Friday, December 19, 2014

Bailing Out the Castros

Why has Communism fail in Cuba? On the political left the answer is clear: American sanctions. Totalitarian Communism did not fail on its own. It failed because that great bully, America made it fail.

While the New York Times, among others, is cheering the new Obama administration policy on Cuba, the Washington Post, of all places, has denounced it as yet another ill-conceived bailout.

The Post editorialized that the Castro regime was on the brink of collapse. It had been on life support, surviving only because of the largesse of Russia and Venezuela.

Now that the price of oil has broken down, those countries can no longer keep propping up the Castro brothers. Thus, the end of Cuban Communism was in sight.

Enter President Obama:

On Wednesday, the Castros suddenly obtained a comprehensive bailout — from the Obama administration. President Obama granted the regime everything on its wish list that was within his power to grant; a full lifting of the trade embargo requires congressional action. Full diplomatic relations will be established, Cuba’s place on the list of terrorism sponsors reviewed and restrictions lifted on U.S. investment and most travel to Cuba. That liberalization will provide Havana with a fresh source of desperately needed hard currency and eliminate U.S. leverage for political reforms.

It does not seem like too much of an exaggeration to say that the Obama administration exchanged something of great value for very little. Then again, an administration that traded five senior Taliban leaders for an army deserter is, as Sen. Rubio noted, one of the world’s worst negotiators.

Like Venezuela more recently, Cuba has always been a troublemaker, a thorn in America’s side.

Why not leave Cuban Communism to fail on its own, thus to discredit an ideology that has brought nothing but misery to the people of that island?

Why did Obama do it?

You might think that President Obama is punishing America for repudiating him in the last election.

You might also think that a president who began his first term with an apology tour is closing out his second with a surrender tour.


Ares Olympus said...

re: You might also think that a president who began his first term with an apology tour is closing out his second with a surrender tour.

Wow, such contempt.

I thought the Pope's efforted helped push this forward now.

And the Post's headline "bailout" is a rather inaccurate word, as if opening of a "free market" for trade will giving Cuba undeserved access to compete for its own success.

And from what I've been reading there oil price crash is going to make 2015 a year of wide scale crisises of smaller economies, especially ones dependent upon oil exports. And if Cuba is going to be one of those crisis, it seems prudent to open the door before chaos erupts.

A few years ago we had "Arab spring", with political fights for ending long term dictatorial governments, and it apparently didn't go so well.

I don't have any idea what's best in any specific conflict, economically or politically, but I do remember Einstein's definition of insanity.

Pride is good when you need to defend something important to us, but it also makes us stupid.

Ares Olympus said...

Even Obama's favorite cheerleader, Peggy Noonan, seems in support:
"There is no reason to believe increased engagement between America and Cuba would encourage a post-Castro government to be more antagonistic or aggressive toward the U.S. More movement and commerce, including media presence, will not give that government more motive to embarrass itself by abusing and oppressing its people."

n.n said...

Why not a "Cuban spring"? An unannounced regime change or assassination of the leaders in order to install a favorable government, which with this administration would have a Marxist orientation. It's not like the people are the primary or even secondary concern.

Sam L. said...

I'm going with "he hates America and all it stood for".

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Obama is a buffoon, but he's not an idiot. At least I hope not.

As far as "opening up" Cuba, I'm afraid everyone has become enamored with China in the wake of our opportunity to "open" a 1+ billion market. They still haven't oened up, the regime has made tons of money, and they still grab women out of rice paddies (by their hair) to have forced abortions. But you never hear the Western lefties say anything because they're glad there aren't additional humans on this earth to raise global warming,

Back to Obama not being an idiot...

The Cuban regime is screwed. Commodities are falling, including oil. Including oil from Venezuela --their greatest benefactor in the post-Soviet era. But wait! Puts wants to raise the profile of Russia to the world stage. Western Europe has snubbed him even though they're entirely dependent on him for natural gas supplies, and other key commodities. Please note that their high taxes on energy have not protected them, but made government agencies quite rich. It's not cynicism, it's fact. Especially when Western governments don't fight for their peoples' interests and instead jet set around the world going to conferences where they lugubriate about the technologies and energy sources that got them to the swank location in the &$@#ing first place.

Cuba is an outright evil totalitarian regime with ZERO intentions of changing. I am sick of the United States changing foreign policy because "free markets" are the way to freedom. That's nonsense. As China's elites have shown us, it's a scam. A SCAM!

If we're out-maneuvering Putin, I'm cool with that. As a long-term strategy. And I suspect I'm right, because I haven't seen anything otherwise in Obama's repertoire that shows me he's capable of considering a free enterprise solution.

No, no, no... this is a geopolitical power play to keep Putin out of the western hemisphere. Raul Castro can't lose because he wins either way.

Don't believe me? Putin is freaking out because the price of oil is cratering. In the Reagan administration, this was a good thing... it helped bring down the Soviet Union. Things are different now. You think Vladimir Putin will let that happen again? No way. Look for him to aid and abet a situation in the Strait of Hormuz. Or with Israel and her neighbors. Just watch. He needs his oil to be valuable, and will support a nuclear Iran to get it. In fact, he might build it... or at least offer to complete the project.

The reason Obama is a buffoon is because he is outmatched. He is a reactive figure, not a creative leader. Actually, Pope Francis is the winner anyway this thing goes... he has nothing to lose.

I could go on. This is a pure, unmitigated disaster. And the Left calls conservatives "reactionary." Laughable.

John Cunningham said...

Yet another debacle from Dear Leader Comrade Urkel. lefties think that the US is the only country in the world. Cuba has had totally free trade for decades with all EU states, with Japan, China, all of Latin America. Notice any liberalizing? me neither. trade just strengthens the ruling party.

Anonymous said...

Cuba was, and still is, Russia's Cat's Paw. Medical & Military in large part.

Except for Mexico (which got an exemption from Communist Insurgency by hosting the largest Soviet Embassy In The World) they helped subvert Latin America. Probably still do.

Cheap (free) Russian oil helps Cuba immensely. As does its Sex Industry, which I suspect is vastly more lucrative than under Batista.

That Mr. O would snuggle up to Cuba is just another reason I find him inscrutable.

The US Chamber of Commerce has disgraced itself. Again. Cuba will buy US products with American loans. -- Rich Lara