For nearly a year, the European Union and the Castro dictatorship have been holding much-heralded negotiations, amid a review of the EU's "Common Policy" towards Cuba.
The EU's "Common Policy" is a rather toothless -- yet symbolic -- statement on behalf of human rights and democracy in Cuba.
The first two rounds of negotiations were welcomed by Havana, as they involved more trade, grants, investment and financing for the Castro dictatorship.
These rounds were followed up with high-profile visits by Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire and Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.
During the visits, these dignitaries even kowtowed to the whims of Castro's regime and ignored Cuba's courageous democracy leaders.
Next month, the third round of negotiations were scheduled to take place -- and finally, they were supposed to discuss human rights and democracy.
Not so fast.
Yesterday, the Castro regime suddenly suspended the talks.
(As an aside: Hadn't Cuba "experts" assured us that every issue is on the table for Raul Castro?)
And why not?
After all, before the talks, the Castro regime had received billions in EU trade, tourism and investment.
During the talks, the Castro regime has received billions in EU trade, tourism and investment.
And after the talks -- whether suspended or not -- it will continue to receive billions in EU trade, tourism and investment.
In other words, the Castro regime has nothing to lose.
They set the simple terms of these negotiations -- gimme, gimme, gimme.
Also worth noting is the "excuse" that the Castro regime has given for suspending the talks -- that they felt "disrespected" by a cultural exhibit in Washington, D.C. last March, which featured photos of Havana by a Lithuanian artist.
What a joke.
A lesson for those who argue that we should embrace Castro's regime, in order not to give it an "excuse" -- a gratuitous proposition, as they will never run out of "excuses."
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