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Analysis: For Cuba and US, making up is hard to do (3934 hits)

HAVANA (AP) - Raul Castro says Barack Obama seems like a good guy, and his brother Fidel says no one can doubt his sincerity. The new US president wants to sit down and negotiate, and is in a better position to do so than any other since Eisenhower.

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Thursday, January 22nd 2009 at 10:31PM
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Thanks for stepping up and posting--however--it's a matter of both countries simply "making nice" and the U.S. respecting sovereingty and not putting too much emhasis on the ultra right winged Cuban Liberal puppets of the GOP Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Luis Alarcon--Ileana hung up the phone on Obama who called her when he was President Elect-claiming she thought it was a spoof from the local radio station--I don't buy it!
Tuesday, February 3rd 2009 at 2:48PM
Marta Fernandez
This is a timely post for me, as I was just thinking of Cuba and business prospects there.

“One problem, says Dan Erikson of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, is that there is no high-profile figure in the United States with a background in Cuba to lead the charge for normalization, like war veterans John Kerry and John McCain did for U.S.-Vietnamese relations.”

Maybe this is where having Caroline Kennedy in a US Senate seat might have helped. The US doesn’t have anyone as referred to in the above passage, because the Bay of Pigs was a CIA “covert” operation, and it was an abysmal failure. Most of the troops used on the ground assault were anti-Castro Cubans, and the US sold them out even before their invasion ships landed.

“Erikson said it will be hard to overcome the "inertia" of U.S. policy, which for 50 years has been based on the increasingly improbable hope that isolating the island and draining it of foreign capital will weaken the government's hand and allow an opposition to flourish.”

I always believed this was a dumb approach, if for no other reason than the cultural mindset of “machismo” in Latin America. Most could not bring themselves to succumb this way, even if they wanted to. If they really wanted to achieve this (and that’s doubtful) then they should have engineered a face-saving way out for Cuba. But a lot of this policy was also driven by the anti-Castro community in Florida, who’ve been rabid and at times irrational in their opposition.

Lifting the embargo makes all the sense in the world. Most if not all of the remaining communist countries have realized that a planned economy doesn’t work and have opened up their economies to trade, private ownership and business. Look at China; since they opened up their economy it has flourished to the extent that they loan us money!

The focus of the US political establishment is just plain wrong. We shouldn‘t be looking to “democratize” any country. We shouldn’t presume to tell other countries what type of government they must have. We should have learned our lesson in Iraq in that regard. If we are smart, and we really want other countries to have the same government we do, or at least one we can live with, it makes all the sense in the world to, instead of trying to force it on them, give them positive instead of punitive incentives to change. Work with them, nurture them, and promote them. When you come with the stick and say we are going to tell you what to do, in most cases you’ll get rebuffed. Its just maddening that we still elect governments that act like that.

If the US goal is to “democratize” Cuba rather than punish it, they’d have a better chance at accomplishing it by lifting the embargo. The right wing, however, driven by hatred and vengeance, as usual, has only been interested in the punitive impact the embargo has. That’s all they care about.

Tuesday, February 3rd 2009 at 3:30PM
Clark Maxwell
You got it!!
Tuesday, February 3rd 2009 at 4:14PM
Marta Fernandez
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