presidents have tried to overthrow, undermine or cajole Castro, to no avail. Covert operations, including President Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs invasion, failed to dislodge the communist government. A Cold War standoff with Russia over missile bases on the island brought the superpowers to the brink of nuclear war, but it didn’t budge Castro. Diplomatic isolation didn’t work. And a trade embargo to protest the expropriation of U.S. property, prevent the export of revolution and press for democracy and human rights has been utterly ineffectual. Rather, it has provided cover for the Cuban government’s own deficiencies and served as a pretext for repression.

The solution, of course, is for the US government to engage the oppressors in Cuba and develop a relationship with them. We should end the embargo and all the punitive policies we have against the Castro regime just as the UN and the rest of the world has done.

Fifty years of failure is too long. The incoming Obama administration should move quickly to embark on a rapprochement with Cuba and bring an end to punitive policies, especially the economic embargo. The United Nations condemns it, the European Union is trading with Cuba, and Latin America is urging the United States to allow Cuba back into the fold. This policy change will take time and political will, but it is in our national interest and, ultimately, in Cuba’s.

So the key here, as this editorial puts it, is to follow the lead of the UN and to begin trading with Cuba just as the European Union and so many other countries have been doing for so long now.
Unfortunately, their answer to the Cuba/US problem raises another just as important question. If the US policy of isolation has achieved nothing to help bring freedom to the Cuban people, what has the EU and UN policy of engagement achieved to bring freedom to the Cuban people?
The answer is simply nothing. But that is a question they not only avoid, but also a question they care little about. Freedom for Cubans is not the goal of the editorial boards of the L.A. Times, or the New York Times, or the BBC, or any of the other members of the liberal media establishment. And if any of you doubt that, I will let this L.A. Times editorial speak for itself:

As part of any discussions, the U.S. government must press for human rights reforms, along with freedom for about 200 political prisoners in Cuban jails. (And yes, explore the prisoner trade Raul Castro has proposed in recent days.) But human rights no longer can be an obstacle to talk and trade with Cuba. [emphasis mine]

So we can talk about human rights, and we can even press for human rights, but we cannot stand up for human rights. At least not for the human rights of Cubans.
They want to call this a “new” approach to Cuba, but in reality, it is the same old approach that has been around for centuries: it is called racism.

3 thoughts on “A <strike>new</strike> old approach to Cuba”

  1. This is classic specious reasoning, deliberately designed to push a particular agenda and denigrate what stands in its way. Of course they don’t mention the obvious, which is that the approach taken by the UN , the EU and the rest of the world has been at least as much a failure as the embargo. They don’t care about finding a truly successful approach anyhow, only one that suits THEM. And the Cuban people? They’re beside the point. If they have no human rights, let them eat indoctrination disguised as education and “free” health care of a quality none of these hypocritical SOBs would ever want for themselves. Bastards.

  2. As Alberto notes, it boils down to racism. To these editorialists, pundits, commentators, policy makers, etc..Cubans are nothing more than 3rd world people. Unlike whites [even though a good part of Cubans are of pure European ancestry, we are not–in their eyes–seen as whites], we cannot aspire to lofty ideas of freedom. We must be content with “free health care and education”. After all, as third world people we are mindless. Give us a beer and music and we’ll dance the night away.
    This is the reason why the resistance put up by the exile community to engage Castro engenders in these media types paroxysms of anger and rage never seen before in the annals of journalism. After all, we dared to come out of the little box. We were supposed to be part of that wonderful [and mindless] rainbow coalition that looked up to them for guidance.
    On a sidenote, I love the way that you guys at Babalublog are now spending more time dissecting all of these horrible editorials and opinion pieces and how you are exposing the writers as the idiots and hypocrites that they are!
    Please keep up the great work!!!!!!

Comments are closed.