Normalization won’t bring political reform to Cuba
Will the normalization of relations with Cuba bring about democratization and free markets?
Cuba has had access to the European Union for two decades. Yet there has been little political reform. In 2003, Cuba jailed its political opposition. The wives of the Cuban opposition leaders (Ladies in White) were subsequently harassed and jailed in 2011 and 2012. There remains no official political party in Cuba except for the Cuban Communist Party. To believe that normalization will bring political reform and free markets is naive. Raul Castro has openly stated that Cuba will not abandon the “revolution.”
Cuba’s intelligence service, the DGI, continues to support terrorism. In 2013, Cuba was caught delivering banned missile technology to North Korea. Cuba remains a safe haven for Colombian FARC guerrillas. The relocation of the Colombian-FARC peace process from Oslo to Havana gave the DGI the ability to manipulate the peace process. Venezuela and Cuba remain client states. Venezuela’s military and intelligence services, in coordination with the DGI, have been accused of providing assistance to Middle Eastern terrorists and facilitating the transport of cocaine into the United States.
Normalization is justified on the basis of improving relations with other Latin American nations. The United States will win applause in the short run. However, in the long run, the Latin American nations the United States is trying to curry favor from will continue to blame the United States and the free market for their internal problems despite the fact that their questionable democratic practices, corruption and statist economic policies have been the true cause of their societal ills.
What will normalization achieve except for providing succor to a failing authoritarian regime? As the United States moves toward more Federal Reserve central planning, statist cronyism, declining economic and personal liberty, and increasing executive power, the real endgame appears to be ideological convergence.
William L. Marcy, Ph.D.