Trump’s tough talk on Cuba after death of Fidel Castro can work

As I have said ad nauseam here over the past decade, no dictator in the history of the world has ever been toppled by drowning them in cash or loving them to death. Dictators only respond to pain, either physical or economic. And unless we are willing to bring on the pain, we will never be rid of them.

Jake Novak at CNBC:

Why Trump’s tough talk on Cuba will work

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The late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro loved baseball, so using a baseball term to describe what his death has provided President-elect Donald Trump: A meatball right over the plate. And not only is the opportunity to start talking tough and actually getting tough on the Cuban regime a home run opportunity for Trump, it’s probably a good window to what we can expect from him when it comes to foreign policy for the next four years. The easy-access to the bully pulpit provided to Trump by social media is just too enticing for him to resist.

That became apparent early Monday when Trump followed up his celebratory weekend tweet about Castro’s death with another tweet about how his administration will deal with Cuba going forward:

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The big question is: Will this tough talk and decidedly undiplomatic behavior work? The easy or cop out answer is “time will tell.” But we do have some actual evidence to work with to provide a bit of a better answer than that. History tells us that more blunt talk in American diplomacy often works wonders.

It worked when Ronald Reagan made it clear that his administration was going to ditch the murky policy of Detente in favor of a “we win, they lose” strategy against Soviet expansion and influence. But it didn’t work as well when President George W. Bush spoke about how terrorist nations and nations that harbored terrorists were one in the same.

That was basically the message that led to the Iraq War, which didn’t achieve its promised goals despite the fact that most Americans were mobilized to support it at first. President Obama’s clearly stated “red line” on chemical weapons use in Syria has produced almost nothing but more confusion and international outrage.

So what we learn about provocative talk in foreign policy is that it’s only likely to work if the presidents or diplomats saying it actually walk the walk after talking that talk. It will be relatively easy for the Trump administration to back up President-elect Trump’s hard core challenge to Cuba. But if he starts making more specific challenges or threats against larger nations, or even groups like ISIS, Trump is going to have to back them up with real actions or risk being ignored before long.

Read it all HERE.

2 thoughts on “Trump’s tough talk on Cuba after death of Fidel Castro can work”

  1. “t worked when Ronald Reagan made it clear that his administration was going to ditch the murky policy of Detente in favor of a “we win, they lose” strategy against Soviet expansion and influence. But it didn’t work as well when President George W. Bush spoke about how terrorist nations and nations that harbored terrorists were one in the same.

    That was basically the message that led to the Iraq War, which didn’t achieve its promised goals”

    Bush’s “promised goals” were not exactly realistic. George W. Bush is an honorable man, but sorry, a naive interventionist. He sought, albeit with the best of intentions, to transform, from the top down, an entire culture that is well over a thousand years old. This was simply not a reasonable goal.

    On the other hand, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that the President of the United States should treat Raul Castro like the punk tin general that Raul is. Raul has nothing that the U.S. wants or needs. He has no leverage over the United States. Trump should make it clear that it’s time for Raul and his cronies to hit the road. In fact, for Raul Castro to think that he’s entitled to remain in power, having never been elected to office in the first place, is unreasonable. For Raul to retire, at the age of Eighty-Fucking-Five (!!!), is not only reasonable, but long overdue.

  2. “If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal.”

    Apropos of Cuba and deals, someone should point out to Trump that the Soviet Union in 1962 cut a deal with the United States that Cuba would not attempt to subvert its neighbors. The Castros broke this pledge almost immediately, and Raul continues to violate it by meddling in Venezuela, Colombia, and elsewhere.

    The only deal Trump needs to make with Raul are the terms of Raul’s resignation.

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