Saturday, December 20, 2014

Obama-Yatsenyuk Divide

While Barack Obama declares unconditional surrender to the chief troublemaker of the Americas;
President Obama on Wednesday ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and the opening of an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century as he vowed to “cut loose the shackles of the past” and sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War.
A new broom sweeps the Castro brothers out of power? We doubt it, but we are in no doubt that the Castros had a good laugh at el gringo's expense. They know they've won, and will die peacefully in their beds.  However, as usual, the NY Times puts the best face on Obama's humiliation;
The historic deal broke an enduring stalemate between two countries divided by just 90 miles of water but oceans of mistrust and hostility dating from the days of Theodore Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill ...
Har, har, har. Releasing Cuba from its Spanish bonds in 1898 created mistrust and hostility! We assisted Cuba in its fight to be free of Spain (started in 1868), and that's the thanks the NY Times thinks we deserve.  Well, of course, there was a little unpleasantness later;
 ... and the nuclear brinkmanship of the Cuban missile crisis.

“We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” Mr. Obama said ....
 And anyway, history only begins with me; so let's move beyond a “rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.”

Speak for yourself, son. We remember Cuban adventures in Angola, Mozambique, Eritrea, Algeria, Chile and ... Venezuela. Barack Obama may not be interested in geopolitical hardball, but the Castros still are.That outdated approach that...  has failed to advance our interests, probably looked a little more successful to all those South American countries who cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba, along with the USA, in the 1960s.  And survived the depredations of Fidel, Raul, Che and Manuel (Pineiro). I.e., Cuba failed to export its revolution to them, largely thanks to that outdated approach.

Something, it sounds like the new Prime Minister of Ukraine might appreciate as he struggles with his vestige of the Cold War;
[Arseniy] Yatsenyuk: The West's room for maneuver vis-a-vis Putin is limited. It is positive that the United States and the European Union show a great deal of unity. Putin did not expect that. He thought he could split the EU, but the opposite happened: The EU imposed sanctions and even scaled them up. Of course we need more financial and military aid, the supply of lethal weapons is of crucial importance to us.
SPIEGEL: NATO stated clearly that there's no military solution to the conflict. But you seem to think differently.
Yatsenyuk: A military solution would not be the best. My aim is not to start a new offensive against Russian soldiers, but to deter Russia from further aggression. The thing is that the EU is always playing by the rules. Putin is always playing with the rules.
As are the Castro brothers. And they just got Barack Obama's cooperation, which will strengthen the hand of whomever takes their place (soon). South Americans in countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador will take note of that.

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