Tuesday, July 21, 2015


China, yes,
Saudia, yes,
Iran, yes,
Cuba, no ?


SOME (MANY) SOUTH FLORIDA CUBANS, including lawmakers, are ranting that the U.S. should NOT reopen diplomatic relations with its neighbor a mere 90 miles to the south because the Cuban government is not democratic and restricts people's rights.

Fair enough.

BUT, the U.S. has diplomatic and trade agreements, and in some cases, military compacts, with countries far worse than Cuba when it comes to human rights violations and democracy.

Plus, for more than 50 years the U.S. embargo - that, thanks to its allies has all but crumbled - has failed to depose the Castros and Communism.

Finally, if full diplomatic and trade relations are restored, maybe some of the Cubans who always said they would go back will go back and Miami can be American once more.

It seems highly hypocritical that politicos such as presidential hopeful Mario Rubio and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are so against normalizing relations with Cuba when it was a Republican president - Richard Nixon - who normalized relations with China, the country that gave the world the the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and followed up with

    Lead in children's toys
  • Defective tires
  • Poisonous wall board
  • Tainted food products

and largely has managed to own much of the U.S., primarily through illegal trade.

Democrat Bill Clinton normalized relations with Vietnam after Nixon got the U.S. out of the war there.

The current resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is leading the U.S. toward normalization of relations with Iran, not only a despotic state but one where the leaders call for "Death to America."

Neither China not Vietnam are bastions of democracy and human rights.

The U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with at least five countries labeled by the Human Rights Watch as violators of human rights:

  1. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy which doesn’t even allow political parties or any kind of public dissent.
  2. Zimbabwe. The US has diplomatic relations with the notoriously dictatorial government of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and actually has given the country $400 million in humanitarian aid
  3. Belarus, a small eastern European country with a population of 9.5 million, which never made the transition to democracy after the fall of the Soviet Union. We have an embassy in Minsk, though the post of ambassador is right now unfilled (there is a charge d’affaires).
  4. Sultanate of Brunei: The US has warm diplomatic relations and a US embassy there, despite its disregard for basic human rights
  5. Vietnam The Vietnam government systematically suppresses freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, and persecutes those who question government policies, expose official corruption, or call for democratic alternatives to one-party rule. Police harass and intimidate activists and their family members

The U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with Russia, despite its record on human rights and its invasion of the Ukraine. It maintains diplomatic relations with Turkey despite its human rights record against is own, never mind the Kurds.

The U.S. State Department issues an annual International Religious Freedom Report . The report for 2013 listed the following nations as places where freedom of religion is denied or restricted:

    Bangladesh, Belgium*, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, France*, Germany*, Hungary*, Italy*, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Latvia, Nigeria, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden*, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom*, Uzbekistan

    * = noted for increasing anti-Semitism.

    The Palestinian Authority is notable by its absence despite the fact that it promises a Jewish-free country.

Given all of the above, it's hard to see why Cuba should be singled out to (try to) punish for being "un-American."

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