09 May 2016

Blocking Putin in Cuba

In no way do I wish to celebrate the Obama administration and its achievements but I find it striking that in their zeal to tarnish his name and diplomatic agenda the Right-wing has overlooked something they should view as something of a triumph for US diplomacy.

I'm referring to the rapprochement with Cuba. While many on the Right seem caught in a Cold War mentality and they along with their Cuban allies in Florida retain the long-hatred of all things Castro they've missed something.

Russia began to slowly climb back onto its feet once Putin took power at the dawn of the 21st century and while tensions were increasing with the United States during the latter days of the Bush administration it is under Obama that they have reached a dangerous intensity.

People are openly speaking of a new Cold War. This time it's not so much ideology (if it ever was) but a struggle for power and spheres of influence. The US claims its sphere is ubiquitous while Russia insists the US stay out of its historical areas of interest. Russia is often described as having imperial ambitions. While there may be some warrant to this it is miniscule when compared to US aspirations. Russia's at least can be said to have historical precedent. While this carries no moral weight to a Christian mind there's at least a degree of geopolitical and cultural plausibility. What the US is attempting is without historical precedent save one occasion... the Tower of Babel.

Nevertheless as Russia seeks to counter what it perceives as US aggression it was inevitable that they would eventually look to Cuba.

Cuba, isolated since 1991 and in a state of decline and irrelevance since its halcyon days of Latin American and African influence has fallen on hard times and though it defeated the multi-generational embargo it's capitulation to US diplomacy was in many ways an acknowledgement of defeat. Listening to Obama's insulting lecture in Havana vindicates this assessment. It's inconceivable that a Castro would have endured such a speech even twenty years ago.

Cuba had been dependent on the Soviet Union and suffered greatly at the hands of the United States. By the time Obama came to power, the Cold War was long over as well as any real justification for the continuation of sanctions and the breaking of all diplomatic ties.

If the US had continued the embargo and the hostility it would only be a matter of time before Cuba and Putin would re-establish the old alliance and before long the US would be facing the reality of Russian military forces in Cuba and an ensuing crisis. And once again it would be Russia responding to US actions but in the American media it would be viewed as an aggressive provocation.

Ending the ridiculous and immoral isolation was something of a coup. It cost the United States next to nothing but checked Putin's possible play in the Western Hemisphere and went a long way to ending an old enmity. The US will quickly overwhelm Cuba with its culture and commerce. The Castro's survived the Cold War and yet their experiment will not outlive them.

The Right is too proud to acknowledge the diplomatic and geopolitical brilliance of Obama's move and yet they should.

That said, I am wholly sceptical of US motivations and while I will rejoice to see more freedom in Cuba, I fear it won't be long before they are subjugated by debt, both private and national, and will soon be suffering the ills of America's cancerous culture.

The US has been successfully waging a soft-war throughout Latin America during the Obama administration. The Leftist trajectory ascendant during the Bush presidency has been all but eliminated as one by one Leftist governments are toppled and economies made to scream.

Donald Trump cries "We don't win anymore!" He hasn't been paying attention. The US has actually been scoring significant victories but their nature is such that the Establishment pundits and policy makers can't openly proclaim what is taking place.

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