Norm Kent underscores some good points in his Dec 23rd Publisher's column, "Cuba Libre.”
Yet, if we are to open up relations with Cuba, we must do so with the intent of bringing the Information Age to all Cubans. That means insisting the Internet be made available to every Cuban, just as it is available to the Castro upper-elites, the Pope, and Obama who all want new formalized relations.
Cuba is a museum of two profound failures: First, the complete failure of communism to improve the quality of life for all Cubans, despite all the enormous wealth it stole on behalf of the poor; and the second is the miserable failure of the U.S. embargo to end Castro's anti-US Communism and his murderous regime.
Yet, the primary reason for our rapprochement with the island nation, just 90 miles from the Florida shore, is to protect our Gulf-area sea-lanes and the New Orleans Port to the Mississippi River, not to confirm our embrace of Castro communism or to exonerate his criminal empire.
Our mass shipping of fuel, agriculture, and material commerce up the Mississippi River and on to Canada fuels nearly half our national GNP and job markets. The Mississippi as well as the Gulf area have been a grave national security concern since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. A hostile Cuba with Russian or Chinese military partners can seriously interrupt our economy and energy transportation needs by blockading access to the New Orleans Port in the Gulf of Mexico. That would be the equivalent to removing a major artery from someone's heart.
Today China is now Cuba's second ranking trading partner and rapidly becoming a global military power, as well as becoming its world's largest trading partner in 2014. Russia, in desperate need of money, also continues to make overtures to Cuba.
Hence, our 21st Century national security concerns are driving events toward normalization with Havana. When the day comes that we can visit Havana, we must all be ambassadors of good will and insist that the communist regime open up the entire island to freedom of the Internet.
Americans must reflexively speak up, so that all future Cubans will be exposed to the last three decades of the universal, internationally-embraced American ideals of freedom; and the global free market world we helped billions to create by winning most, but not all, of the Cold War Malaise with global Marxist-Leninism.
For the Cold War was never over in Cuban-American relations and still lingers unresolved by modern standards of human rights. Castro refused to join 90 percent of nations, who turned to democratic capitalism and freer markets, by liberating his people as scores of former communists did beginning in the 90's in the old Soviet Union, Asia, and the Latin America. For this rigid, unyielding stance, he was coveted.
Yet, by 2030 global poverty will be obsolete because of trade among nations and three billion freer people, according to the Clinton Global Initiative, the Bush Institute, and The Economist. Well do the Castro Brothers know this recent history defeats their lifelong, blustering, pathological Marxist fatal conceit that led to the same economic ruin as Europe's continental Nazi Socialism experienced in the 1940's.
If Mr. Kent's high hopes are to prosper, then the Cuban people must prosper as well. For we as Americans, including all Gay Americans, can not visit a repressive neighboring regime as jubilant tourists while simultaneously tolerating Cubans living in a mental prison of limited, state-controlled life choices.
The former communist regimes of China, Russia, Eastern Europe, and South America opened up their systems, and now allow their people to see the world. That's how we won the Cold War, by infiltrating, and thus liberating the minds of the masses. Mr. Kent must urge his readers to do the same when they are able to visit Havana. It is their duty.
Broward GOP Executive Committeeman