Friday, November 09, 2007

U.S.-Cuban relations

In the most recent issue of Military Review, Trudi Morales (a political science professor at the University of Central Florida) offers an unflinching look at U.S.-Cuban relations.

U.S. policymakers have insisted on imposing their own interests, agendas, models, and formulas on Latin America—often against the wishes of most of the peoples in the region. At the same time that U.S. leaders insist on internal democratization, they maintain an undemocratic, hegemonic control over the region and demand that it do things “our” way (p. 95).

She offers a number of very sensible policy prescriptions and alternatives. For example:

A related short-term objective includes the unconditional end of the embargo, without a quid pro quo. Congress should also lift the ban on travel and restrictions on trade. Today the blockade and Helms-Burton are not as effective, and even at its peak, the embargo, to paraphrase another Cuba-watcher, served to “bend them but not break them.” Supporters of the embargo argue that it is the only leverage we have. That argument merely reveals the meager influence U.S. policy has over the Cuban regime. It is time to honestly recognize that the embargo has failed to achieve either its central goal, regime change, or its secondary goal, isolating Cuba. And, although it has hurt Castro’s regime, it has also hurt innocent Cuban citizens and American interests. Removing Cuba from the State Department’s List of Terrorist States is another immediate action that can support an orderly, peaceful transition in Cuba—and lend greater credibility to the list (p. 99).

I find it heartening that the U.S. Army chose to publish this type of article, since it so clearly contradicts the administration’s policy preferences. We need more debate like this at all levels of government.


Tambopaxi 5:42 PM  


My comments WHINSEC a while back, notwithstanding, the U.S. military, especially within its academic institutions, is much more open-minded than many outsiders would suspect. Indeed, having dealt with those folks and State folks over the years, I'd submit that the DOD institutions are freer thinkers than the folks over at the Foreign Service Institute (my own opinion, of course).

Greg Weeks 8:28 AM  

I don't know how much I would generalize, but there's no doubt that even the military is far less monolithic (and sometimes even less hardline) than people would tend to think.

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