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Obama’s Faustian Bargain With Cuba
By Marco Rubio
The New York Times
July 8, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/08/opinion/marco-rubio-obamas-faustian-bargain-with-cuba.html
 
When President Obama announced the formal re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba last week, he criticized the supposed failures of United States policy toward Cuba, which, Mr. Obama said, “hasn’t worked for 50 years.”
 
The reality of course is that American policy is no more to blame for Cuba’s economic and political problems than it was for the Soviet Union’s bread lines or for the fact that tens of millions of Chinese still live in poverty.
 
The only people who are responsible for the Cuban people’s woes are their geriatric rulers, who insist on maintaining a socialist economy that almost all other countries — with the possible exception of North Korea — have realized is a failed relic of the past.
 
It is these dictators who also deny their people access to the Internet. It is they who direct the security services that terrorize and harass any citizen who dares speak up against the Castro regime. It is they who imprison people who attempt to defy the system and make them endure unthinkable conditions. Many have fled their homeland permanently.
 
Mr. Obama’s outreach has done nothing to change any of this. On Sunday, Antonio Rodiles, a prominent activist, was beaten by regime thugs, and nearly 100 others were arrested. Human Rights Watch reports that in recent months, “short-term arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, independent journalists, and other critics have increased dramatically.” The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, an independent human rights group, puts arbitrary detentions for political motives in May alone at 641, the most in months.
 
Yet Mr. Obama insists that building economic and diplomatic ties is likely to bring freedom and democracy to the island.
 
However, our extensive experience with transitions from Communism has shown that economic opening and diplomatic engagement do not automatically lead to political freedom. No Communist police state has ever unclenched its fist just because a McDonald’s has opened or an embassy has been established.
 

 
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