In response to the Obama administration’s announcement this week that it is proceeding with normalization of relations with the Castro regime in Cuba — reversing over fifty years of bipartisan policy towards the communist dictatorship — the Center for Security Policy is registering strong objection to this course of action as severely undermining U.S. national security on several fronts.
First, normalization with Cuba represents the latest manifestation of America siding with traditional adversaries at the expense of allies, both governmental and non-governmental, since President Obama took office. Whether ousting former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to make way for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, threatening to impose sanctions on Israel while lifting them on Iran, hitting the “reset” button with Vladimir Putin’s Russia while removing missile defense capabilities from Europe, or remaining neutral on Venezuela’s assumption of a seat on the United Nations Security Council, there has been a clear and disturbing pattern, of which the Castro brothers are the latest beneficiary.
Second, at a time when the Venezuelan regime that has provided life-support to the Castro dictatorship for the past decade is bankrupt, President Obama is rescuing the Communist Castro brothers, just when intensified pressure may at last have driven them from power.
Third, the fact that this normalization with Cuba is taking place against the backdrop of ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program, strongly suggests that this policy shift is a “dry run” for eventual normalization of relations with Tehran. It would not be unreasonable for Iran to observe today’s events and infer that it need not cede any ground on its nuclear ambitions, just as Cuba did not cede ground on its fifty-plus-year record of repression of human rights and sponsorship of global terrorism.
Finally, this reversal of policy further demonstrates that this administration is distressingly prone to poor negotiating. Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal’s release was secured only in exchange for five of the most senior, and most dangerous, Taliban leaders held in Guantanamo Bay, while Iran has benefitted from the premature lifting of sanctions in exchange for meaningless and easily reversible concessions on its nuclear program. Regimes and terrorist organizations the world over will doubtlessly be encouraged by Obama’s reversal on Cuba in this regard as well.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, commented:
President Obama’s misguided reconciliation with the Castro regime is just the latest example of the Obama doctrine at work: Embolden our enemies; undermine our allies; diminish our country. The security of the American people, as well as the human rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Cuba, have been put in possibly irreversible jeopardy with this action. It is incumbent upon Congress to do everything in its power to prevent this disastrous policy from taking hold.