Inspection- Is Castro’s Cuba Convertible?

A brief, early, edition before the holiday break…

by Ken Carman

 So Mr. FOX, and before that some of his past tense rightward pre-curse-ors, have been cursing Cuba while slamming our heads into this same damn wall year after year. This has been going on since I was a kid in the early 60s. So when Barack Obama walks out of what some of their more racist commentators might sneer and say would be “the hood,” and says “what big lies we have been living, maybe we should try something else,…” they just show their fangs and say, “Better to eat you with.”
 I’m sure some might even emphasize the “red” in this Red Riding Hood allegory I am using.
  OK, I understand political one upmanship, but exactly what do they think would change if we kept the embargo in place, continued to treat them as a pariah? Why should we continue to do what hasn’t been working?
 As if on cue one right wing pundit claims it’s all the fault of the Democrats that it hasn’t. And how many years have we had of Republican presidents since Ike and John? How many Republican Houses, Senates? Do they sincerely want us to believe that the Dems have been so highly organized, goosesteppy and effective that they have thwarted republicans time and again?
  Yeah: right.
  Maybe you might be confusing us with you?
  Here’s the problem. We trade with Vietnam and China. Much of the Right has been over eager to kick unions in the groin by making damn sure jobs are shipped out to China. So they too believe trade with, and working with, oppressive governments is often better than not.
 Generally, I agree.
 And as to all their worse than soap opera melodrama about doing anything with a country that oppresses human rights? After all the torture debates, the rendition debates, the unpatriotic Patriot Act, the rat on your neighbor policies, the shove people without due process into what amounts to concentration camps after maybe someone with a grudge told fibs about them… well if you must insist all this is necessary because of 9/11 you have every right to argue such… but cry me a river over your sudden “concern” for human rights.
 Nah, it’s all about gaining political ground. Maybe they’re only pissed they didn’t do it first?
 But, whether that’s true or not, the problem is we’re not asking the important questions like…
1. Exactly how are we going to do this?
2. How do we react if something they do offends us, or they back slide even more on rights?
 We should be looking forward to what we’re going to do now: now we have even more affect on them. Because, like what happened with the old USSR, opening up relations might prove to their people “the enemy” may be their own government.
 Truthfully it’s hard to discern what is and isn’t going on in Cuba because we’ve been banging our heads on this same damn wall since I was in elementary school. At first we claimed just not trading with them would bring them down. Nope. Then we claimed making them a pariah would bring them down. Nope. Threatening them would work? Nope. Just like the old USSR they used the threats and the suffering to rally the people, let them blame everyone else, make them less concerned with the inequities promoted by their own government.
 Yes, in my opinion, opening up the door a crack is wise. How wide and what we do after that? Well, those are the important questions we’re not asking.

                                              -30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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