At last month's Cuba Opportunity Summit in New York, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Roberta Jacobson, argued that "the U.S. business community can help promote a more prosperous Cuba that respects the universal rights of all its citizens."
Ironically, the Summit's lead sponsor was PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the Big Four international accounting firms.
PwC recently led the opposition to Hong Kong's democracy movement. It even took out advertisements ("Big four accounting firms warn Hong Kong over democracy push, Financial Times, 6/27/14), stating that electoral reform threatened the Chinese territory's "rule of law."
How is that promoting the rights of citizens?
To the contrary, PwC was serving as a hatchet-man for China's dictatorship.
Is that the fate that awaits Cuba?
Clearly, Jacobson's statement is based on wishful thinking -- not historical facts.
Business is a great force of prosperity and stability, which is why it's imperative that democracies do business and trade among each other.
But conversely, it's also a source of prosperity and stability for dictatorships.
The business community has been a key supporter of some of the worst dictatorships in modern times -- all for the sake of stability.
From Hitler and Mussolini, to Franco and Pinochet, to China and Vietnam today -- all were supported by the business community.
Meanwhile, none of the 20th centuries most inspiring democracy leaders -- Havel, Walesa, Mandela, Suu Kyi, etc. -- were businessmen, nor received support from the business community while fighting for democracy.
And during the last decade, the business community has virulently opposed sanctions towards Iran and Russia, not to mention Cuba.
Another indicator that the goal of Obama's policy is stability -- not democracy -- for Cuba.
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