What We've Learned About Obama's Cuba Policy This Week

Friday, November 6, 2015
As Benjamin Franklin famously wrote -- "One of the greatest tragedies of life is the murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of brutal facts."

In that regards, it has been a brutal week for Obama's Cuba policy.

Of course, it is now beyond vox populi that Obama's policy is one where the United States gives-and-gives, while the Castro regime only takes-and-takes, with the hope that it will also give at some point (based on some sort of totalitarian "good-will").

But, this week alone, we've seen six trends in Obama's Cuba policy, which show clearly that this theory doesn't bode well:

1. Repression continues to skyrocket. This week, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights documented the arrest of over 1,093 peaceful dissidents during the month of October 2015, which is the highest monthly tally in recent history.

2. Worst migration crisis in 20 years. This week, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that more Cubans have been intercepted at sea this fiscal year than at any time since the rafter's crisis of 1994.

3. Closer ties to Russia. Rather than weaning the Castro regime away from Vladimir Putin, Obama's policy has further strengthened political, economic and military ties between Cuba and Russia.

4. Castro is tightening its grip on the small "self-employed" ("cuenta-propistas") sector. As history has taught us (but some stubbornly ignore), once Cuba's monopolies regain their economic foothold -- this time thanks to Obama's new policy -- the crackdown on "cuenta-propistas" begins. This week, we've seen new confiscations, arbitrary quotas and prohibitions.

5. Human rights are an afterthought. Despite the Obama Administration's rhetoric, its actions have shown little regard for the dramatic rise in repression on the island since December 17th. This week, State Department official, Amb. David Thorne, confirmed that the human rights of the Cuban people are simply not a priority for the Obama Administration.

6. Cuba lessens purchases from the U.S., increases from China and Europe. Since Obama's new policy, Castro's monopolies have slashed authorized imports from the U.S. by over 40%, while increasing purchases from China (by 76%), Spain (by 42%), Holland (by 34%)and Germany (by 24%). In other words, Obama's concessions have helped Castro's monopolies increase its business ties throughout the world, while blackmailing the United States for more concessions.

A tragedy indeed.