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Obama Throws Fidel a Rope
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The celebrations in Havana and the sullen silence in Miami tell you all you need to know about who won this round with Castro’s Cuba.

In JFK’s metaphor, Obama traded a horse for a rabbit.

We got back Alan Gross before his Communist jailers killed him, along with an American spy, in exchange for three members of a Cuban espionage ring. Had we left it at that, the deal would have been fine.

But Obama threw in an admission that all nine presidents before him pursued a “failed policy.” Calling for recognition of the Castro regime as the legitimate government of Cuba, Obama said, “Isolation has not worked.”

“Not worked”? What is he talking about? Isolating Cuba during the last 30 years of the Cold War helped bankrupt and bring down the Soviet Empire, which had to carry Cuba on its back.

Obama’s admission is being seen in Cuba as vindication of half a century of hostility to the United States. But with the new Congress controlled by Republicans, it will be a while before the U.S. embargo is lifted, Cuban goods began to flow across the Florida Strait, and U.S. dollars flow back to sustain one of the last of the Leninist regimes in its terminal stage.

But why did Obama choose now to bail out Cuba?

With the Soviet Union dead and gone, with Russia no longer able to buy up Cuba’s sugar crop at inflated prices, with oil prices having tanked and Venezuela on the brink of default, unable to ship free oil to Cuba indefinitely, the Castro brothers were staring into the abyss.

Then Barack Obama rode to the rescue.

Nevertheless, though he has handed Fidel and Raoul a diplomatic triumph, their regime is not long for this world, as its maladies are incurable.

Marxist ideology, the political religion in which the regime is rooted, is a dead faith. The world communist revolution was a god that failed. It is over, finished. Outside of North Korea and Cuba, who preaches that Marxism-Leninism is the future toward which mankind is heading? Who still believes that?

Consider the record of the regime with which Obama wishes to restore diplomatic relations.

Before Fidel, Cuba had the fourth highest standard of living in the hemisphere. Today, her standard of living is not much higher than that of Haiti and Cuba is less free than under the dictatorship of Batista.

Castro may go down in history as one of the great antagonists of the American superpower. But what, enduring, did he accomplish?

In his youthful days, Fidel allowed Nikita Khrushchev to put ballistic missiles on the island, and brought about the gravest crisis of the Cold War, perhaps the gravest in world history.

ORDER IT NOW

For three decades his homeland was a satrap and strategic base of an odious empire that no one mourns. For those same decades, Cuba provided troops to advance communist revolutions in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America. Now the whole rotten enterprise has gone to seed.

Who looks upon Castro’s Cuba today as a model to follow?

When Castro goes, his monuments may remain. After all, Lenin’s corpse is still entombed in Red Square, as is Mao’s in Tiananmen Square.

But how long can the successor regime hang on?

Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China are nationalistic and autocratic. They have embraced state capitalism. When the Castro brothers pass on, how will their successors justify their police state and permanent monopoly of power — if U.S. tourists are walking the streets of Havana?

When Cuban-Americans travel all over the island, Cuba’s young, who know nothing of the revolution, will surely ask: Why do we not have what these Americans have?

This is not to say that Cuba is headed for a democratic future. There remains the possibility, as happens in Latin America, of a new charismatic strong man emerging. A Cuban Hugo Chavez.

But, today, dictators have to deliver. Or they, too, have to resort to greater repression. Or they, too, have to go.

Castro is a famous man from the 20th century. But consider the price the Cuban people have paid for his fame.

Two generations of Cubans have lived without freedom. Heroic Cuban dissenters have gone to the wall and died in the thousands in his jails and prisons. Refugees have been machine-gunned off the Cuban coast. The toxicity of Marxism-Leninism has polluted Cuba’s culture.

Some Cubans may remember Fidel with admiration. After all, even Stalin still has his admirers.

There was once a time in America in the 1960s when useful idiots of the New Left plastered posters of Che Guevara in dormitory rooms and traveled to Cuba to cut sugar cane to identify with the revolution.

On seeing the adulation Fidel yet receives, even from some in our own land, one begins to understand how the ancient Egyptians could have worshipped an insect.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.” Copyright 2014 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Cuba 
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  1. http://www.cubanmissilecrisis.org/background/frequently-asked-questions/#11
    From it:
    Why did the U.S. place missiles in Turkey?
    The U.S. had prepared for a possible war in Europe by placing nuclear weapons in allied countries. Bombers and ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons were intended as a deterrent against a Soviet invasion of Germany and other NATO countries. Nuclear missiles were placed in Turkey, a NATO member that shared a border with two Soviet republics, because of its proximity to the Soviet Union.
    *
    Definitely Kruschev was un-educated and arrogant stalinist,
    who tried to place nuclear missiles to Cuba.
    Then how one should label the US leadership,
    actually putting nuclear missiles directly at the border of USSR?
    Stalin at the time (1961-62) was long dead (in 1953),
    and the chances of direct soviet invasion of Western Europe were minimal.
    *
    So eventually both groups of nuclear missiles were removed: from Cuba and from Turkey.
    Who was provoking whom?
    *
    In 1989 USSR pulled its troops from East Germany.
    US troops are still in Germany as of 2014.
    What do you think, does the presence of those troops influence the policies of Germany?
    To ask this question is to answer it.
    *
    I know that Patrick Buchanan is for moving the troops back to US.
    Bravo to him, and my deep respect.

  2. Hey Pat, I wonder if you approve of the Dulles brothers using the CIA to prop up United Fruit and its ilk throughout Latin America, the very sort of USA behaviors that influenced peoples in the western hemisphere to support Fidel and Che? And what was literacy in Cuba, pre & post Fidel? Do you know the answer to that simple question? And you’re right, under Batista ORGANIZED CRIME had a lot of freedom, the Cuban mob pretty much ran Havana. And would the standard of living in Cuba be what it is today if there hadn’t been an embargo? On top of that, comparing Cuba to North Korea is just flat out BS (or sour grapes.)

    Btw, Jack Kennedy was exploring normalized relations with Castro, shortly before he was shot, so the ‘nine presidents’ doesn’t wash:

    http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB103/

    There’s plenty of ugly Obama stuff going on that is worthwhile criticizing, without stepping in the USA’s sewage ditch of history in Latin America…

  3. schmenz says:

    My first reaction to this was that this was another Washington effort to undermine Russia even more, since Russia still had dealings with Cuba.

  4. JustJeff says:

    Nope, don’t care. The Soviet Union collapsed over twenty years ago, the nuclear missiles left, and Cuba hasn’t even risen to the level of a pest since then. Maintaining an embargo that contributes to the poverty of most Cubans is an absurd and incomprehensible policy. To me it always seemed petty and vindictive.

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
  5. matt says:

    My favorite part of this whole thing is witnessing the impotent rage of aging Cold Warriors like Pat. A close second is watching the rage of the Miami crime syndicate. It’s a truly a spectacle to behold.

    • Replies: @Realist
  6. KA says:

    Pat rails against wars but is comfortable with the strategies that lead one down the war path . Then he invokes the stupidities of the insect worshipping Egyptians . This is the problem with the spineless conservatives during democrat suzerainty and with lefty liberal during Bush time . To score cheap points they ignore the fundamental premises that they boast of . I will rather worship the harmless insect with morsel of crumbs than sacrifice lives at the alter of the neocon or liberal interventionist god.

    • Replies: @Realist
  7. KA says:

    Obama has possibly neutralized Cuba and preempted any use of this land by Russia or China in any future wars which probably can happen anytime .

  8. KA says:

    Overtures to Cuba is coupled to ratcheting up pressures on N Korea by Obama . Recently Russia have been warming up to. N K.
    Again it may not be relevant or related but again it could be .

  9. Realist says:
    @matt

    And the old stand-by, Fox News and Fox Business News, the all war, against anyone for any reason, warmonger.

  10. Realist says:
    @KA

    Pat carries no water for neocons.

  11. Jefferson says:

    Will Fidel Castro still be alive on January 21, 2017 when Hillary Clinton is sworn into the oval office ? It would not surprise me. That guy never seems to die.

  12. “Two generations of Cubans have lived without freedom. ”

    They didn’t really have a lot of freedom before Castro, did they?

  13. Smith says:

    North Korea isn’t Marxist-Leninist, they deleted that from state propaganda in the 1970s. The Kim dynasty is more apt to be considered a degenerate fascist state based more on the Mao personality cult adapted to Korea.

  14. Obama has possibly neutralized Cuba and preempted any use of this land by Russia or China in any future wars which probably can happen anytime.

    Wow. Thanks for that contribution, because it had not occurred to me (nor have I read it anywhere else). I’m so used to ascribing the most cynical motives to Barack at this point that I didn’t even think that this could in fact be a suave geopolitical move.

    Separately, you got ‘altar’ wrong but ‘suzerainty’ right. What are the odds?!

  15. Geanna says:

    The real problem that Cuba has is the complete inversion of demographics since the white rich fled to Miami, dragging their money bags with them.
    Hopefully that will not become our problem too.

    Skim until the very last paragraph:

    http://campello.tripod.com/castro.html

  16. Probably Pat, for whom I generally have a lot of respect, should spend a little time in Cuba – not in a tourist enclave but out among the people – he is a victim of his country’s propaganda.

    The economic measures don’t tell a very complete story and are decidedly not indicators of general contentment. True, as with everywhere, you’ll hear people complaining in Cuba but look at the number of smiling faces on the streets and in the countryside – look at the quality of literacy and general education in Cuba – look at the healthcare system that is the envy of Latin America (Hugo Chavez chose to go to Cuba for cancer treatment of all places and Fidel himself survived abdominal cancer against all odds – side thought: did somebody put something in their food?).

    Look too at how tough and courageous are the Cuban fighters – remember how seventeen of them held off the entire USA military for many days during the Granada episode? They believed in what they were fighting for, right or wrong.

    Yes Marxism has failed but it has the merit of disciplining the society to stand on its own two feet – pulling together Latins and Africans in a manner inconceivable in the USA. Cubans are a tough lot in consequence and can improvise like nobody else – see how ingeniously they keep those ancient American cars on the road; making most spare parts themselves.

    Assuredly there are political prisoners in Cuba and their human rights are a subject of huge concern for Obama – but then, also on Cuba, is an enclave controlled by the USA which, one would think, should serve as an example to Cubans of America’s democratic freedoms. Ironical, is it not, that in Guantanamo we see some of them most egregious human rights violations in the world with prisoners held for years without trial and with torture a daily occurrence?

    Cuba is better off as it is in my opinion but I suspect there will eventually be a CIA engineered coup and another Batista will be installed.

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