Friday, August 24, 2007

More on the Cuba Debate

Foreign Policy Magazine's blog proffered some interesting commentary on the Cuba debate that made its way onto this blog two days ago.

Their post this morning notes that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet with dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi in October to discuss how to improve U.S.-Libyan relations. Much like Cuba, Libya has a terrible human rights record and has been a thorn in the side of U.S. foreign policymakers for years. In spite of these quarrels, though, Foreign Policy points out that "rapprochement marches on." They rightly suspect that relations continue mostly because Libya happens to possess about 39 billion barrels of oil.

The post uses this point as a springboard to its larger point: the only reason the United States refuses to meet with Cuba is because politicians like George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton do not want to upset the narrow interests of voters in Florida. Nevermind that opening relations could help improve the lives of both Americans and Cubans. Apparently, that's not really important. After all, it's votes, not sound foreign policy judgement, that wins elections. Indeed, as Foreign Policy laments, "If only the Cubans were sitting on 39 billion barrels of oil reserves..."

For more insight on the Cuba debate, checkout this post by Steve Clemons as well.

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