Thursday, December 18, 2014

About Cuba

Michael Totten blogs for World Affairs Journal where he often demonstrates a very level-headed view of the countries he visits as a journalist. Today he writes about Cuba, and the impact of resuming diplomatic relations with the island nation.
Cuba has the worst human rights record in the Western Hemisphere. Allowing the regime in from the cold gives it a patina of legitimacy it has done nothing whatsoever to earn, and it exhausts whatever scraps of leverage the United States had to convince the island’s overlords to free their people and share power like most other governments in the region.
Talking heads discussing Cuba on the PBS News Hour last evening made the point that 50 years of sanctions have not improved the lot of the Cuban people. I am willing to stipulate that point.

On the other hand, a case can be made that the severity of the sanctions on Cuba has caused other hemispheric nations to take care not to act in ways that would cause them to suffer the same fate. By dropping the sanctions, the U.S. loses leverage over those other Latin American nations.