The Cuban Challenge For All Americans

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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 all Cubans, just as it is available to the Castro elites, the Pope, and Mr. Obama who all want new formalized relations.

Cuba is a museum of two profound failures: the complete failure of communism to improve the quality of life for all Cubans, despite all it stole on behalf of the poor; and the second miserable failure of the US embargo to end Castro’s anti-American  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.

Our shipping of fuel, agriculture, and material commerce up the Mississippi River to Canada fuels nearly half our national GNP and job markets. The Mississippi as well as the Gulf area has 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 shutting down access to the New Orleans port in the Gulf of Mexico.

China is now Cuba’s second ranking trading partner and rapidly becoming a global military power, as well as becoming the world’s largest trading partner in 2014. Russia, in need of money, is also making 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 the freedom of the Internet.

Americans must reflexively speak up, so all future Cubans will be exposed to the last three decades of internationally embraced American ideals of freedom; and the global free market world we helped billions create by winning most of the Cold War.

For the Cold War was never over in Cuban-American relations and still lingers unresolved by modern standards of human rights; Castro had 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 – 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, as well as the Financial News of London and The Economist….and the Castro brothers know this recent history defeats their lifelong blustering Marxist fatal conceit that led to the same economic ruin as German National Socialism.

If President Obama’s high hopes are to prosper, than the Cuban people must prosper. For we as Americans, including can not visit a repressive neighboring regime as jubilant tourists while tolerating Cubans living in a mental prison of limited life choices.

The former communist regimes of China, Russia, Eastern Europe, and South America opened up their system and now allow their people to see the world, albeit China is not nearly as open as the other former totalitarian societies. That’s how we won the Cold War, by liberating the minds of the masses. Mr. Obama must urge all people of the free world to do the same when they get to visit Havana.

Matthew Tsien is the former Director of President Reagan's Citizens For America. His writing has appeared in The American Conservative, Los Angeles Metro Magazine and Dallas Voice.

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