How Normalization Relegates Democracy and Human Rights

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Last month, we wrote a post entitled, "How to Relegate Human Rights and Democracy in U.S.-Cuba Policy."

In it, we argued:

"If relations with Cuba were normalized, the United States might occasionally raise the issue of human rights and democracy rhetorically -- but in practice it would be relegated to the bottom of the agenda.

The United States' agenda towards Cuba would become subject to the priorities of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Farm Bureau, the National Foreign Trade Council, every major agribusiness and oil conglomerate, etc.

None of whom care one bit about the human rights of the Cuban people -- nor of the Iranian people, Syrian people, Burmese people, et al.

This is not a theory. It is a fact."

Now, here's what The Economist had to say ahead of President Obama's trip to Asia this week:

"Democracy, human rights and all that take a back seat in America’s Asia policy

American leaders used to raise the issues of human rights and democracy in Asia at almost every opportunity, especially where China was concerned, but also in Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam and elsewhere. That they no longer hector so loudly is welcome to many governments. But it seems to jar with American professions of continued leadership."