Tuesday, March 22, 2016
As nobody knows better than the Castro brothers, Cuban socialism has never worked without a sugar daddy. From 1959 to 1989 the Soviet Union kept Cuba afloat. Things turned ugly in Cuba when communism collapsed in Moscow, and only the intervention of Hugo Chavez in then-rich Venezuela turned things around. Now socialism has burned through Venezuela’s bank account, and the Venezuelan regime is struggling to feed its own people. Continuing to bail out Havana? Not really an option any more.Given that the collapse of the Latin Left is the basis of Cuba’s openness to Washington, President Obama should be probing to see whether the Cubans are willing to help clean up the mess that socialism is leaving in its wake. What President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and Susan Rice should be asking President Castro is how the Cuban government can help broker a transition back to some kind of workable system in Venezuela. Will Cuba, in exchange for U.S. help climbing out of its own economic dead end, help the U.S. ensure a stable transition in Venezuela?
All true, but the whole tenor of the trip is just shameful. As I never tired of reminding people back in the Gipper's day, it's like somebody visiting a alt-history Nazi regime and posing glad handing over the graves of Holocaust victims. The Communists just have better PR and we don't have a lot of Nazis in the US. Otherwise, just the same.