Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 7:43 AM

After Fifty-Four Years, Cuba Reopens Embassy in Washington

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

2015-07-20T145919Z_1_LOP000H6H8KTR_RTRMADP_BASEIMAGE-960X540_USA-CUBA-EMBASSY-FLHere in Washington, DC, we endure pomp and ceremony for every mundane occasion imaginable. This is why the unsung nature of yesterday’s reopening of the Cuban embassy seemed almost as surreal as it was historic.

Actually, if you don’t live or work here, you could be forgiven for having no clue how this historic event unfurled. After all, it had to compete for media coverage with the three-ring circus that is the fight for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. And that fight just happened to take on a truly surreal spectacle in recent days.

Specifically, ringmaster Donald Trump drew attention to his draft-dodging days by claiming that John McCain is no war hero. He claims this because McCain was shot down on his twenty-third bombing mission over Hanoi during the Vietnam War. But I digress….

This reopening was a long time coming.

One bitter holdover of the Cold War slipped into the history books at 12:01 a.m. Monday, when the United States and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations. For the first time since severing ties in 1961, they reopened embassies in each other’s capitals.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla traveled to the Cuban Embassy in Washington to raise his country’s flag, an event that Cuban government officials said would be broadcast live on the island’s state-run TV.

(CNN, July 20, 2015)

So here’s to this new day!

download (29)That said, you’ve probably heard politicians – who remain beholden to die-hard Miami Cubans – denouncing President Obama’s decision to re-establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Unbridled conceit and arrogance among Miami Cubans explain their support for continuing the embargo … until kingdom come if necessary. Nothing betrays this quite like them presuming that — once the Castro brothers die off — they’ll be able to return to Cuba to inherit the political power and social privileges they or family members abdicated decades ago. And they presume this prerogative without any regard for the Cubans who have been toiling at home, waiting for their opportunity to govern their country.

Except that, at this rate, a well-indoctrinated Elian Gonzalez will be Cuban dictator before Miami Cubans are disabused of their antic pining for their paradise lost.

(“Dancing on Fidel Castro’s Grave Is Not Only Unseemly; It’s Premature,” The iPINIONS Journal, August 2, 2006)

article-2521403-1A0215B700000578-741_964x649But all you need to know to dismiss their protestations is that these are the same politicians who hailed former President Reagan’s decision to nurture diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

castro-obamaAfter all, whatever human rights violations they claim make Cuba unworthy pale in comparison with human rights violations that should have made the Soviet Union even more so. Frankly, if they had any political or moral integrity on this issue, these anti-Cuban politicians would’ve been protesting U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba’s erstwhile benefactor with as much passion as they are now protesting its diplomatic relations with Cuba. But there’s no record of any politician showing any such profile in courage.

By contrast, here are quotes from two previous commentaries that attest to my political and moral integrity on this issue, to say nothing of my prescience.

___________________

  • From “European Union Lifts Sanctions against Cuba. United States Will Follow … Eventually,” June 23, 2008:

Advocates for America’s puerile, inhumane and hypocritical policy towards Cuba invariably cite Fidel Castro’s dictatorship as justification for sustained hostilities. But all one has to do is cite China – with whose dictators the U.S. courts a very beneficial relationship – to dismiss this justification as demonstrably specious…

Long before his first trip to Cuba in 1998, Pope John Paul II decried America’s policy towards Cuba as ‘oppressive, unjust, and ethically unacceptable…’ He pronounced that ‘imposed isolation strikes the people indiscriminately, making it ever more difficult for the weakest to enjoy the bare essentials of decent living, things such as food, health and education.’

  • From “Fifth Summit of the Americas: Managing Expectations,” April 17, 2009:

I am convinced that, if re-elected, Obama will seal his legacy by … normalizing relations with Cuba.

___________________

This is a truly transformative political development. In fact, it’s arguable that Obama’s opening to Cuba is as significant as Nixon’s to China.

Viva Cuba!

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Related commentaries:
Dancing on Castro’s grave
EU lifts….
Fifth summit
Obama’s bay of pigs
Obama Nobel prize
CARICOM

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