Will Hillary Condemn Trump's Cuban Hotel Venture?

Friday, July 29, 2016
Four years ago, President Obama (and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) was amid his "reset" with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Obama lobbied to end "Cold War legislation" that sanctioned Russia, pushed for permanent normal trade relations and was even caught on a hot mic whispering "sweet-nothings" in Putin's ear.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney condemned Obama's "reset" and appeasement of Putin as a folly. Moreover, he labeled Russia as the U.S.'s main geopolitical foe.

Romney was right. Yet he was mocked by Obama and the Democrats as a "Cold Warrior."

Fast forward four years and the script has flipped.

It seems Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has an affinity for Putin, while his chief campaign adviser has even served as a Washington lobbyist for some of Putin's stooges and thugs.

Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is now (rightfully) condemning Trump's stance and -- perhaps unwittingly -- admitting Obama's policy was wrong-headed.

Today, Bloomberg News has a story about how Trump Organization executives have been traveling to Cuba -- perhaps illegally -- in search of hotel and golf course investment opportunities with Castro's military.

That would put Trump on par with Obama in seeking dangerous and reprehensible business deals directly with Cuba's repressive security organs.

Thus, the first question is whether Trump will disavow the story and take a principled stand for freedom and democracy in Cuba.

Or, whether Hillary and the Democrats will condemn Trump for this venture with Cuba's regime and chalk it up to his apparent affinity for dictators.

For let's be clear -- Putin and Castro belong to the same gene pool: They are both brutal tyrants, who U.S. intelligence agencies identify as top counter-intelligence threats, who work jointly against U.S. interests, who subvert democracy in their respective regions and who violate fundamental freedoms and human rights.

And just like Obama's Russia "reset" has proven to be folly, so will his Cuba "reset." Ironically, both have cornered us into adopting real Cold War policies that Obama propagated to be moving away from.

Hillary and Trump now have a chance to be on the right side of history.

The final question remains -- will either choose to, or will both be wrong?