Ask Fareed: Cold War or Today?

Thursday, August 21, 2014
According to the staff at CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, the "U.S. is living in the past over Cuba."

(This is the same staff that recently interviewed Harvard Professor Jorge Dominguez, who falsely claimed there were no political prisoners in Cuba.)

Fareed's staff concludes that, "it’s not just Putin who's living in the Cold War past. It's Washington as well." -- due to U.S. sanctions policy.

And predictably, the infamous spin-line -- "since Raúl Castro replaced his brother Fidel as president in 2008, he'd begun a series of changes that point to liberalization."

So let's help Fareed's staff with some research.

For each of the items below, let's ask whether they took place during the Cold War or are taking place today?

- Cuba resuming military-intelligence gathering operations with Russia at the Lourdes Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) facility near Havana.

Answer: Today.

- Cuba's regime getting caught red-handed smuggling 240 tons of weapons to North Korea — the largest weapons cache discovered since U.N. Security Council sanctions towards the Kim regime were enacted.

Answer: Today.

- Cuba's regime wresting political and operational control of the most resource-rich nation in Latin America, Venezuela; undermining that nation's democratic institutions; and directing a campaign of repression that would result in the arrest, torture and murder of innocent student protesters.

Answer: Today.

- Repression rising dramatically; political arrests tripling; opposition activists Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Juan Wilfredo Soto and Wilmar Villar murdered; and democracy leaders Laura Pollan of The Ladies in White and Oswaldo Paya of the Christian Liberation Movement dying under mysterious circumstances.

Answer: Today.

- European and Canadian businesses being illegally confiscated, their bank accounts frozen and an unknown number of foreign businessmen imprisoned without charges or trial.

Answer: Today.

- An American development worker taken hostage, Alan P. Gross, who was in Cuba helping the island's Jewish community connect to the Internet, in order to extort the United States into releasing five (now three) spies convicted in federal courts of targeting military installations and conspiracy to murder three American citizens and a permanent resident of the U.S.

Answer: Today.

- Cuba's diplomatic support at international fora in favor of Assad's genocide in Syria, of a nuclear Iran, of Vladimir Putin's illegal annexation of the Crimea and of the violent actions by Russian separatists in the Ukraine.

Answer: Today.

The fact remains that it's not the U.S. living in the past -- it's Putin and the Castro brothers (despite U.S. policy "resets" and engagement).

Thus, U.S. policy must continue to treat them accordingly.