Why the GOP needs to take a page from history when it comes détente with Cuba

Originally published via Medium on January 21, 2015

Tuesday evening in the GOP’s response to President Barack Obama’s State of The Union, Rep. Carlos Curbelo made comments condemning the “unearned concessions” Obama gave to Cuba as he made moves to lessen economic sanctions on the country. These comments nearly mirror those that they dared to throw at Richard Nixon over his historic trip to China, an event that shaped the world for it become as we know it today.

#####“Soft on Red China” With Richard Nixon’s announcement of a visit to China with the intentions of forming a stronger relationship, Nixon brought out those in his party he had previously been allied with in the fight to contain Communism. The difference now was, that Nixon understood his previous attempt towards containment had failed, but perhaps he was looking at it the wrong way. Perhaps we don’t want to contain Communism, but rather harness it. This was the goal of meeting with China. Isolate the Soviet Union further, and gain another ally in a region that was being rocked by our involvement in Korean, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Therefore to say we were merely playing into the hands of the Chinese is wrong. We didn’t merely ignore the crossing of our histroies throughout imperialism, the Taiwan Strait crises, and even Korea, rather we recognized they were very much the same history. A global history. The benefit would be mutually beneficial. Back China in order for us to further isolate the Soviet Union, and for China to add more power to its claims of being unallied state. We made concessions. We stopped appeasing the Taiwanese Government, claiming they were right to believe that Mainland China was theirs, we ceased our bombing campaigns in Vietnam, but these concessions allowed us to get a chance to change the world.

####“Unearned Concessions” This belief that the Cubans haven’t done enough to garner our concessions; to appease our demands is laughable. The economic sanctions that we have held against Cuba have remained virtually unchanged since the 1960s with the exception of one. These sanctions vilify a nation in mid-revolution holding it responsible for acts of violence one would expect in a time of great upheaval. Further they stunt the growth of a nation whose revolution from a quality of living standpoint is much greater. The sanctions do not merely go after the ideology of a then new nation, but the people of the reformed nation. The people who want merely to live as they would like in a society no longer ruled by a corrupt US-backed tyrant. Yet American Neo-Imperialism holds them in contempt. We use the sanctions not merely to hold back the growth of the nation’s stability, but the growth of its people, denying them right to sanitation, food and medicine. For this Cuba should be asking why The United States dares to question what Cuba has done to deserve a lifting of sanctions.

What the GOP seems most upset about however; most hellbent on upholding is the Cuban Democracy Act. The Cuban Democracy Act calls mainly for economic sanctions which disrupt world economics all that expense of attempting to bolster a democracy movement in Cuba that is ununified. If the democracy movement were to overthrow the current Cuban government, they would find themselves without order. They would be a country in crisis as they collapsed. This collapse is more detrimental to The United States than the strengthening of the currently strong regime. For a strong regime can be reasoned with; they know the political field and know what all entails running their country. A country in collapse supernovas, lost to reason as the responsibilities of running their country pour into the vessel sinking it.

Nixon understood the need to maintain a strong China and seeing the quickly approaching Soviets to China’s North, felt they needed to act quickly. Nixon who had fought against Communism in the House Committee on Un-American Activities trials understood he could not force China to refrom to American ways. If only the GOP could realize that we cannot force Cuba to adopt the American way of life and ideology.