|Castro and Obama (April 2015) Sirley Ávila machete attacked (May 2015)|
- Releasing the three remaining WASP network spies, including Gerardo Hernandez -- who was serving two life sentences, one of them for conspiracy to murder four members of Brothers to the Rescue.
- Ignoring the Castro regime's continuing sponsorship of terrorism and smuggling of weapons to sanctioned countries in order to take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
- Delinking the pursuit of full diplomatic relations from the rise in human rights violations in Cuba and in the region by Cuban state security.
- Commitment from President Obama at the State of the Union address to work for the lifting of economic sanctions on the dictatorship.
It must begin, according to Kupchan, by making concessions to our enemies in an act of “unilateral accommodation.” These concessions must be “unusual and costly” to signal benign intent. [...] The second phase entails the practice of “reciprocal restraint” where the adversary nations walk away from rivalry, peace breaks out, and geopolitical competition gives way to cooperation.[...] “Social integration” and “the generation of new narratives and identities” are the third and fourth phases of Kupchan’s sequence towards stable peace.Kupchan in a April 2011 article in Friedrich Ebert Stiftung attempts to refute the charge that this policy is a version of neo-appeasement arguing:
It follows that talking to the enemy is not appeasement – as is often claimed by engagement’s critics – but, under the right circumstances, good diplomacy. To be sure, the effort to pursue diplomatic accommodation with an adversary may not work. The target state may refuse to reciprocate the initiator’s signals of benign intent, ensuring that confrontation continues.The trouble with Kupchan's argument is that what he is advocating goes well beyond "talking to the enemy" into what he describes as "unilateral accommodation" setting the stage for "reciprocal restraint." Now when one government is making "unilateral accommodations" and the other side is declaring victory and maintaining an aggressive posture in the real world, while talking the talk of accommodation in diplomatic exchanges, it does share a disturbing similarity to appeasement policies of the 1930s that did not lead to peace but was a precursor to a major war that claimed tens of millions of lives. Underestimating the capability for mischief of what appears to be a weakened totalitarian dictatorship is a script that has played out before with horrible consequences.
This approach not only ignores the underlying conflict between the United States and Cuba but also the conflict between the Cuban dictatorship and the Cuban people. This mentality is also found deeply engrained in other parts of the Obama administration. For example, when 25,000 Cubans made it known that they wanted democratic reforms in 2002 - 2003 through a citizen initiative that challenged the dictatorship, then presidential candidate now Secretary of State, John Kerry said it was "counterproductive."
History rebukes getting into bed with dictatorships, but that is precisely what the White House is doing in Cuba, and unlike the Varela Project, it promises to be counterproductive to both the interests of the United States and the Cuban people. When this approach is proven a disaster hopefully those formulating policy in the next administration will look to a nonviolent approach that works.