Commentary Magazine


Contentions

McCain On Cuba

Having temporarily exhausted the subject of Iran, John McCain moved on to Cuba today with a speech on Cuban Independence Day. Not surprisingly, he took issue with Barack Obama’s stated intention to talk directly (yes, again without preconditions) with Raul Castro:

Just a few years ago, Senator Obama had a very clear view on Cuba. When asked in a questionnaire about his policy toward Cuba, he answered: “I believe that normalization of relations with Cuba would help the oppressed and poverty-stricken Cuban people while setting the stage for a more democratic government once Castro inevitably leaves the scene.” Now Senator Obama has shifted positions and says he only favors easing the embargo, not lifting it. He also wants to sit down unconditionally for a presidential meeting with Raul Castro. These steps would send the worst possible signal to Cuba’s dictators – there is no need to undertake fundamental reforms, they can simply wait for a unilateral change in US policy. I believe we should give hope to the Cuban people, not to the Castro regime.

But McCain had broader thoughts in mind, taking Obama (and Hillary Clinton also) to task for suggesting we rip up NAFTA and for opposing the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, accusing them of “wishing to retreat behind protectionist walls and undermine a key hemispheric ally.”

This, it seems, is a central anomaly in Obama’s foreign policy vision. For domestic political gain (i.e. the need to genuflect before Big Labor) Obama jettisoned his pledges to pursue multilateralism and improve our standing with our allies. It’s hard to think of two cases–withdrawing from a mutually beneficial trade agreement and abandoning a loyal ally under seige from Hugo Chavez–which would do more to undermine faith in America’s willingness to keep commitments and to raise fears that when the going gets tough (or not very tough at all, in Colombia’s case) we will throw our friends to the wolves of international terrorism. (Oh, wait–we would immediately abandon Iraq regardless of the consequences.)

So there is indeed a very interesting debate to be had: which candidate would improve our alliances and create greater international stability. That’s a nice substantive discussion worth a town hall debate or two.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.