Biden Lengthens Our Leash on Cuba

Out of the goodness of his heart, President Biden has just lengthened our leashes when it comes to Cuba. Isn’t that just so nice? Isn’t it great to live under a nice, benevolent democratically elected dictator rather than a cruel and brutal one?

Biden is issuing executive decrees permitting more U.S. flights into Cuba, removing caps on  money Americans can send to Cubans, and restoring travel by educational groups.

Whoop de doo! Let’s all go out and celebrate Biden’s kindness and generosity. After all, rightwing President Trump certainly wasn’t that nice when it came to Cuba!

Let’s get something clear: Freedom is the natural, God-given right to travel wherever you want, trade with whomever you want, and spend your money any way you. Freedom is not a longer leash.

That’s one thing we Americans must always keep in mind, first and foremost: The U.S. embargo on Cuba has always constituted a destruction of our own rights and liberties at the hands of our very own government. The fact that they were obsessed with the supposed international communist conspiracy to take over the world that was supposedly based in Moscow does not justify their destruction of our own rights and liberties. 

Yes, the embargo certainly does target the Cuban people with severe impoverishment and even death as a way to achieve regime change on the island. Obviously, that’s important from a moral standpoint. But in the process of attempting to achieve regime change, we should constantly keep in mind what they did to our own fundamental, natural, God-given rights and liberties in the process.

That’s not to say that everyone is happy with our benevolent dictator’s generosity. Conservatives, including those of Cuban descent, are hopping mad. Just check out this editorial from the rightwing Wall Street Journal. It’s taking Biden to task for letting up just when the Cuban regime  is supposedly on the verge of collapse. 

But isn’t that what conservatives have been saying about Cuba’s communist regime for the past 60 years or so? It’s always on the verge of collapse. Just one more year of the embargo, conservatives have cried, year after year for 60 years. 

What would happens if it were to collapse? U.S. officials would then be able to install another rightwing crony capitalist regime headed by another brutal and corrupt rightwing fascist dictator who would, once again, do the bidding of the Pentagon and the CIA, just like Fulgencio Batista, the brutal and corrupt U.S. dictatorial puppet that Cuban revolutionaries ousted from power.

That’s also why those Cuban-American conservatives continue to support their beloved embargo, notwithstanding the fact that it destroys the rights and liberties of the American people. Those Cuban-American conservatives are not interested in freedom in Cuba, like they always claim. All they want is what other conservatives want: another rightwing brutal and corrupt fascist dictator like Batista who will follow orders from the Pentagon and the CIA and implement another crooked and corrupt crony capitalist system in partnership with organized crime.

In fact, that’s been the history of Latin America (with the notable exception of Argentina in the late 1800s and early 1900s): rightwing versus leftwing dictatorships and economic systems. Take your pick: a crony capitalist fascist economic system headed by a rightwing dictatorship versus a socialist economic system headed by a leftwing dictatorship. Big deal. And leftists and rightists are both convinced that their respective dictatorships and statist economic systems constitute “freedom.”

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, like most other conservatives, fails to address an important question: Under what moral and legal authority does the U.S. government attempt to bring down the Cuban regime, especially when its method of doing so is based on targeting innocent people with impoverishment and even death?

Conservatives always say they are big supporters of the Constitution. Then why doesn’t the Journal point to the part of the Constitution that empowers U.S. officials to target the Cuban people with impoverishment and death as a way to regime change? The reason is simple: It ain’t there. 

And let’s not forget: Cuba has never attacked the United States or even attempted to do so. In the long sordid history of the U.S. regime’s hostility toward Cuba’s communist regime, it has always been the U.S. regime that has been the aggressor. It is the U.S. government that has invaded Cuba. It is the U.S. government that has engaged in state-sponsored assassination against Cuban officials in what former President Lyndon Johnson called a “Murder Inc.” It is the U.S. government that has engaged in state-sponsored sabotage within Cuba. It is the U.S. government that came up with the top-secret Operation Northwoods.

And correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t conservatives always say they favor “free enterprise, private property, and limited government”? How in the world can their beloved embargo and the omnipotent power of engaging in state-sponsored assassinations be reconciled with that old tired conservative mantra?

As I detail in my new book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, there has been only one president since the onset of the Cold War who was determined to upset the applecart with respect to the deep anti-Cuba animus (as well as the even deeper anti-Russia animus) that has long driven the Pentagon, the CIA, and the rest of the conservative movement. President Kennedy was determined to establish normal relations not only with the Soviet Union but also with Cuba, which, needless to say, generated extreme ire within the national-security establishment. In fact, at the moment he was assassinated, Kennedy had a secret emissary having lunch with Fidel Castro to explore the normalization of relations between the two countries. (See FFF’s book JFK’s War with the National-Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated.)

With the Pentagon and the CIA engaging in their reckless machinations in Ukraine that have gotten us closer to nuclear war than since the Cuban Missile Crisis, the time has come for Americans to abandon their passivity and their acquiescence. Let’s not celebrate the lengthening of our leashes. Let’s demand the restoration of our God-given rights and liberties that have been destroyed by the evil and immoral Cuban embargo — freedom of travel, freedom of association, freedom of trade, and economic and monetary liberty. Not only would we be achieving our own freedom, we would also be restoring a sense of morality to America’s foreign policy toward the Cuban people.