Raul Castro

Obama’s Cuba Trip Highlights U.S. Failure to Curb Abuses

Barack Obama has a history of gravitating toward the worst of humanity, being an apologist and a cheerleader for them, accommodating them, and seeking to expand their influence.

He got his political start in the home of domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn. Frank Marshall Davis, a devout communist and likely pedophile, was like a father figure to him. His mother, father, and stepfather all hated America. In his autobiography “Dreams From My Father”, Obama spoke of how, as a college student, he gravitated towards Marxist professors and leftist radicals.

Before he ran for president, he spent two decades in the church of the racist, hate-spewing “Reverend” Jeremiah Wright. After being elected president, Obama cancelled a missile defense system with our Eastern European allies that would have protected them from Russian aggression. When Iranians took to the streets in peaceful protest following the rigged election of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Obama was virtually silent as Iranian police and the Basij (paramilitary) clubbed, kicked, beat, and shot the demonstrators.

Deeply embedded in his ideological DNA, Obama has followed this pattern throughout his presidency, so it was disgusting, but not all that surprising, when Obama in 2014 announced that he was reversing decades of U.S. policy regarding the murderous, communist Castro regime, and re-opening the U.S. embassy in Havana as part of a resumption of diplomatic relations. This week, Obama announced that he would be the first U.S. president to visit Cuba since President Calvin Coolidge in 1928, though that was under far different circumstances.

A New Relationship with Cuba May Be a Good Thing, Just Not Necessarily For Who You Think

Cuban Embargo

There are several arguments being bandied about regarding President Obama’s desire to normalize relations with our little Commie friend to the South, Cuba. And they run the gamut: some think it’s a sign of weak negotiating prowess and simply bad policy (we give more than we get, etc.); some think the embargo a failed prospect that should be, in the interests of the Cuban people, tossed to the wind, but that Congress should have been included in the decision; and others think it’s all just a swell idea and hurray because Cuba and the USA are about to be besties! (I’m sure there’s a selfie joke in there somewhere).

Congress, understandably, is pushing back — again, something that will likely be a common theme over the next two years — with Marco Rubio making as clear a statement as any I’ve heard on the matter:

“I anticipate I’ll be the chairman of the Western Hemisphere subcommittee on the Foreign Relations Committee” in the new Congress, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in a press conference hours after the release of American prisoner Alan Gross from a Cuban prison was announced along with the administration’s plans to normalize relations with Cuba, including opening an embassy there.

End The Cuban Embargo

On Thursday, Jaime Daremblum, who is a former Costa Rican ambassador to the US and now a fellow at the Hudson Institute, wrote a piece called The Cuba Fallacy. In it he tries to argue against lifting the nearly 50 year old US embargo against Cuba.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “The U.S. embargo against Cuba is the single biggest reason that Washington and Havana do not enjoy better relations. If we want the island nation to become a democracy, we should drop sanctions and pursue a policy of aggressive engagement.”

It is a simple and seductive argument, which explains why so many people have embraced it. Unfortunately, it is based on a fallacious reading of history and a naïve understanding of the Cuban dictatorship.

Over the past four decades, every American president who has pursued a serious rapprochement with Havana — Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama — has been left shaking his head in frustration. Whenever the United States has extended an olive branch, the Castro regime has responded with an act of foreign aggression (such as lending military support to Communist forces in Africa or killing four Cuban-American pilots) or domestic repression (such as jailing a U.S. citizen on bogus espionage charges) so provocative that it effectively ruined any chance of détente.

Daremblum also goes on to detail some of the human rights abuses committed by the Castro regime.

Ozzie Guillen shouldn’t have been suspended

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the last few days then you’ve heard that Ozzie Guillen, manager of the Miami Marlins (Florida Marlins!), was suspended by his employer after making controversial comments about Fidel Castro. In case you missed the specific comments, here is what Guillen told Time:

I love Fidel Castro. I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that son of a bitch is still there.

If you know anything about Miami, a city with a large number of Cuban exiles and their families, then you can understand why those comments were so controversial. Boycotts of the team were immediately announced and the Marlins were scrambling to condemn, not just the remarks, but also the Castro regime.

Guillen, who came up with and eventually managed the Chicago White Sox (he also played for the Atlanta Braves for two seasons in the late 90’s), is well known for making controversial remarks and statements, so the Marlins should have known what they were getting when they hired him. But looking at everything in context, David Harsanyi notes that Guillen is hardly a fan of Castro. Back in 2008, Guillen said of the Cuban dictator:

Fidel Castro. He’s a bull—— dictator and everybody’s against him, and he still survives, has power. Still has a country behind him. Everywhere he goes they roll out the red carpet. I don’t admire his philosophy. I admire him.

Cuba eliminating government jobs

While the United States continues to expand government jobs, Cuba, a communist nation, is eliminating them to encourage the private sector to grow:

Cuba will let more than 500,000 state employees go by next March and try to move most to non-state jobs in the biggest shift to the private sector since the 1960s, the official Cuban labor federation said Monday.

The layoffs will start immediately and run through the first half of next year, according to an announcement Monday by the nearly 3 million-strong Cuban Workers Confederation — the only labor union the government tolerates.

The statement said eventually more than a million jobs would be cut and, due to efforts to increase efficiency in the state sector, there would be few new state sector openings.

More than 85 percent of the Cuban labor force, or over 5 million people, worked for the state at the close of 2009, according to the government.

“Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies, productive entities, services and budgeted sectors with bloated payrolls (and) losses that hurt the economy,” the statement said.

Around 17% of Americans are employed by federal, state and local governments, but governments have been hiring at a faster pace than the private sector. We’re a long way off, but growth in government, regulation and taxes are skyrocketing and is taking dollars businesses could use to expand out of the market place.

Cuba embraces capitialistic principles to save socialism

In the wake of a recession, Cuba is getting away from its collectivist economic beliefs and looking at some free-market reforms (emphasis mine):

As the Cuban government struggles through a deep recession, its leaders have begun picking away at socialism in order to save it. But experts say the latest buzz by the Cuban government is simply another desperate fix to stem the slide of a failed economy that buckled long ago.

Even one of Havana’s leading economists recently said Cuba’s economy needed to be turned upside down — “feet up.” So taxi drivers got private licenses, farmers now have their own plots of land and government workers have to pack their own lunches.

“I think what they are trying to do is prepare the people for a hard landing,” said Cuba expert Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado of the University of Nebraska. “The government is really saying in so many words: We’ve got limited resources and can only do so much. I think they are stuck.”

Since he took office early last year, Raúl Castro has been saying that the country’s severely battered economy needs fixing. In a widely quoted August speech, Castro said Cuba was spending more than it made.

“Nobody, no individual nor country, can indefinitely spend more than she or he earns. Two plus two always adds up to four, never five,” he said. “Within the conditions of our imperfect socialism, due to our own shortcomings, two plus two often adds up to three.”

Amazing how a communist leader can grasp that basic principle, but our leaders, both Republicans and Democrats, cannot.


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