The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, May 16, 2002  


"It is time the United States reviewed its policy of total estrangement from and isolation of Cuba," writes Pat Buchanan in his latest column.

Buchanan's argument, which has much in its favor, is not that the embargo has failed, but that it is no longer necessary. "[T]he isolation of Cuba was necessary, for...Cuba was a cat's paw of Moscow. [Fidel] Castro hosted Soviet nuclear missiles, nuclear submarines and a giant Soviet intelligence base. Cuban troops were sent to Africa as Hessians of the empire. Che Guevara was sent to foment revolution in Latin America, and Castro inspired and aided every anti-American revolution on earth," writes Buchanan.

"But that was then, and now is now," he adds, noting that Che is dead, the Cubans are out of Africa, the Soviet Union is no longer, and the Russian bases on the island have been closed. "As our situation is we must think and act anew," Buchanan argues.

"While the U.S. policy of embargoing and isolating Cuba made sense in the Cold War, placing an immense security and aid burden on a strained Soviet Empire, it makes no sense today," according to Buchanan. "The Cuban embargo may well be a case where America can truly declare victory and get out."

Buchanan notes, however, that American foreign policy still has interests with respect to Cuba, citing the need to prevent the island from becoming the base of another power, to ensure domestic stability post-Castro, and "to ease the lot of the Cuban people and deprive Castro of the argument that it is we, not he, who is responsible for their misery."

It remains to be seen whether Buchanan's position is accepted by American conservatives -- we doubt it will, what with the President's brother being governor of Florida -- but we think he deserves credit for bringing to the fore an issue that is so uncritically accepted, so little discussed, and so utterly unanalyzed.

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |