Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Huckabee and Cuba

Next semester I teach U.S.-Latin American relations, and will definitely be using Mike Huckabee’s stance on Cuba policy because it so perfectly illustrates why U.S. policy is so poorly thought out and counterproductive.

As governor of Arkansas, Huckabee made a point of opposing the embargo. Like so many other governors of farm states—many of them Republicans—he thought it made little sense as it clearly was not working, and he saw significant trade potential for his state.

Now that he is running for president, he changed his mind completely because he wants to court the Cuban American vote in Florida. He claims simply to have seen the light, so that after listening to the words of hardliners, he realizes he must do what’s good for the country, which means doing nothing different. He does not elaborate on how that is good for the United States, but he does say it shows he can “stand tall.”

While courting Rubio's support over the past year, Huckabee said he began to appreciate the perspective of many Cuban-American exiles, who believe lifting the embargo would support a repressive regime.

''He really helped me understand some of the key issues that are so very important not just to Cuban-American community but to all Americans in terms of protecting freedom and standing tall,'' Huckabee said. ``As president I commit that we would veto any legislation that would lift the embargo that is currently in place because we must keep that pressure on.''

The Cuban American vote is no longer the bloc it once was. There is, in fact, quite a bit of debate about how splintered the Cuban American vote might be in the Florida Republican primary. It is therefore even more sad to see a candidate completely renounce his own views to pander to that small audience.

5 comments:

Bosqué 6:14 AM  

Well there is an interesting point to all of this:

1- How can the US take the stance that it invaded Iraq because of disobedience to UN rules

and

2 - in the same token continue to sanction Cuba in violation of UN rules (a 16 year straight UN vote to lift the sanctions)?

Bosqué 6:25 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bosqué 6:30 AM  

In regards to the US Cuban group's cohesiveness, have you had a chance to read the declassified documents on the Bay of Pigs operation?

This is from the Federation of American Scientist site (big on FOIA). It may help with cohesion insight:

http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/cuba.pdf

It has the most "right in your face" insight of internal 'issues' debated by the various Cuban exile groups (of that era).

Greg Weeks 7:11 AM  

Well, those resolutions are non-binding so not quite the same--they do not impose any rules.

As for the Bay of Pigs, of course things are very different these days, though such documents always provide perversely entertaining reading.

mike a,  12:57 PM  

Huckabee subscribes to the literal interpretation of the Bible, and he is a believer in creation. Therefore, nothing he says should have much merit to an educated population. I suppose that means we should be worried about the mental capacity of those who are supporting him in Iowa?

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