Cuban Uprising — Can Biden Do What’s Right?

Following Reagan’s “Solidarity” model for Cuba could well save Biden’s presidency from complete failure.

President Joe Biden’s first six months in office have been devoted to destroying every successful policy from the previous administration. In fact, Biden has managed to do what many of us thought impossible: make Jimmy Carter look good. In foreign affairs, the president has appeared feckless and weak, emboldening our adversaries and frightening our allies. In domestic affairs, his policies have created a catastrophe on our southern border and caused huge spikes in inflation, violent crime and upheaval over COVID-19 issues.

Biden and his controllers now have a chance to save his presidency from complete failure. It’s a cry for help from the Cuban people desperate to throw off the shackles of a Marxist government that has held them in bondage for 62 years. Biden’s response to their pleas could well be a turning point in history. And President Ronald Reagan — not John F. Kennedy — has provided Biden with a playbook to follow. First, a bit of history.

When Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista in 1959, many of the Cuban people believed Castro’s canard of a socialist paradise. They soon learned all they did was exchange a right-wing autocrat for a communist dictator.

Castro quickly did what all socialist tyrants do. With guidance and assets from the Soviets, he used his military and secret security services to consolidate power and maintain control over the Cuban population.

But the Soviet Union is no more; the Castro family is gone; the massive and oppressive police state they constructed is bankrupt; and the Cuban people have had enough. They learned the hard way socialism results not in utopia, but in what we warn about in our newly released book, “We Didn’t Fight for Socialism.”

According to participants, last month’s anti-government protests from July 11-16 were precipitated by a deadly nationwide outbreak of the China virus, a lack of vaccines or medical treatment, shortages of every basic need and a dearth of civil freedoms. The protests were a surprise to Washington’s power brokers. Despite intensive surveillance and monitoring systems installed throughout Cuba with the help of the People’s Republic of China, the regime in Havana was also caught off guard.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel — Raul Castro’s colorless successor as head of state and Cuba’s Communist Party — was “shocked and surprised.” But within six days, he responded as expected in a totalitarian socialist state: brutal suppression by pro-government thugs and a nationwide shutdown with “jamming” of social media outlets and cellphone service. By July 17 — with the death of as many as five protestors — the regime claimed “la protesta ha terminado.”

But the protest isn’t over; it has been driven back underground. Hundreds — perhaps thousands — have been arrested or worse, but the grievances of the people remain. Herein is Biden’s opportunity — not for another “covert operation” like Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs or the use of American military force. Rather, the best thing Biden can do for himself, our country and the people of Cuba is emulate Reagan’s engagement with Solidarity.

Reagan’s public support for Solidarity’s nonviolent struggle against the communist regime in Warsaw, Poland, was carefully coordinated through quiet diplomacy with Pope John Paul II, the only Polish primate in the Roman Catholic Church. The only “covert operation” back then was finding nongovernment entities to provide fax machines to Solidarity so supporters could safely communicate. Hint: Pope Francis is from Latin America.

Biden’s staff should study the many other ways Reagan deftly helped Solidarity end communism in Poland, but they better hurry; the U.N. General Assembly meets next month. The Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights needs support for investigating oppression in Cuba.

Following Reagan’s “Solidarity” model for Cuba could well save Biden’s presidency from complete failure.


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