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Wed Apr 27, 2016, 03:43 AM

The Future of US / Cuban Relations

April 26, 2016
The Future of US / Cuban Relations

by Jack Smith

Washington’s partial rapprochement with Havana, symbolized by President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Cuba, is more advantageous to the United States than the neighboring country it has ostracized, sanctioned and subverted for over five decades.

This is not to say that the small island nation of 11.3 million people has gained nothing from President Obama’s efforts to mitigate over 56 years of Yankee hostility, beginning overtly a year after the 1959 armed revolution that freed Cuba not only from a vicious dictatorship but 467 years of foreign domination — by Spain from 1492, replaced by the U.S. from 1899. It ended with the Cuban Revolution on New Year’s Day 1959.

Despite Obama’s significant visit to Havana March 21-23, his cordial dialogue with President Raul Castro, and the declaration that “I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas,” the principal contradiction between Washington and Havana has not changed substantially: The Cuban revolutionary government is committed to retain a socialist system, including a measure of private enterprise and foreign investment. The U.S. government is committed to eliminating socialism in the Western Hemisphere, though a modification in methodology now will seek to attain that goal with honey, not acid. It will take a more leftist White House and Congress to allow a truly equal and friendly relationship to develop — and that’s not on the present horizon.

President Castro alluded to U.S. intentions in his opening report to the 7th Communist Party congress April 16 when he noted: ” We are not naive nor do we ignore the aspirations of powerful external forces that are committed to what they call the ’empowerment’ of non-state forms of management, in order to create agents of change in the hope of putting an end to the Revolution and socialism in Cuba by other means.”


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