Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last Island In From The Cold

On the announcement yesterday of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, I presume many want to hear a Latin rant about how we let the Castro Regime off easy.

I have nothing of this sort of tantrum to offer them. There is only a profound sense of regret for time lost. We just celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Back in '89 when Hasselhoff welcomed the East Germans to West Berlin with his freedom song, many naively expected the thawing of relations between the nations along the Florida straits to follow soon thereafter. One can only imagine that the Cuban people who were aware of those stirring world events thought that their rescue was coming soon as well. What a bitter pill to swallow - the waiting is indeed the hardest part.

In the current news-as-entertainment culture there are a lot of aspiring politicians eagerly denouncing President Obama's executive orders. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush were hitting the same notes and staking out the same political real estate. Nicaraguan American commentator Ana Navarro, a refugee of another communist state, was making the cable news rounds arguing that this rapprochement was happening two years too soon, that it was a matter of time before the Castro gerentocracy would fall apart with a couple of broken hips or strokes. "Why cave to them now?"

As a Cuban American, I feel nothing but regret for lost decades. The Castro Regime's only victory is the decades-long thumbing of the nose of the underdog to the "imperialistas yanquis". They won a popularity contest. The only people to pay the costs of this contest were the Cuban people on that island, left to wither with meat ration tickets. Cuba inherited the Spanish code of the Inquisition.

We are now once more back at the chess table with the Cuban state and its perennial inquisition on its own people. We finally made our next move, the first one since October 1962. Let's not ever leave the table again.