Obama's Cuba Policy Embraces the Past, Rubio's Looks to the Future

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Last Saturday, President Obama claimed that the United States was "moving forward" in its relationship with Cuba by embracing 83-year old dictator, General Raul Castro.

Nothing could be more backwards.

Two days later, a 43-year old Cuban-American, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

Rubio embodies the antithesis of Obama's Cuba policy.

The young Florida Senator made it abundantly clear that, if elected President, he would rescind Obama's unilateral concessions to Castro's regime -- precisely because he cares about Cuba's future.

Note the contrast:

Obama seeks to normalize relations with the status quo -- an 83-year old military dictator, whose family dynasty has ruled Cuba with an iron-fist for over five decades.

Rubio believes normalized relations is a process more worthy of Cuba's young democracy leaders -- the agents of change, who are courageously struggling for the freedom of all Cubans.

Obama has taken us back to the policies of the 1960s and 1970s, whereby the United States is once again open for business with military dictatorships in the Americas.

Rubio believes the New American Century is one where representative democracy should be an unwavering condition of inter-American relations.

Obama wants to funnel American business and tourism through monopolies controlled by the Castro family and its military elite.

Rubio believes American commerce and tourism should be reserved for the Cuban people, when they are no longer prohibited from engaging in foreign trade and investment in their own country.

Obama seeks to normalize Castro's manipulation of regime franchisees, known as "cuentapropistas," who are condemned to a small list of medieval trades, with no contractual or property rights.

Rubio believes the Cuban people should have the freedom to incorporate real businesses; to become CEOs, managers and employees, under a rule of law that protects the fruits of their hard work.

Obama seeks to expand the Internet in Cuba through Castro's telecommunications monopoly, ETECSA, which specializes in monitoring and censorship.

Rubio wants every Cuban to have direct access to the Internet, though satellites, circumvention technologies and other means, which will protect them from Castro's censorship and repression.

Since Rubio announced his candidacy, pundits and push-pollsters have been in disarray. This week, they have been recycling their old narrative of "generational shifts" in the Cuban-American community, which has never translated to the ballot box. The fact remains every Cuban-American elected official shares Rubio's views on Cuba policy.

Just imagine: A 43-year old Cuban-American, viscerally opposed to Obama's embrace of Castro's octogenarian dictatorship, becoming President of the United States and redirecting our nation's focus towards the young democracy leaders of tomorrow.

It would be poetic justice.