Cuba: The Untold U.S. Strategy

President Obama's recent visit to Cuba was the culmination of years of international negotiations. The economic benefits for American businesses are obvious.  Prior to the fall of the Batista regime, American businesses, legitimate and otherwise, made considerable profit through dealings in the Caribbean nation.

Although friendly to the U.S. financial market, Batista was brutal dictator.  As is the case in most "successful" revolutions, one dictator was replaced with another.  Fidel Castro emerged and the U.S.-Cuban relationship broke apart.  The U.S. cutoff trade with Cuba.  The Soviet Union became Cuba's main financial partner and the island became a source of immense stress for U.S. politicians and citizens.  Culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cuba's Cold War relationship with the USSR brought the world to the brink of World War III.

The Soviet Union collapsed in the 1991.  The Cuban economy suffered, but Castro remained in power.  The revolution that Americans (and many Cubans) dreamed of never came to fruition.  As time has passed, many Americans (especially younger generations) believe the time has come to renew relations with Cuba and once again insert American economic muscle into the Cuban economy.

Of course there are those who cannot forgive the Castro regime for its numerous crimes -  for the slaughter of citizens who dared to disagree with the government's politics.  For the Cuban refugees who braved treacherous waters to escape their home nation; a nation that had become more like a prison, a U.S. alliance with Cuba must feel like a betrayal.

Pure Speculation
Many in the media have made passionate arguments defending both positions, but part of the argument for the warming relations seems to be missing.  The missing link - Vladimir Putin.

The Russian leader has done a tremendous job in thrusting Soviet era politics and rhetoric back into the international spotlight.  From invading Georgia and Ukraine, to sending troops into the Middle East, it isn't to difficult to see the Soviet Union rising from the ashes.  Surely U.S. leadership has noted Putin's increasing aggression and desire to bring Russia back to its Cold War strength.

If so, it makes all the more sense for the U.S. to get back into Cuba; to once again become Cuba's main trading partner.  The Castro regime is still in power and has proven it will make deals with Russia.  It is plausible that U.S. leadership wants to stop this threat before its too late.

What do you think? Does Putin really represent this much of a threat?  Does U.S. leadership have the foresight to see this threat coming or are they just concerned with the economic benefits.  Despite all of the benefits, is the U.S. betraying Cuban refugees?  Should the U.S. first push for more changes from the Cuban government?  Leave any thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

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