Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bad Cuba policy

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney talk Cuba. Some excerpts (note: it doesn't even matter who is saying what--their messages were identical).

"I don't think it occurs to a single person in the White House to look south and propose a Cuban spring," said Gingrich at an event sponsored by the FIU College Republicans....He said he wanted to send "a clear message to the younger generation of Cubans that there will not be a successor to Castro."..."If I'm to become the next president of the U.S., it is my expectation that Fidel Castro will finally be taken off this planet,"..."I will use the power of America to spread freedom in Latin America," 

The problem here should be abundantly clear. The Arab Spring was not proposed by the United States, and would have failed miserably if it had been. We did not tell Arab countries what would happen, or send messages demanding regime change, at least not until citizens of those countries had already determined the direction they were taking.

These points are critical for Cuba, because its history is rife with the United States telling it what to do. When the Castro regime falls, and someday it will, the optimal role for the U.S. is not to step in and propose the direction it takes. Sadly, chance are good the U.S. government will do so anyway, thereby complicating an already volatile situation.

The assumption that the United States can and should decide the fate of other countries is deeply ingrained in our collective psyches. It also has led to some of the most disastrous policy decisions of the last century.


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