The U.S. embassy in Havana was attacked, and Cuba’s Castro regime must answer for it

Frank Calzon in the National Review:

The U.S. Embassy in Havana Was Attacked, and Castro Must Answer for It

The regime continues to violate international norms, and it remains hostile to America. The Obama policy has failed.

We should not have been surprised by the reports that the United States may close its embassy in Havana after the State Department confirmed that 25 U.S. diplomats and relatives stationed in the Cuban capital have suffered mysterious sonic assaults. The consequences of the hits include permanent loss of hearing, concussions, light brain trauma, headaches, and constant whistling sounds, all possibly the result of sound waves directed at them.

The injuries suffered by the U.S. diplomats and their families in Havana are clear and grave. “As soon as some of the victims left Cuba, they stopped hearing noises,” the Daily Mail reported, and “some of the victims are still struggling to concentrate or even recall common words, evidence of long-term mental damage.” Raúl Castro has denied that he had foreknowledge of any aggression, but he cannot evade responsibility without implying that his regime is incapable of honoring international treaties that require it to protect foreign diplomats.

Some in Washington have been urging the U.S. government to give Castro the benefit of the doubt. The Cold War is over, they say, and the recent events are nothing but an “inexplicable” lapse in the “constructive” bilateral relations initiated by former president Barack Obama. But the constant internal repression and the international conduct of the Castro regime do not justify a positive evaluation.

In a September 17 story from the Associated Press, reporter Josh Lederman seems to blame Washington for responding to Castro’s failure to protect diplomats in Cuba, as required by international law. Lederman writes that “a decision to shutter the embassy, even temporarily, would deal a demoralizing blow to the delicate detente that President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro announced in late 2014.”

The AP reporter is wrong. There is no delicate balance. What there was until the end of the Obama administration was a conscious effort by the White House to ignore Castro’s dangerous anti-American actions that could endanger Obama’s Cuba “legacy.”

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