You do not have to be an expert in foreign relations or even be a “Cuba Expert” to figure out that Obama’s Cuba policy of unilateral concessions to Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship has been a complete and utter failure. The results of the last three years in Cuba have totally debunked the naïve notion that embracing and supporting the corrupt and murderously repressive Castro regime would somehow make them less corrupt and less repressive.
Now we learn that along with violently oppressing the Cuban people, the Cuban dictatorship has apparently been attacking U.S. diplomats in Havana as well. As the Bible says, a good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. The Castro dictatorship and Obama’s Cuba policy were and continue to be a bad trees incapable of bearing good fruit.
The failure is so obvious and unavoidable that even those who supported Obama’s Cuba policy have realized it has been a total catastrophe.
An attack on our diplomats
An exploding cigar it wasn’t. But in the decades-long annals of hostility between Communist Cuba and the United States government, the apparent recent attack on our diplomats in Havana was a bizarre one.
“At least 21 Americans have suffered headaches, hearing loss, memory issues and other symptoms after the baffling sonic incidents, some of them family members of embassy staffers who are stationed in Havana, according to the State Department,” NBC News reported.
“The State Department has said the incidents began in the fall of 2016, with officials first learning of one in November. After more staffers reported problems in early 2017, a disturbing but mysterious pattern emerged … some embassy employees reported they experienced bizarre, unexplained and physically uncomfortable noises or vibrations at their residences before they were afflicted.” Five Canadians were also apparently affected.
The Cuban government denies any involvement in the attacks. But given the decades of historical enmity between Cuba and the United States — as well as the Castro government’s long-established penchant for dissembling — there are strong reasons for skepticism.
The United States only reestablished diplomatic relations with the Communist island in August 2015, as part of President Barack Obama’s generous attempts at détente with Cuba, a policy shift we supported. (Some of the new agreements between the United States and Cuba were rolled back by President Donald Trump.) It was the first time the U.S. embassy in Havana had been open since 1961.
A different approach than outright hostility seemed worth a try. The idea was that, with American encouragement, Cuba would begin to liberalize its brutally repressive political and economic systems. A decades-long embargo had done nothing to encourage more humane behavior, merely giving the deeply corrupt Castros a useful propaganda weapon against the United States.
Sadly, the new approach does not seem to be doing much good, either. In 2016, nearly 10,000 political arrests occurred on the island. Free speech and assembly rights remain nil. The economy is tightly controlled. And Cuba remains a nefarious actor on the international stage as well.
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