An Isolated Cuba Will Not Be a Free Cuba

When Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died in November, the responses issued by then-President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump made for a study in contrasts. Where Obama struck a note of optimism, looking forward to the brighter future of a Fidel-free Cuba, Trump dwelt on the past, deploring the irretrievable decades of human suffering Castro’s regime had wrought.

 

Despite their differences, both messages had value. Trump rightly named and critiqued Castro’s legacy of “firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty, and the denial of fundamental human rights,” while Obama pointed to one of the clearest foreign policy successes of his administration: the orchestration of a historic thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations in diplomacy, cultural exchange, and trade alike.

 

 

It’s a success Trump didn’t recognize then and remains inclined to undo now that he has replaced Obama in the Oval Office. As the New York Times reports, primary options under consideration include reversing the Obama-era relaxation of travel rules and prohibiting all trade between American businesses and Cuban companies with military ties. (That latter proposal is more complicated than it sounds, as the Cuban military, like those of many authoritarian governments, has its fangs sunk deep into the island’s economy.)

 

Whatever the options on the table, any steps back toward the demonstrably failed policy of isolation would be a grave and unforced error. It will make advances toward Cuban freedom more difficult and re-entrench the grim authority of the regime in Havana.


Read More

Please reload

Recent Posts

Please reload

Archive

Please reload

To change the world,

first know the world.

Sign up for advance notice of our events.

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan empowers the people and organizations of West Michigan to engage thoughtfully with the world.

"To change the world, first know the world."

Credible. Objective. Relevant. Civil. Compelling.

1700 Fulton St. SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49506

(616) 776-1721

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
World Affairs Councls of America logo

Dedicated to educating and engaging Americans on global issues with nearly 100 councils across 40 states reaching more than half a million people a year.

©2016 – 2018 by the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan. Created by The Vincent Group