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Rev. Sirico: The End of Cuba’s Double Despotism

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At RealClearReligion, Rev. Robert A. Sirico offers an analysis of President Obama’s move to thaw relations with Cuba, a diplomatic opening that was supported by the Vatican. Citing Pope Francis’ appeals for “an economy of inclusion,” Rev. Sirico asks: “What, indeed, could be more inclusive than trade and travel?” More:

Free trade is not the solution to all economic, social and political problems. Nor does anyone expect it to be. That said, on my visits to Cuba and China, I have yet to meet anyone who thought restricting trade or travel helped, all of which will have to be negotiated once relations are normalized. Mutatis mutandis, those unfortunate to have to live under oppressive regimes are among the first to long for U.S. companies to setting up shop in their countries, gain new markets for their own products and will increase contact and opportunity for themselves. To have more exchanges with Americans at every level, whether it is through tourism, educational, trade or technological exchange, is what many Cubans want.

The open question is to see whether the Castro regime — which, after all, remains ideologically Marxist and viciously persecutes anyone who steps out of line — will use this thawing as a way of moving Cuba away from 50 years of one party rule and a top-down approach to the economy, and towards wider freedoms. Their track-record, to date, would not inspire confidence.

Read “The End of Cuba’s Double Despotism” by Rev. Robert A. Sirico at RealClearReligion.

John Couretas John Couretas is Director of Communications, responsible for print and online communications at the Acton Institute. He has more than 20 years of experience in news and publishing fields. He has worked as a staff writer on newspapers and magazines, covering business and government. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Humanities from Michigan State University and a Master of Science Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Comments

  • The pro free market person

    >> …the Castro regime — which, after all, remains ideologically Marxist and viciously persecutes anyone who steps out of line — will use this thawing as a way of moving Cuba away from 50 years of one party rule and a top-down approach to the economy, and towards wider freedoms. Their track-record, to date, would not inspire confidence. <<

    After our gesture toward opening relations with Cuba, a defiant Raul Castro yelled: "Viva Fidel!"

  • Josh Zeringue

    Excellent points, Fr. Sirico. Thanks for posting!

  • Of course most of the benefits received will be to the Cuban Marxists in a gut wrenching heartbreaking power that rules with an iron hand. If no political prisoners are released, is the supposed benefits of trade and ideas going to matter to them or are they expendable ? Mr. Sirico glosses over this fact of life under despotic communism and although champions a worthy goal, I believe there are still better ways in obtaining them. Of course, with the mindset of our glorious leader being in fact quite similar to that of the island rulers, I guess it is the best one can hope for ….at this time.

  • Prof, Babu Joseph

    I already joined

  • Tom Nally

    Can Cuba not trade with just about every other nation on the planet? Yes they can! But somehow, it’s supposed to be the absence of trade with the United States that is the source of Cuba’s deprivation. Consider me skeptical. Of all the countries on the planet who are perfectly free to trade with Cuba, many of them elect not to, or engage in limited trade. Why should they risk having their capital investments confiscated by tyrants? Why should they enter into contracts with private or public entities in Cuba, while unsure whether these contracts can be enforced by the Cuban legal system? I submit this: it’s tyranny, much more than anything else, that causes deprivation in Cuba. And clearly, Cuba’s trade with others hasn’t caused the tyrants to budge a single inch.

  • Sergio Guzman

    Listen, if this was the answer, they have over 100 countries that openly trade with them and fly in to their country. Why don’t Cubans just pick up and leave?

    You lack resources. Try talking to more Cuban exiles, and not being naive about opening a line of Credit to Cuba, which would make us the only country who would do that because they owe Billions around the globe to just about everyone. Your solution is arrogant and naive and typical of an American to think he is the solution for everything.