As we all know, it is very right and good to excuse President Obama for not coming through as the peace candidate he used to be on issues like Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. Hope and Change will have to wait until we tackle those existential threats.
But how about the brutal policies Obama refuses to rescind towards the one country not even the worst of the hawks in Congress claim threatens us at all? AP:
Cuban President Raul Castro said Thursday that his government is willing to mend fences with bitter Cold War foe the United States and sit down to discuss anything, as long as it is a conversation between equals.
…He echoed previous statements that no topic is off-limits, including U.S. concerns about democracy, freedom of the press and human rights on the island, as long as it is a conversation between equals.
“Any day they want, the table is set. This has already been said through diplomatic channels,” Castro said. “If they want to talk, we will talk.”
…Washington and Havana have not had diplomatic relations for five decades, and the 50-year-old U.S. embargo outlaws nearly all trade and travel to the island.
The senselessness of the ongoing economic warfare against the Cuban people is really a thing to marvel at, to say nothing of Washington’s utter indifference to the suffering it has caused. Here, the Castros practically beg for a reopening of diplomatic ties, to no avail. Obama don’t wanna talk!
Consider the brutal economic embargo that the U.S. government has enforced against Cuba for some 50 years. By now, U.S. officials cannot claim ignorance of how much suffering the embargo has caused the Cuban people.
In the beginning, U.S. officials said the same thing they always say when they’re imposing sanctions on foreign regimes — that they have no intent to target the citizenry but only the dictator. But after decades of experience with sanctions, everyone knows that the dictator gets along fine notwithstanding the sanctions. It’s the citizenry who pay the price. In fact, as both Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro learned, the U.S. sanctions against their countries actually helped them to centralize their power.
…What are sanctions if not a direct violation of economic freedom — not only of the Cuban people, who are denied economic intercourse with Americans, but also the economic liberty of the American people, who are prohibited from traveling to Cuba and spending their money there?
…If U.S. officials were really interested in the economic well-being of the Cuban people and if they were genuinely interested in spreading freedom and democracy there, they would immediately lift their cruel and inhumane embargo that has contributed so much the suffering of the Cuban people.