The United States government has just reopened its embassy in Havana. At first sight, there would be no point in drawing an analogy between the reopening of this American Embassy in Havana, which many regard as a diplomatic success, and the humiliating withdrawal from this country’s embassy in Saigon in 1973, which left Vietnam in the hands of communists.
Indeed, the tragic defeat of the Nixon–Kissinger diplomacy would be in total contrast to this supposed diplomatic victory of Obama and Kerry, which some apparently glimpse in Havana, 42 years after the Saigon incident.
But first things first. As for Saigon, everyone already knows who won. The key question is who came out the victor in Havana: the current American government? The Cuban people? Or the Cuban dictator?
A brilliant article by Ambassador James Cason, Chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana from 2002 to 2005, demonstrates with solid facts that the great beneficiary from the American Embassy’s reopening in Havana is the Cuban regime (Cf. “More tourists won’t change Cuba,” The Miami Herald, August 12, 2015).
Defenders of Obama’s diplomacy with Cuba, perhaps to assuage their consciences, or perhaps to anesthetize healthy indignation, argue that the Obama Administration has obtained important concessions from the Cuban regime, and that tourism and business, encouraged by the green light of resuming relations, will help to promote freedom in Cuba. But Ambassador Cason replies that, regrettably, the US government “has made numerous concessions to Havana without getting anything substantial in exchange”; that never, in the course of his thirty-eight years in the Foreign Service, has he known a single case “in which tourists offered a significant support to people fighting for their freedom”; that “the companies who now do business in Cuba never pressed for reforms”; and that, in general, American companies who usually do business with totalitarian regimes “typically become defenders of these same regimes”.
A recent video showing Cuban dictator Raúl Castro eyeing a bird of prey, while ostentatiously rubbing his hands together, illustrates what the Castrist regime feels about the completion of this new phase of diplomatic rapprochement with the United States government. It is not in vain that the dictator Raúl Castro rubs his hands.
The supposed Obama–Kerry victory vis-a-vis communist Cuba, a rapprochement which also has the enigmatic support of Pope Francis, hides an enormous defeat for the cause of freedom in that country. And it is in this defeat, which powerful interests try to camouflage with appearances of victory, that the analogy between Saigon, 1973 and Havana, 2015 can be made. Then it was a tragedy for the people of Vietnam. Today it is the Cuban people who pay the price.
Those who love freedom in Europe and the Americas have the demanding mission of reversing this injustice. They should show the cover-up for what it is and through publicity, stimulate public interest to turn this unjust situation around. For this lofty purpose, it would be excellent if the Cuban exile living in Miami would choose renowned exiled Cuban personalities, such as, among others, the former political prisoner Armando Valladares, to permanently travel throughout the world, as defenders of the enslaved Cuban people. These ad hoc ambassadors could thus show the truth about Cuba, with clear, simple and didactic arguments that touch people’s consciences and dispel the anesthesia regarding the tragedy of the Cuban people.
To read the above cited article by Ambassador Cason in Spanish, please click on:
To read Ambassador Cason’s article in English, please click the following link:
Important Notice: These brief and informal comments by Destaque Internacional do not necessarily represent the views of all members of its editorial board. These comments are intended to draw attention to “politically incorrect” and often ignored issues which are nevertheless vital to society. Our aim is to encourage debate and remove anesthesia. We welcome suggestions, opinions, critiques and unsubscribe requests to destaque2016 @ gmail.com. Earlier editorials can be read at www.cubdest.org.
Apuntes de Destaque Internacional. Thursday, August 20, 2015. Contact: Javier González. E-mail: destaque2016 @ gmail.com (opinions, subscription requests and removal, suggestions, etc.).