Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mr. Obama, Tear Down This (Virtual) Wall

Obama met with Raul Castro today, in the second meeting between a US President and a Castro (if admittedly, Castro the Lesser).

The article notes that the dropping price of oil has hampered Venezuela's efforts to prop up Cuba with subsidies from their oil sales.  Once again, we can see how falling oil prices have undermined autocratic regimes.

Oil provides a way to fund a government - often lavishly - without having to engage your population.  No taxation without representation can also mean no representation without taxation.  The thaw in US-Cuban relations can probably be cast in some degree to the inability of Venezuela to subsidize Cuba.  Instead, Cuba will have to tap into more market economics, and that means opening up to the largest economy in the world.

The sting of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis needs to be taken out of our relations with Cuba.  It's time to let the past die a little.  In Havana and in Tehran.

If Obama spends the next year and a half "resetting Cuban and Iranian relations, that could be a major accomplishment.

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