|Castro shake hands with President Obama and Jong-un shakes hands with President Trump|
|Revolutionary era flag now considered controversial was featured prominently during Obama's 2009 inaugural address.|
What existential threat drove the need to normalize Raul Castro and his 60 year old dictatorship?
On July 4th it is fair to recall that President Obama on March 22, 2016 addressed the Cuban people in a nationwide television broadcast during his visit to Cuba and falsely equated the American and Cuban revolutions as both being liberation movements and democratic:
"The ideals that are the starting point for every revolution -- America’s revolution, Cuba’s revolution, the liberation movements around the world -- those ideals find their truest expression, I believe, in democracy."The American revolution ended British rule and established a new and more democratic order with the creation of the United States. Contrast this with the Castro revolution in Cuba that lied itself into power, claimed to be democratic, only to install a communist dictatorship that 60 years later remains in power through terror and repression enslaving an entire people.
This false equivalency between an independence movement that in its first sixty years elected 11 different presidents from different political parties versus the second that saw one dictator hand over power to his younger brother who remains in power today with a puppet president is what outrages many.
The fruits of the normalization drive in Cuba: increasing repression, murdered opposition leaders, a shuttered embassy, and collapsing US exports point to failure not progress.
Violence against Cubans escalated with the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba.Worse yet the message delivered to Cubans by President Obama not only legitimized the dictatorship, but undermined objective international human rights standards, reducing them to an opinion in his March 22, 2016 address to Cubans.
When analyzing a historical event such as the American or Cuban revolutions it is important to look at the historical context and not merely judge by present standards. The evils of slavery and racism were endemic to the colonial American experience. Slavery persisted during the first 82 years of the American republic, but was ended by civil war. Racial segregation and purity laws long continued into the 1960s, but were ended by Supreme Court decisions and the civil rights movement. It was the events of 1776 that ushered in a system that recognized certain rights as inalienable and over time corrected and continues to correct the pre-existing wrongs.
Cuba had been a democracy with an international track record in human rights promotion that back slid into an authoritarian dictatorship in 1952, and the Castro brothers promised to restore the pre-existing democracy and constitutional order established in 1940. They lied and in 1959 erected a totalitarian regime using televised executions and terror to rule Cuba with an iron fist over sixty years. The length and brutality of this dictatorship had not seen before in Cuban history. This was a massive step backwards.
|Cuban exiles celebrate the death of Fidel Castro waving the Cuban flag|
Do not allow political extremists to take your historic symbols away from you.