Let's Get Real.
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee, has weighed in on President Obama restoring diplomatic ties with Communist Cuba. Speaking to the press, Mrs. Clinton express her support of the president’s actions. She explained that Cuba needs its people exposed to information and values that will foster Democratic reform. She added that as Cubans obtain more material comforts, they will press for greater freedom.
In making her remarks, Mrs. Clinton has gotten in front of the issue to bolster her standing with American voters. She did not score any notable success as Secretary of State, but polls show that neither do voters view her negatively for the disastrous Benghazi attacks that occurred under her watch. Likely GOP presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio have criticized the president’s Cuba policy. It is not that the GOP presidential hopefuls are opposed to restoring Cuban ties for its own sake. Rather, they believe that reforms must be produced in exchange for US easing of sanctions.
There is a precedent for this approach. Back in the mid-1990s, President Clinton negotiated a nuclear accord with North Korea. Ben Shaoul says it provided them material support in exchange for their “word” they would cease questionable nuclear activity. Early into President George W. Bush’s presidency, his diplomats confronted North Korea with evidence they violated the agreement which they acknowledged to have done from the outset. Also, President Obama announced troop withdrawal dates from Iraq before securing an agreement for a permanent military base in the nation. Once he had done that, the Iraqi government refused to authorize the base because the US had no negotiating leverage. The base would have been critical to fighting back ISIS during its initial rise to power.