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Nate Jackson / July 20, 2015

Ignoring Cuba’s Present Doesn’t Fix Its Past

With another ugly notch in his belt of foreign policy legacy, Barack Obama’s Bay of Pigs has come to fruition: The U.S. and Cuba opened embassies and established official diplomatic ties for the first time in 54 years. Agence France-Press declared the move means “eliminating one of the last vestiges of the Cold War,” and Obama spokesman Josh Earnest pontificated that it’s “yet another demonstration that we don’t have to be imprisoned by the past.” But officially recognizing and glad-handing the brutal dictatorship of the Castro brothers by no means eliminates any vestiges of the Cold War; it only ignores them (see also, ending the war in Iraq versus winning it). Furthermore, the Cuban people remain “imprisoned by the past” — namely, by a totalitarian and communist government. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants and a GOP presidential candidate, declared he would end diplomatic relations with “anti-American communist tyranny.” But Republicans weren’t the only objectors. Sen. Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey and likewise the son of Cuban immigrants, blasted Obama at December’s initial announcement, saying, “President Obama’s actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government.” The only step remaining is granting the Castros’ demand that Obama “dismantle” the longstanding U.S. embargo against Cuba. That will require congressional approval, though — unless Obama decides it doesn’t.

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