As for Guantanamo, Mr. Hansen takes the Cuban regime’s position that it “remains a glaring symbol of hypocrisy around the world.” Thus he urges President Obama to return it to the Castro government and “put the mistakes of the last 10 years behind us,” which would then “rectify an age-old grievance and lay the groundwork for new relations with Cuba.” Thus we would restore our integrity and show real leadership by admitting our wrongs in practice, and supposedly then win the friendship of the Castro brothers and the people of the entire world.
Actually, if the prison regime of the Castro brothers had free elections and a genuine free Cuba emerged as the result, the United States could then return the obsolete base to a new government, using the base, as Falcoff puts it, as part of the “agenda of normalization talks” and giving a new Cuban government “valuable negotiating leverage or even the potential for significantly more sizable compensation for continued use of the facility.”
But to give the base to the current repressive Cuban regime would be nothing less than to hand Fidel and Raul Castro a major political victory, which they would hold over everyone’s heads to prove how the American government was nothing but a paper tiger — as Chairman Mao once put it — that could be easily forced to bend to the will of its revolutionary enemies.
As the editors of the New York Sun wrote today in the website’s editorial, “The long record of Cuba will show that even though it has had far more than any nation’s fair share of injustice, the worst injustice of them all was that perpetrated by the Stalinist dictatorship of Fidel Castro. Why in the world would anyone want to give anything back to a regime that is still under the grip of his communist party?”
Of course, the rhetorical answer is that no one in their right mind would want to do that except, of course, if one is a leftist academic who currently teaches at Harvard University. So do not look for an op-ed in the paper of record soon that tells its readers about the continuing political repression and imprisonment of Cuban dissenters that regularly takes place and never seems to come to an end.
Rather, we can expect more op-eds on various issues showing how all the foreign policy dilemmas facing the United States stem from our own imperialist ventures and arrogance of power, and how they can easily be resolved by simply appeasing our enemies and giving them what they want in advance, without receiving any quid pro quo. After all, to ask anything of a country like Cuba is to the Times’ editors simply more of an example of imperial attitudes. I suspect they wish the late Herbert Matthews were still alive, so he could go to Cuba and publish reports about how the Cuban people love their government, and how wonderful Fidel and Raul Castro are. I guess since they no longer have such a reporter on their staff, we can be thankful for small things.