Differences between cause and effect are often made. When seeking a remedy to a problem, the wrong prioritization could be fatal. To attend to the effect, while ignoring the cause, is a prescription for disaster. Nothing displays this truth more than in the political realm. As the people of Cuba are being brutally suppressed by the sixty-two-year-old communist dictatorship—in reaction to the peaceful uprising across about fifty localities across the country—discordant and contradictory pressures are being levied upon the American government as to what course to follow.
A proper distinction between what is the cause and what are the effects is fundamental in being able to draft America’s state policy that is consistent with its long-standing history of supporting natural rights and civilized governance. The United States must listen to what the Cuban people on the Island are saying. Demands for “Freedom,” “Down with Communism,” and “Fatherland and Life,” are what thousands of brave protesters are saying. No one is chanting “Food,” “Vaccines,” “Visas to the U.S.” or “Lift the Embargo” (blockade is a misnomer here).
It is clear what the Cuban residents are expressing when they risk life, limb, tortures, and harsh prison sentences with their clear and coherent public demands. They are pointing directly at the problem. It is the Marxist-Leninist regime in power. As was to be expected, the Castro-Communist lobby in the U.S., in collusion with the left and the higher echelon of the Democratic Party, is in full swing blurring the facts, maliciously replacing effect for cause, and racing to rescue Cuban communism from its natural death route. The mischaracterization campaign of the 2021 Cuban Uprising and the disregarding of the ensuing state terror crackdown is now in full throttle mode.
The crisis in Cuba that ignited the massive civil mobility against the Castro government is morally and politically based. This hard truth was best highlighted by the protagonists themselves, the multitude of demonstrators in their natural right of voicing their grievances in public spaces. Despite this irrefutable deed, a strong domestic force is bent on saving Cuban communism from extinction.
The left is brazenly blaming the United States for the crisis, the uprising, and, indirectly, the barbarian clampdown in Cuba. While this is rationally absurd and contradicts all empirical evidence that identifies the communist regime in power as the true culprit, the embargo is being labeled as the “root” of this problem.
The Cuban crisis is humanitarian, in so far as it is causally related to the political and moral sphere. The monopolistic, single-party tyrannical rule bears full and exclusive responsibility for all the shortcomings, chaos, and evil in Cuba (as well as the rest of Latin America for that matter). There is a systemic problem, not an economic problem. Ending the embargo will do absolutely nothing to make Cuban society free.
It will not allow them a competitive choice at the ballot box, or spaces for the public exercise of universal preeminent rights. The “engagement” strategy, a 21st century adaptation of the failed détente appeasement policy, will only strengthen the Cuban Communist Party and its regime. Apparently, some in America have not learned anything from the China experience.
What can we expect from the Biden-Harris administration? They did say on January 28th, 2021, “Our Cuba policy is governed by two principles. First, support for democracy and human rights – that will be at the core of our efforts. Second is Americans, especially Cuban Americans, are the best ambassadors for freedom in Cuba”. The White House press spokesperson added to the message, “So we’ll review the Trump administration policies.” The problem with the Biden-Harris policy position Cuba policy pronunciation is twofold.
On the first point, all and every single American president has claimed a position of support for “democracy” and “human rights”. It should be pointed out, however, that communist Cuba, North Korea, China, and Russia also state that they support them. Actions, in this regard, have more merit than words. It is on the second contention of the Biden-Harris statement where greater clarity emerges. While most Cuban Americans overwhelmingly support sanctions against the Castro-Communist, there are some marginal factions that subscribe, for different reasons, to the notion of chummier relations with the socialist regime in Havana.
So, the important question becomes, which Cuban Americans will the current American presidency listen to? Judging from the circle of Cuban Americans that surround the Biden-Harris team, the Marxist government on the island has ample reasons for optimism given the apologist track record on the issue of the embargo and a detente policy with the Castro government. Emily Mendrala, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, a division within the State Department, has been identified as a point person on Cuba. This is most dreadful for the cause of freedom.
Mendrala, who was formerly the National Security Council’s Director for Legislative Affairs under the Obama government, has been and remains a zealot supporter of closer ties to the communist regime. On December 17th, 2020, the sixth anniversary of the Obama-Castro rapprochement, she co-authored “The United States and Cuba: A New Policy of Engagement”, a twenty-nine-page apologia and guidebook on refocusing and deepening the relations between the world’s most functional republic and the oldest dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is the other relevant Cuban American that is counseling Biden-Harris. Another former Obama administration carryover, Mayorkas was a key architect of his previous bosses’ bonding scheme with the Castro regime. There can be no doubt that the small but influential communist Cuba pro-rapprochement faction of the Cuban American community, will have the White House’s most immediate input. Obama, who is usually quick to hit the Tweet button on matters he perceives that deal with “injustices”, has been mute (as of today) on the seminal events in Cuba.
The Cuban nation, both on the Island and in exile, astoundingly equates betterment for Cuba with freedom and a republican system of government that exercises democratic self-rule. As the voluminous multitudes that have marched for liberty and now thousands that are now missing and/or in jail, demanded on the Island, “Enough Already!” It is clear what they want and what they do not want.