President Barrack Obama moves to normalize relations with the Cuban government.
The world does not end.
But it is a big deal. A slight but important shift in the relationship between the two countries. A tacit acceptance by Washington that they can not impose their will on Havana. And by god, they have tried. Assassination attempts, terrorist attacks, even a failed invasion. But even when Moscow retreated from the world stage, Havana stood defiant against its neighbor to the north.
The irony, of course, that after the revolution that toppled Batista, Castro went to the U.S. to reaffirm ties. But the leadership wasn’t interested in talking to Castro or to Cubans as equals. The vassal was expected to bend knee before his feudal lord, his gaze firmly upon the ground. Castro had no intention to do that, and fifty years of conflict ensued. Covert, indirect, dirty, and certainly bloody.
And for those who claimed (and still claim) that this was just part of the fight against communism or about human rights. It wasn’t. It never was. It was all about control. Look at the long list of savage dictators Washington has allied itself with over the years. How many times has the U.S. looked away as their so called allies drown in the blood of their own citizens? Far too many times. Only when somebody like Noriega or Saddam defy the will of their imperial masters, or they become an “embarrassment” like Mubarak or Marcos, then they are either abandoned to their fate. If the problem doesn’t resolve itself via convenient coup d’etat, then a heroic invasion is called upon to clean house.
None of that worked in Cuba.
And now, not by any great leap of initiative on Washington’s side, but by the sheer exhaustion brought on by unstoppable inertia we have the beginnings of a change.
I hope it lasts.