The U.S. has said they are planning to remove Sudan from the list that designates them as a “state-sponsor of terrorism.” This is in response to the government in Khartoum recognizing the results of the referendum that will create the world’s newest country in Southern Sudan. All this is well and good but it raises an interesting question about the list of “state-sponsors of terrorism.” If Sudan is removed the list will include North Korea, Iran, Syria and. . . Cuba?
I know Cuba has a communist government. I know that it is essentially an autocratic regime. Last time I checked though, the Cold War is over. We won. When was the last time Cuba was implicated in a terrorist plot? Libya was taken off the list in 2006. I can think of a lot more that Libya has proudly sponsored than Cuba. Yes, Castro is not our favorite guy. Back in the 60’s he was really a pain.
All I can really say is that our attitude toward Cuba is not beneficial for anyone. We are friends with many governments who have a worse record on freedom or human rights than Cuba. We recently had a state dinner for the President of China. Why? We need China. We buy a lot of stuff from them. So China is okay?
The fact is that we don’t need Cuba. Cuban-Americans with family back on the island suffer. Cuba suffers from a lack of tourism that could help their economy and the people don’t have the jobs that American trade could provide.
American policy toward Cuba is stuck in a reality that no longer exists. If we want to be serious about spreading democracy like we say we are in the Middle East and North Africa, we should be engaging the government and people of Cuba. We shouldn’t be throwing them in with the crowd of Iran and North Korea.