Thursday, June 4, 2009
Cuba--a new idea, for once
If we can have full commercial relations with corrupt, politically repressive countries like Saudi Arabia and Communist China, not only should we have the same with Cuba--it makes us look hypocritical and vengeful not to.
Pretty much all the complaints of the Anti-Castro crowd are true. So? If you think we should only deal with virtuous regimes, that would cut out many if not most of our current trading partners. Don't bother to argue against normal relations with Cuba unless you have a game plan that also includes cutting off China and Saudi Arabia, among others.
As for the OAS--every tinhorn quasidictator needs a big scary enemy to divert their people's attention from his own shady dealings and subversion of democracy. Chavez and other self-styled populists need America to oppose them, just as Bin Ladin does.
A good enemy is the first priority of rapacious pols. And we're the best--the biggest, the baddest, and with enough historical dirty dealings to let them build a plausible narrative in which we're the villain.
So we have to tread a careful path of neither kowtowing to these clowns--nor letting reflexive opposition to them dictate our foreign policy.
Lastly, as for Guantanamo--Cuba wants it back in the worst way. But I don't want to give it back to them. Close the prison and the naval base there--and turn it into the finest resort in the Caribbean, while normalizing relations with Cuba and offering a raft of well-paid jobs to Cuban "guest workers." Now wouldn't that grind the Castro brothers' grits? Guantanamo is a fine port and a short flight from the USA. It could be immensely profitable for us, and do more to subvert Cuba's dictatorship than all the ranting revanchists in Miami.
And we could up the current insulting $4K/yr. rent we pay Cuba for Guantanmo (I've heard they don't cash the checks), and instead give them, say, a 5% cut of profits generated by the resort. And make sure the Cuban people know about it.