The governments of United States and Cuba are opening embassies this week in Havana and Washington. This is a major watershed in the road to full normalization of relations between the two states and the two societies. This is also a major win for democracy because...
Every once in a while, something happens to remind us just how far U.S.-Cuba relations have deviated from what they should be. In the first week of April, superstars Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Jay-Z strolled through Havana, engulfed in a sea of people. Reactions in the U.S. were immediate and indignant — and way off-base.
Admittedly, Kerry has not always applied the lessons of Vietnam properly—witness his regrettable support for the Bush administration’s disastrous invasion of Iraq. But elsewhere, as in his efforts to ease the archaic U.S. blockade on Cuba, Kerry continues to promote engagement as the fundamental tool of foreign policy.
The announcement of Fidel Castro’s retirement and the subsequent election of his brother Raul Castro as Cuba’s new president came as no surprise to Cuba experts and certainly not to the Cuban people themselves. Most Americans, though, seemed to expect that the passing of Castro — however it should happen — would be a convulsive event for Cuba. Instead, the changes happened peacefully and quietly, illustrating how U.S. perceptions of Cuba are, in general, painfully ignorant. It’s time we recognized why.
The Bush administration’s Cuba policy has reached a dead end, with no hope of success. Its objective is nothing less than to bring down the Castro regime. Or, as then-Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega put it on October 2, 2003: "The President is determined to see the end of the Castro regime and the dismantling of the apparatus that has kept him in office for so long."
For more than 47 years, Washington and the mainstream media have misread Cuban reality. This fallacious view of events on the nearby island continued on July 31 when Fidel Castro (almost 80) entered the hospital and ceded power, temporarily, to his brother Raul, 75. He also named other top Communist Party officials to head major government departments.