The Nation Magazine: From The Sublime To The Ridiculous
When President Barack Obama changed his Cuba approach this past December 2014, his announcement generated lots of excitement in both Cuba and in the United States. With this change in tune some in the USA went further ahead, legitimizing the notion that if President Obama recognized Raul Castro, that made him “good” and with that 56 years old family regime he inherited from his brother is legitimate as well. This notion also comes with the calls for “Cubans Americans right wingers” or “their mercenaries in Cuba” to stop interfering with the project Castro’s Cubans are trying to build. Under these premises, there are some Cubans that are legitimate and there are some who are not. Perhaps we should entertain lines of inquiries into all of these legitimacy questions.
The standard for nations is that everyone deserves representation and that governance is not carried out by decrees. While President Obama does have the prerogative and did make use of it, to change Cuba policy up to a degree, that, in no way, constitutes for a “truly” legitimate Raul Castro and his family project. One should not make a mistake here. Fidel and Raul Castro seized power by force from a 6 years old regime, installed themselves in power just as Saddam Hussein or any other did, the difference is the reality. Cuba is 90 miles away from the US shores.
If someone has the notion that Raul Castro and his family are in fact the sole and legitimate leaders of Cuba, because they have been recognized by a sitting US President, that notion is false. We should take President Obama’s own words in his own words, that he was trying something different with Cuba. But it is all in the intersection between Geography and Politics. Geopolitics.
If President Obama made the right decision in this change of policy towards Cuba, history still hasn’t been revisited, or even made. The world is filled with illegitimate leaders who rule nations by force, just as in Cuba, yet, they have been recognized legitimate by the international community at large.
The change in Cuba policy by President Obama, has also brought out the idea in some, that “leftism”, “communism” or “socialism” as ideologies, have prevailed. In the USA, socialism has been revamped by some as a fashionable, cool and “the politically correct” ideology to wear. Communism nevertheless has 100 million documented dead in its 90 years of existence and the still counting.
It is important to be clear about facts regarding Cuba. A political decision taken by a sitting US president does not constitute for real legitimization of another nation’s political system, period. President Obama decided to take a new stance on Cuba, but that does not make Raul Castro or his brother Fidel or their regime any better or any more legitimate.
Communism was imposed on Cubans. Cubans were taught Americans were evil. With this policy flipping, Cubans can finally “come out of the closet” and say they like and always have liked Americans. And here comes the objection, loyalty to the Castro family and to their lifetime plan for Cubans must remain. What this means is that it is fine for Americans to be anyway they like to be, politically speaking, but it is not correct for Cubans to aspire to choose and choose often. In Cuba, aspiring to have a system other than the one planned by Raul Castro’s is not only illegal, it lands persons in prison for long periods of incarceration, one can be shot or forced into exile.
With Americans waking up to a different set of rules with Cuba, set by the executive, they are wondering how will that “traveling to Cuba” be conducted “legally”, where is that going to be argued. The law is murky on that department. Elected officials are bickering and so things will stay undefined for sometime, but US companies are wasting no time and are also pushing their own agendas.
Planning a trip to Cuba as well is The Nation magazine.
Elliott Abrams wrote an article about the planned tour on the Council on Foreign Relations . Newsweek reprinted it. “The Nation’s Meet The Spies Tour”. In the piece Elliott Abrams highlighted that The Nation promises:
“a meeting and discussion with the “Cuban Five” the intelligence agents considered national heroes after spending many years imprisoned in US jails”
To put The Nation’s pompous pitch in proper context, for those that may not know, “The Cuban Five” is not a famous rock band, they are five convicted individuals, in a US court of law. These five men conspired for years to have four innocent men killed in American soil. The families of those killed as a result of the “intelligence” work of “The Cuban Five” live in Cuba and in the United States.
Promoting a visit to “The Cuban Five” is surreal, and repulsive even to many Cubams, and the absurdity of The Nation’s proposal has been captured very well by Elliott Abrams, who ended his piece with the a very sardonic, “Bon Voyage”.