I first want to make a disclaimer that I am in no way an expert on Cuban politics. Therefore, my understanding of the current political state of Cuba is limited.
When discussing Cuba, we have to first look at Cuba's history. Cuba, as many of you already know, was a Spanish colony during the Colonial era. It was not until 1898 when Cuba declared its freedom from Spain, making it one of the last of the Spanish colonies to gain its independence. America, however, intervened in Cuba's war with Spain which sparked America's interest in global settlements and trade. While helping Cuba in defeating Spain, America gained ownership of PR, Guam, and Hawaii as a result. Cuba did not fall into this category of an American settlement due to an alliance that President McKinley had made with Cuban officials which protected Cuba from being colonized by the US. While Cuba did gain independence from Spain, it came at a cost. Cuba became a proxy to the US and was required to have the US build a military base in Guantanamo Bay. In addition, the US parented Cuba meaning that Cuba could not start an alliance, trade agreement, declare war, or even elected candidates for office without first obtaining approval from the US Government under the Platt Amendment.
Fast forward to Cold War era, Cuba had grown tired of American intervention in their own affairs and even contested the integrity of their control of the island. Bring in the USSR, Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, was actually tricked by Soviet Officials that communism would solve the issues Cubans were facing. However, this was of course a lie. Cuba went from being America's proxy, to being the Soviet Union's proxy in order for the Soviets to gain the upper hand in the Cold War (i.e. the Cuban Missile Crisis).
Fast forward to present day, Cuba is in a ravaging war between the citizens and the government because of its outdated ideology and communist regime from the Castro era. The main reason why, is because of foreign powers constantly intervening in Cuban politics and causing the implosion of the protests from its citizens.
What are your thoughts on the crisis in Cuba?
Perhaps ratcheting down all the "Cold War" stuff from Eisenhower and Kennedy from over 60 years ago might be a start. Castro is dead, if we take the shackles from Cuba diplomatically, and cease with the adversarial relationships some of the pressure you speak of can be eased?
Embargoes are created as a result of unfavorable political or economic circumstances between nations. They are designed to isolate a country and create difficulties for that country. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis1962, Kennedy placed an embargo in response to the threat of Cuba hosting Soviet nuclear weapons. This was a most serious situation haveing a communist country so close to the US with nuclear weapons.
It is very unfortunate that Cuba became a communist country. It is unfair that the US does business with the biggest communist country, China, yet will not reconsider lifting the embargo on Cuba, However, one must keep in mind the if trade were to be allowed the profits from such trade would not most likely reach the people.
It seems the people of Cuba are ready to get rid of their present government. My own view is that if the people win, the embargo should be lifted immediately.
In my view after the fall of Soviet Union and the embrace of a form Capitalism by both China and Russia, I don't see Cuba as any threat that warrants an continued embargo, regardless of their form of Government.
I think of Ronald Reagan and his "constructive engagement" with the South African apartheid regime. We have cozied up with any and all tyrants as long as they kept to the script of America's geopolitical objectives in the world.
So, why pick on Cuba? No one else does. I say the embargo should end now.
I agree Cuba offers no threat at all. The problem of lifting the embargo might be logical, but would the people benefit or would the government elite be the only ones that benefit? The history of Communism shows the elites benefit from trade, while the people still are on Government rations.
And you are correct we cozie up to any country that offers some form of benefit to us. As we have with China. We are a very hypocritical country as a whole. If we want cheap "stuff" we can turn a blind eye to concentration camps, and all that goes along with them.
We made a silent deal with China, send us stuff--- It goes like this -- we will send you money and look the other way when it comes to how you imprison people, we will send you our businesses, we will let you steal our technology, and we could care little about how you pollute the planet, and send us lots of drugs. as a cherry on top of the sundae.
And please China doesn't fret at all if we get in front of a podium and say some derogatory stuff about you --- you know we need to do that here and there. But ultimately we love you China.
So, why you're right, why not lift the imbargo, and hope for the best.
That is the Bulls eye, Sharlee
What you have said is the why and wherefore of my position.
I think common sense should win out... We need not keep an embargo on Cuba. I would like to see the Cuban people have the Government they desire, but a coup would cause many to be hurt or killed.
Far more invasive, complex and devious than that.
China has devoted great effort (wealth, time) to subverting America, controlling its politicians, insinuating itself into its best Universities, etc.
The very politicians that steer our country today are more beholden to China than they are the American people. Hunter and Joe Biden, Christopher Heinz and John Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, and many others have reaped the financial rewards of serving China's interests.
In addition Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, the financial pillars of Western wealth are more invested in China than any other foreign nation, they in turn pull the strings of the politicians and policy makers in DC.
While they invest into China's corporations and economic growth, the CCP maintains ultimate control over all Chinese corporations while maintaining critical influence over key American political figures.
Who has control of whom?
Ultimately I believe China will win this battle, the greed of our corporations and politicians will be the undoing of Western/American dominance and pave the way for China dominating the world in ways we never imagined one nation could, China's reach with the aid of technology will span everywhere and touch every human life by their stated goal of 2049.
China has long had the defined goal to achieve “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by 2049 and the road to that would go through periods of cooperation and later confrontation with its main trading partners, the US and the rest of the democratic world, effectively changing the established world order.
The Hundred-Year Marathon, China's strategy to supplant the United States as the world's dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.
Western Corporations are focused on profits, America's Political will is intent on International appeasement over National interests (minus the 4 year disruption Trump caused), while China is focused on growth and surpassing its competitors, America's lack of focus and future planning stands in stark contrast, weakening in all areas China grows stronger... STEM graduates from Universities to Naval strength and capability, America is fast on the decline on every front.
Cuban laws concerning trade conflict with our own, and to open up trade by releasing them from prior obligations without serious evidence of overhaul within their systems would be counterproductive to many of our other contracts and obligations. It's like asking why we didn't just ease the restrictions on Iran the second they said, "Okay, daddy US, we won't enrich uranium past a certain point or over a certain amount anymore." When we relaxed slightly we found that in giving them an inch we gave them the opportunity to take a mile.
Even further, easing restrictions on Iran provided an opportunity for more specific pieces to make their way into the country, and then over to North Korea. Cuba is no exception to the rule of capitalism, and perhaps we should punish those that move in to make lucrative deals with these countries rather than the countries themselves, but every nation in the world would have to be in cahoots on that idea, and that would damage many economies to the point of utter desolation.
It's a complex issue.
It is a complex issue, Tyler.
I am just disturbed that we single out this one island nation but find work arounds for societies who violate the rules of trade, etc, in an even more egregious manner.
To change the topic to Iran, we have to offer an incentive to get them to be willing to disarm. I do not ignore their concerns about Israel as a potential threat to them. Before Trump threw a monkey wrench in it all, I liked Obama's agreement with European powers to lay off the embargoes in exchange for Iran ratcheting down its nuclear ambitions, to be verified by impartial inspectors. The world is more complicated than good and bad guys wearing white or black hats.
We can't afford to punish everyone that works against our geopolitical model as we are no longer this far and away dominant economy in the world that can afford to ignore the desires of others.
With Obama's program we had some leverage. Take that away and the only alternative is war, with Iran having nothing to gain by acceding to the wishes of the West with continuation of embargoes.
I'm happy you brought up Obama, the progenitor of the release of stuxnet. He is as much to blame for Iran as anyone else. Your partisan bias is showing, and "meddling" in the affairs of others will always be someone's prerogative. Why not let it be ours so we can direct the outcome?
My response to the OP is my response to the rest of anything said here as of yet.
It is always "blame Obama" why is that? I am satisfied with his attempt to bring down the terror. I am sorry that you do not agree.
We hyper meddle as the world's globe cop, getting involved in affairs that hardly concern us. We have almost 1000 military installations around the world. A bully is a bully, the label that is on the package is irrelevant to me.
I don't blame Obama solely, but his signature was on the orders for stuxnet, that's the only context important as it concerns Iran. He is no less guilty than anyone else in Iranian/American affairs. I just wanted to taint that pedestal you undeservedly put him on with truth.
Show me a major country who doesn't do the same out of necessity, and I'll show you a country whose people are crying for help that never comes, or one whose people are at war with their oppressors. Ukraine is a great example of where we backed off, do you agree with the atrocities occurring there after our easing of obligations and assistance? It was a country torn long before our interference, and will be torn long after if we don't finish the job.
We can go to the executions and terror acts in Afghanistan if you want to keep going with real-life examples of our weak stance of backing out.
Better to meddle, maintain some form of control in the hopes we can back off later. If our control is truly the problem you are after, then you must also cry about the federal government oppressing the states, and states oppressing the cities, and cities oppressing local governing councils. Someone must meddle, they must, and we should be the ones to do it so as not to lose the upper hand.
The difference is that Federalism is part of the Constitution subscribed to the 50 states, that is not the case internationally.
Do you believe that our military resources are infinite? Let's get leverage without saber rattling because we all know that none of us are prepared to resort to nuclear weapons in the interests of controlling our neighbors. This might is right stuff went out with gunboat diplomacy. The power today is more economic than military, because we simply do not have the resources to impose our will on everyone. We are in a far more fragile world and we have to be smarter than this.
If there is an international issue, let's work with international peacekeepers to avoid this looking like a pax-Americana
The truth is we have no influence or control over Iran and never will.
Iran has been a 'protectorate' of China for decades now and China's leaders stated long ago that any act of aggression against Iran would be considered an act of war against China.
The majority of oil and natural gas produced in Iran goes to China, they in turn protect that supply much in the way America protected its interests in Saudi Arabia for the last half century or more.
This truth, this lack of ability to truly act against Iran, is never talked about in the MSM... much like everything else... what is presented by American news sources is biased, deceptive and deliberately evasive of divulging reality to the America populace.
We will never go to war against Iran, we will never invade, we will never counter its acts of aggression with escalating efforts because America will not challenge China's interests.
We never go to war with them, but we do often make their lives extremely difficult indirectly and via proxy. I'd also go as far to say we take credit for certain attacks we had nothing to do with just to reassure the American people, and that always makes me chuckle.
I feel like complaining about the meddling of foreign powers is like complaining about the sky being blue. Would it be better to completely ignore the issues, walk away, and stop meddling in everyone else's business? No, the answer is unabashedly, unequivocally no; everyone is meddling in one another's business for good reasons, though there are bad reasons blended in as well.
Take Nazi Germany as an example since I already listed Iran earlier in the the thread; it was no one's business other than Germany's and its enemies' what was occurring there. Yet, we were all dragged into WWII with Germany, another world war, because of all of our need to meddle. The consequences of the interference itself are widely regarded as the main cause of the questionable number of Jewish deaths during the holocaust.
Would you cry for leaving Nazi Germany alone because of the outside interference that caused supplies to dwindle, disease to run rampant, and death to line the streets? No, because if you did you'd not only be banned from public forums, you'd also be laughed into irrelevance. Germany was a threat we all ignored in favor of causing no damage for decades, and that ignorance led to atrocities we still discuss fervently today.
Now, Cuba is simply a useful proxy for everyone rather than a great nation, but a proxy so close to our borders with unbridled flow of illegal goods and individuals across our borders is not something to simply walk away from and let have free reign. Not only would that be irresponsible, but someone else worse than us would step in to fill our shoes (AGAIN).
We should continue working toward a mutually beneficial relationship with Cuba, and that begins with the cease of their egregious exploitation of their population. Once they show a commitment to ending their unfair tyranny over their citizens we can then begin to slowly ease up on the seemingly harsh restrictions we have placed upon them. However, a more lasting peace and period of growth for Cubans will be reached if the citizenry can replace the government themselves with our off-the-books assistance.
People often think in terms of the small picture, and the short-term, but it isn't as if atrocity hasn't led to broad periods of peace and prosperity when carried out/ended by the right hands. It could be argued that it is the only time lasting, effective change occurs. I'd rather that responsibility be in our hands, the weight of consequence be on us than any other country.
So, when did Nazi Germany become a threat? It was territorial agressions by the NAzis that made war necessary. Yes, China is a threat, Russia is a threat and so is Iran and Venezuela. We have been engaged in war for an event that occurred 20 years ago. So where does it stop?
Predicting Hitler and how far he was going to go during his ascension is always 20/20 hindsight today. After the carnage of the WWI, who was in a hurry to start another?
America, in my opinion, is hardly deserving the status of being the good guy in all of this.
I would never say America is the good guy, nor any other country, but I'd sooner support our necessary evils than those of other countries. Germany was a threat to the sovereignty of everyone around it for quite some time, to accurately measure it would take hindsight as you say and time I don't want to spend, but no one acted until they were forced.
The question I think is more appropriate to ask in this context is: Would it be better to maintain a chokehold on tyranny, keeping it in your grasp and not letting it run rampant? Inversely, would it be better to let tyranny run rampant in the hopes it solves itself, or that another country aside from the US can forcefully choke it better?
History states that we cannot ignore Cuba, and that Cuba is a hotspot for tyranny, crime, oppression, and humanitarian crises when left unchecked. Free trade would only contribute to the coffers of those creating the evil we wish for the Cuban people to solve on their own, the same evil causing us to get involved in the first place.
This is getting interesting
Our "necessary evils" are no better than those employed by others. We have elaborate principles about democracy and self determination of people, but the geopolitical reality of American involvement in anti-democratic policy and imperialism tell the real story. Just because I live here does not mean that I am going to take its side if it is wrong. I will bring up numerous examples if it necessary.
Who was going to interfere with the internal affairs of another nation as long as they themselves were not directly affected, what do you think is happening in China, today? When would you have supported military intervention regarding Nazi Germany prior to the attack on Poland? Would you have decided to declare war when Germany started to rearm in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles? Should the conflict begin after Germany took over Czechoslovakia in 1938? At the time, the US was a 10th rate military power. Were any of Germany's neighbors prepared for a confrontation, was the US?
We have plenty of tyrannical tendencies of our own. Looking at our internal politics, we certainly are not the more sterling example.
The second Hitler took power, a man whose speeches were widely shared across the globe and shook hands with our own leaders, is when I would have begun to meddle deeply to the point of risking war. I don't think anyone but Germany was prepared for what Germany was planning, but the signs of tyranny were in every empowered speech that psycho gave both during and after being elected.
I agree, America is evil, but in understanding geopolitics and politics in general you can be the one to benefit or the one to be oppressed. Most of the consequences of interfering, or not, come at the expense of being able to be [proactive, and lead to reactive politics and geopolitics that can ruin you for generations. I'd sooner support our safety, our power, than that of our opponents; it's the ABCs of geopolitics, intrigue, and power.
Sure, I could say let's pull out, let's hope the world solves these issues while we host an international Woodstock full of love and acceptance. Then what would I be supporting? I'd be supporting isolating ourselves from issues that need to be addressed by someone, will be addressed by someone, and if it isn't us profiting and assisting at the same time it will be our enemies.
The world is not peaches and cream, and it is better that you play the bad guy and apologize, make up for it later, rather than be the one with a black eye being apologized to.
Sorry if this got a little off, I'm preparing to go out and rushed, but I think I got the point across.
"I'd sooner support our safety, our power, than that of our opponents; it's the ABCs of geopolitics, intrigue, and power."
Understood, but everybody says that, are we prepared for the confrontation when our interests and that of others collide?
I would say we are as prepared as anyone could be, and we are constantly moving to adapt to new situations that arise even before they have reared their heads such as the situation in the South China Sea that we let get out of hand due to trying to placate China. With Cuba we do not want to infringe on their sovereignty any more than we already have, but nor do we wish to directly or indirectly support tyranny and lose the control we do have.
I would be more worried about the vast implications of backing out, than the mostly measurable outcome of controlling a foreign country with forceful policies and under-the-table assistance. If things were to come to conventional conflict, boots on the ground, then conflict was inevitable to begin with and diplomacy was never really an option. America does pretty well as it concerns being generous at the onset of debates, but if a country won't play ball to our rules then we can't trust them (Iran and North Korea being great examples), and at that point we have no choice but to play hardball until they come back to the table with at least some of our requests met.
We are not prepared for all out war with anyone, no one is, but we are even less prepared for the unforeseen consequences of a withdrawal of our systems of control, and the same goes doubly for the people who depend on our under-the-table support.
As it concerns international peacekeepers you are once again opting for a relinquishing of power, and I cannot support it in the face of what peacekeepers like the UN actually do. I've worked with UN peacekeepers, they're mostly incompetent and cruel. Any other agency is more of a for-profit outfit, and the things they end up doing are even more heinous.
Adding onto this, let us not forget that every country in the world worth their salt is meddling in everyone else's business. We'd have helped Israel in their seemingly racist endeavors against Palestine to completion, but we'd also make enemies of every other country in the world by creating an even worse humanitarian crisis. If anyone cared about what we are doing in Cuba on the international scale, we'd see a lot more proxy attacks being carried out, and the issue would be being debated hotly across all forums of politics.
Nonetheless this is what is occurring, America is withdrawing, descending, and China is ascending and growing in power and dominance. On all levels, across all fields, from education to industry to trade.
Global powers are always in transition, they are either growing and expanding in power, or they are weakening and declining.
America's "empire" stage is in the end phase, our expansion and domination efforts are over, our society and culture is no longer focused on "Manifest Destiny" or "Spreading Democracy" we are now focused on "Social Justice" and "Reparations" for all the wrongs of the past... these are not ideas bantered about by a nation on the rise, they are the ideas and concepts of those nearing their end.
China, you can rest assured, will not be worried about "reparations" to the Uyghur or Tibetan people in our lifetimes. China is the rising global empire, nothing is going to change the direction of either nation now.
Yes, it would seem America's time in the spotlight is deservedly coming to an end. I absolutely agree with you and reality as it concerns China's rise to dominance once more. Let us hope we don't have to give China the treatment everyone had to give Nazi Germany due to our relaxing in the face of the sleeping tiger.
China recognized at the outset of its efforts to bring about America's demise that military conflict was not the answer. The Hundred-Year Marathon, China's strategy to supplant the United States as the world's dominant power is nearing to its completion.
Biden is a critical component to fast-track their ascension. China recognized the threat Trump and a growing amount of 'awoke' Americans presented to them, I have to applaud their efforts to neutralize those threats and strengthen their influence within DC.
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