As I write this, President Obama is in Cuba as a part of his Administration’s attempts to normalize relations with the island country. And with this Administration’s track record in dealing with foreign countries with a history of hating America, what could go wrong?
Well, plenty, actually.
Let’s not kid ourselves here. Our relationship with Cuba is Ike and Tina Turner level bad, and no amount of good will on our part will change that. Why? Because Cuba hasn’t changed yet. It’s still being ruled by a Castro, Raul to be precise. And Raul is just as reluctant to give up communism as his brother Fidel was. That means there is a natural tension between the US and Cuba. After all, we took down communism in the form of the USSR in the 80s, and some things don’t just fade away. There are still plenty of leaders willing to try to fill in the gaps left by the absence of the Soviet Union, including the current dictator…I’m sorry, leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin. You know, the guy who still thinks the Soviet Union was a good idea and refuses to be swayed by pesky things like facts and history?
And that’s not counting China, North Korea, and much of the Middle East, all of whom have not just a beef with us, but an entire cattle ranch.
On the other side of the equation, we have America, a country that has fallen pretty far down the world rankings in the past couple of decades. Our leader is a man who isn’t geopolitically savvy by any stretch of the imagination making the third worst foreign policy decision in his Presidency. (The first and second being making Hillary Clinton and John Kerry Secretary of State, although they flip-flop positions like…well, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.) The Iran Deal was bad. The Cuba trip has all the makings of Bay of Pigs II: Electric Boogaloo because there really is no logic behind it, just President Obama’s decision to make it so.
To put it another way, our enemies get a foothold 90 miles off our mainland, and we get…photo ops with Obama standing in front of a giant Che Guevara mural. With Photoshop and Twitter, we could have accomplished the same thing under Obama’s “hashtag diplomacy” strategy and without having to add to Obama’s carbon footprint. Then again, maybe he’s getting some cigars out of the deal and didn’t want the hassle of trying to go through Customs with illegal contraband.
Either way, normalizing relations with Cuba just doesn’t sit well with me because we’re not getting much out of the deal. Just like our attempts to normalize relations with China under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton by ignoring their human rights violations and giving them Most Favored Nation status, I see Obama’s efforts with Cuba winding up as a big blunder that is quickly forgotten by both sides.