CUBA AND TRUMP: MISGUIDED, VINDICTIVE AND DANGEROUSLY WRONG!

By,

Harry C Blaney III

There are few worst things that a president can do and it is to act out of personal spite and racist motivations, listen not to experts in the field, and not care if it hurts our nation or the real chances of moves towards a more opened and democratic society.

President Donald Trump on Friday announced a rollback of his predecessor’s policy engagement and seeking warming relations Cuba. Trump in a meeting said at a boisterous Miami crowd that “our policy will seek a much better deal for the Cuban people and for the United States of America.” In fact it is the worst deal, with few remaining key elements of Obama’s initiatives that would provide progress for people on both sides.

Cutting some key ties to Cuba is not the first action which has all these hallmarks sadly. Nor will it likely be the last since all decisions are made based on Trump’s basic stupidity and it seems desire to hurt others that do any good verses. Instead we see his own destructive acts to help a broad grouping authoritarian regimes and hurt our allies and mutual cooperation to make our world just a bit better.

One added cost is the further lost of respect and cooperation with Latin American nations.

But the one constant of much of his acts is his desire to undo anything that President Obama did that is good, helps our country, and contributes to the security and peace of our world. He wins the award for “The World’s Most Dangerous Man.” without much doubt.

In the case of Cuba Trump’s actions will not help democracy or justice in that nation more likely the opposite. Most Cuban Americans want to keep ties to Cuba. Those that are saying it did no good to open our links forget that we did not expect immediate change in the regime in Cuba, but already we did see more engagement and getting to know more about each other. The Cuban people are those that will lose the most from his blind action by Trump which is no more than petty vindictive. In any case our past policies of isolation and antagonism for decades were clearly counterproductive.

One irony is that there are far worse brutal dictatorships that Trump is happy to admire, welcome to the White House, and give assistance to. Our readers could easily name them! In reality it is called dirty narrow politics, in bending to the far right and vindictive Cubans, and not caring about the majority of Cubans that want badly more contact with family and recognize that change will come from contacts. It hurts American long term interests. Its name is hypocrisy and is also self-destructive.

We welcome your comments (see section below)

Advertisements

A TRANSFORMATION IN CUBAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS AND ITS LASTING PROMISE

 President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba shake hands at the Summit of the Americas on April 11, 2015.
President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba shake hands at the Summit of the Americas on April 11, 2015.

By: Harry C. Blaney III

There are too few moments in our new century when we can say without much doubt that we have achieved a historic change of trajectory and have hope at last to move from mutual confrontation towards mutual dialogue and even cooperation. The decision of President Obama to open that dialogue, to start the process of establishing diplomatic relations, likely taking Cuba off of the list of “terrorist states”, and not least the one-on-one meeting between President Raul Castro and President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Opening the front page of the Sunday New York Times and seeing Obama and Castro sitting side by side and another shaking hands, for someone who remembers well and vividly the period of the Cuban Missile crisis, living through the long history of mutual isolation and mistrust and even conflict, gave a sense of a kind of new dawning from a dark period that neither side should be proud of.

Obama’s act has also transformed our relations not only with Cuba but also Latin America; who have restored largely their own relations and criticized America for lagging in doing what was clearly wise in reaching out for some measure of starting what will be a long process of rapprochement and hopefully a more democratic Cuba in time.

President Obama said that clearly “there will still be problems to overcome, but he was optimistic that we will continue to make progress and that this can indeed be a turning point.” Castro also made jesters that indicated this was a path he was willing to go down. However, he most likely hopes to obtain more than what is possible now, as hard bargaining lies ahead.

There were a few moments of regressive behavior by some of the Cuban delegation at the Panama conference. This behavior indicated that in the Cuban government, those who wish to show the authoritarian side of the regime and are still clearly not accustomed to the rules and ways of public discourse and democratic dissent still exist. But, I think that was a sign of the last gasps of a weak and regressive and failing regime that is the past and not the future.

There is still a long road to full rapprochement, full diplomatic relations and setting the guidelines for this new relationship. Not least, is the continued authoritarian rule in Cuba on one side, and the opposition by the anti-Castro groups and far right types here in America on the other.  There will be many difficulties in this process but I think with time, and some acknowledgment by both sides that a “new day” is better than the “old animosities,” Cuba will find its own democratic footing. With this, America will leave behind its old and unsuccessful strategy of isolating Cuba and itself and gain by the new openness.

If we can talk with Putin, and can talk to China, and talk with Iran, we can talk with Cuba. In my earlier days, America wisely decided by both Republican and Democratic presidents that we could and should talk to a hostile and aggressive Soviet Union and achieve thereby significant cuts in nuclear weapons via treaties, establish a “hot line,” to avoid misunderstandings, deal with a variety of arms control agreements, have military to military contacts, and conduct cultural exchanges. Thus, we certainly can find ways of cooperating with a nation just 90 miles south, where the people also seek reconciliation. Our efforts at negotiations paid off for both sides in the end. There was no real “hot war” and frankly the West prevailed via its diplomacy and wise policies; and nations were freed from the control of a failed dictatorship.

President Obama, in these last two years of his presidency, without the restrictions of narrow politics, seems to act on his best values and instincts, helping shape a world if at all possible towards a more “soft landing” and enhanced security. Although it could mean disturbing our “Know Nothing” far right war hawk Republicans, he is taking chances to shape a safer and more prosperous and perhaps fairer world.

 

We welcome your comments! 

A version of this essay was also carried at the London School of Economics and Political Science Web Blog. Visit the Link Here:   http://bit.ly/1yXztYX