By Tom Quiner
I grew up at time when we thought the world was going to blow up.
The 1962 Cuban Missile crisis came when I was just beginning to look at the newspaper (although, usually it was to check out the White Sox box scores).
For 13 days in October of that year, I ran to grab the morning edition of the paper to read the front page of the paper to see if we had been bombed. Then I would race home from school to read the front page of the afternoon edition (back when there were 2 editions).
It was a scary time. We had bomb shelters in my grade school, and regular drills on what to do if we were attacked.
I have followed the sordid history of Cuba throughout my adult life. I have been repulsed by Cuba’s relentless human rights violations of her people; and by the slobbering praise the American media and liberals have demonstrated toward the Castro brothers.
In another of his grand gestures, President Obama recently announced that the U.S. will ease trade restrictions with Cuba and seek diplomatic relations.
He said the embargo hadn’t worked, so it’s time to kiss and make up.
A few reactions:
• The embargo DID make a difference. The Soviet Union was forced to prop up their client state, Cuba, by sending them billions of rubles over the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Eventually, the Soviet Union ran out of money, thanks at least in part, to the drain Cuba put on the Soviet economy.
• As usual, President Obama showed himself to be a lousy horse trader, giving away more than he needed in lifting trade restrictions without getting any sort of meaningful reform out of Cuba.
• Cuba is going down the tubes one way or another. Socialism eventually runs out of other people’s money. Now that Cuba doesn’t have the Soviet Union or Venezuela to prop them up, they are on the ropes. Easing of trade restrictions will simply help the thugs running the country to buy some time as American dollars begin to pour in.
• But why didn’t Obama wait until the Castro brothers are gone? Nothing will change under Fidel or Raul. Fidel is 88 and Raul is 83. The actuarial tables tell us they have 4.5 and 6.5 years of life expectancy left. It seems it would have made more sense to wait until they are gone before trying to normalize relations with Cuba. Mr. Obama’s motives are always suspect. One gets the sense that he is thinking too much about his legacy.
It seems like wishful thinking to hope that the Castros will roll over and play nice now that they’ve suckered Obama into buying some magic beans.