Global Security Headlines

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Commuting Cuba's Embargo

credit: AP

The new Obama Administration in Washington has raised high hopes about imminent changes in international policy on a host of issues.

The tiny state of Cuba still figures in a prominent way in the US international policy calculus. The Cuban exile community is politically potent and savvy. The country's geographic proximity is another concern.

Since Fidel Castro marched triumphantly into Havana in 1959, a Cold War has raged between the two hemispheric neighbors filled with mutual suspicion and high drama including almost triggering the nuclear trip wire in the Missile Crisis with the former Soviet Union.

While the old warrior Fidel has retired due to serious health reasons resulting from a routine surgical procedure (in most countries without Cuban-style medical care), his somewhat younger brother (five years difference) only changes the face of murderous Castro, Inc. which runs the island prison for their sole economic benefit.

Indeed, the Castro family fortune is estimated at nearly $1 billion, according to Forbes Magazine in 2006. What would Fathers Marx and Lenin think?

It seems the US embargo has not dented Castro, Inc. given Cuba trades with every other country (and limited items with the US). The embargo is not about economics, but politics. It is a test of wills between freedom and liberty and repression and murder.

If the US blinks under President Obama - something every president has not done since 1959 - and commutes the embargo, a moral victory goes to the dying dictator and the Castro-clones throughout the region and the world. Imagine the Hugo Chavez victory speech!

The US will not garner an ounce of recognition contrary to the columnists and other observers otherwise who have mixed motivations for sporting a repeal of the embargo. On the contrary, th price could be very high. Surrendering in face of tyranny never accrues profits or benefits for democracies.

Raul Castro is more of the same brutal repression in the name of profits for the Castro clique and a desperate attempt at regime survival. An internal putsch to end blood-dipped Castroism once and for all is one likely scenario to solve the Cuban problem. Now that is Cuban self-determination.

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