Obama Will Give Reform in Cuba a Nudge if Not a Shove
Barack Obama’s gutsy appearance Friday in Miami before the Cuban-American National Foundation was of course a refreshing change of pace from the lame and stale “stay-the-course” boilerplate that’s been passing for a John McCain foreign policy vision. Unlike McCain, who despite the baby-step reforms in Cuba is stubbornly holding out for the status quo unless the Castro brothers’ regime basically rolls over and dismantles itself—sure, like that’s going to happen—Obama enunciated more clearly than ever that “after eight years of the disastrous policies of George Bush, it is time to pursue direct diplomacy, with friend and foe alike, without preconditions.” He continued, “every four years [pols] come down to Miami, they talk tough, they go back to Washington and nothing changes in Cuba,” pointing out, “that’s what John McCain did the other day. He joined the parade of politicians who make the same empty promises year after year, decade after decade.”
In declaring his administration would meet with the Raúl Castro régime without preconditions, Obama was not being naïve but impeccably realistic—and in fact following in the footsteps of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who, after all, never insisted that Communist China, Vietnam, and the Soviet Union hold free elections and essentially give up their dictatorships before negotiating with them. At the same time, he hasn’t pronounced himself ready just yet to let go of the entire embargo, except for immediately lifting the limits on Cuban-Americans traveling to see their families. Can’t frighten the horses by deep-sixing the whole shebang too suddenly, you understand, but a campaign insider told me earlier this year that this is more a question of timing and tactics than intention.
The very fact that he was giving this spiel in front of an outfit whose late leader… READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE