Posted on Thursday, 12.31.09
OUR OPINION: After 51 years, Cuba's leadership sticks to dictatorial
As Cubans end 51 years of living under the Castro brothers' rule, the
regime continues to crack down on bloggers, artists, dissidents and
others who dare question the communist dictatorship.
Sometimes it can seem that little will ever change. But it's clear that
a new generation of Cubans raised on the government's anti-U.S.
propaganda aren't buying it.
It's clear, too, that efforts in Congress to drop the U.S. travel ban on
Cuba have stalled, and for good reason. Even those who have tried to
work with Fidel and Raúl Castro to improve U.S.-Cuba relations are
questioning the Cuban regime's true intentions.
The latest to do so is four-star retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, former
White House drug czar and SouthCom commander who has called for lifting
the travel ban. He cancelled a Jan. 3-6 trip to the island after Cuban
Foreign Minister Bruno Ródriguez went on the attack, calling President
Obama an “imperial and arrogant liar.''
The general noted that “this type of shallow and vitriolic 1960's
public diplomacy makes Cuban leadership appear to be non-serious,
polemical amateurs. President Obama is the most thoughtful and
non-ideological U.S. chief executive that the Cubans have seen in 50
years. . . . [Rodriguez's] speech probably slammed the window shut on
U.S. congressional and administration leaders being willing to support
bringing Cuba back into the community of nations.''
Gen. McCaffrey also pointed out that Raúl Castro “mentioned Cuba's
recent `war games' to prepare for U.S. invasion. What a laughable
assertion of an external U.S. military threat.''
That old Castro script would be laughable, too, if it hadn't caused so
much suffering on both sides of the Florida Straits. The general
deserves praise for calling it like it is.
Cuba's vitriol – Editorials – MiamiHerald.com (31 December 2009)