Common Sense: Castro’s Christmas gift

Allow me to add to the chorus of criticism of the Obama administration’s move to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. Unless you are an American looking for a new Caribbean beach or a good cigar, the deal was completely one-sided to the Cuban government’s benefit.

The Cuban people will not benefit. The human rights violations will continue, the startling harsh suppression of its people will remain an ordinary way of life and the likelihood that all that’s bad about Cuba will continue just received a shot in the arm from Obama.

Cuba, just 90 miles off the Florida Keys, is by far the closest traditional communist regime in terms of distance. It remains and in fact is growing as a military location for Russian military assets. Its leadership begins and ends with the name Castro. These individuals have done everything from harboring cop killers to funding terrorist organizations. Elderly and not well, the brothers could have been easily waited out.

And that is exactly what the United States should have done. Waited just a bit longer. Held out continuing hope of diplomatic relations and a lifting of the embargo through an increased dialogue. Worked towards significant concessions and changes in Cuba that are desirable to United States interests and the millions of Cuban Americans, many of whom fled the country. And recognize that we always held the upper hand and had absolutely no need simply to concede, particularly with the end of the Castro era coming quickly.

Ronald Reagan and George Bush won the cold war not through concessions but rather through a buildup that eventually toppled the ability of the Soviet Union to compete. Ironically, the 50-year feud with Castro would have most certainly come to an end in the next few years regardless of what President Obama just did and far more likely on terms agreeable to the United States.

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who has family in Cuba and who as recently as 2009 was permitted to visit, will attest to the horrible conditions and massive failures of the communist government.

She, together with her mother who immigrated here as the communist revolution was beginning, had strongly believed that real change in Cuba would only come about in phases beginning with the demise of the Castro brothers. Nicole, together with a bipartisan group of just about every elected Cuban-American official in the country, has roundly denounced the president’s move to establish diplomatic relations.

Congressmember Michael Grimm has also strongly denounced the policy change. You can expect the congressmember together with his colleagues to oppose any effort to end the economic embargo which is statutory and would require a vote of Congress.

If consistency matters, I must give President Obama credit for consistently getting his foreign policy wrong. It does not matter what continent, country or issue, the U.S. seems to be in a constant retreat abroad.

With all the craziness that has been in the news over the past few weeks, I am most happy to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas!!! Although it is a wonderful day to exchange gifts, Christmas for billions of Christians worldwide is a birthday, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

The churches will be filled — as they are several times a year on important holy days. That is both wonderful and a shame at the same time. The fellowship, lessons and reminders that come about with regular church going can be an important part of a person’s life. More should take advantage.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.