|The Dictator and The President|
"Obama! Obama! con cuanto fervor quisiera enfrentarme a tu torpeza para hacerte una limpieza con rebeldes y morteros y voy a mandarte un sobrero de plomo para la cabeza."
“Obama! Obama! with what fervor we’d like to confront your clumsiness, to give you a cleansing with rebels and mortar, and send you a hat of lead to the head.”
Some are surprised by this, but it was predictable. Raul Castro is a bully. Two years prior to the military parade I wrote the following:
Like North Korea, the regime in Cuba is a bully and as anyone knows from the school yard when you appease a bully all you accomplish is to encourage more bullying behavior because it has been rewarded. Unfortunately, the history of the Castro regime demonstrates that it mistakes engagement with passivity and weakness then acts accordingly in its own interests.The Obama Doctrine, first addressed by Charles A. Kupchan in 2001, and fully fleshed out in his 2010 book, How Enemies Become Friends The Sources of Stable Peace advocates "talking to the enemy", "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 the end result can be counterproductive. The Obama administration followed this approach in Cuba with unilateral concessions ( repeated loosening of sanctions, removing Cuba from the list of terror sponsors, freeing Castro spy serving life for murder conspiracy, watering down its report on human trafficking, marginalizing dissidents) and what are the end results of this appeasement policy?
The Obama Administration's Cuba policy has coincided with a collapse in trade between the two countries, and a worsening human rights situation in the island nation. The last year of the Obama Administration (2016) saw 200.3 million dollars in U.S. trade in goods with Cuba which is lower than the 711.5 million in U.S. trade in goods with Cuba in the last year of the Bush Administration (2008). However there has been an increase in violent repression with the extrajudicial killings of high profile opposition leaders, such as Oswaldo Payá. Politically motivated arbitrary detentions rose from 1,500 in the last year of the Bush Administration (2008) to 9,940 arbitrary detentions in the last year of the Obama Administration (2016). This worsening situation in Cuba is also reflected in an increase in Cubans fleeing the island. In 2008 there were slightly more than 10,000 visaless Cubans entering the United States compared to 46,635 visaless Cubans entering the United States in the first ten months of 2016.