What a far cry from the ways Cuba was ignored, attacked, belittled in full cold war mode. Now the US has spoken, all its civil society supporters discover Cuba's not such a bad place after all. Yet, they forget the socialist model of development that got Cuba this far in health and education and the damage done by the US to that country over 50 years.
There remains the old charge of anti-Americanism against anyone who dares criticise the US: Cuba, GMF claims, can now put its anti-Americanism behind it. First, Cuba made a principled stand for decades against a superpower that threatened it and the world with a combination of nuclear war, military invasion, fomenting rebellion, economic sabotage and assassination. In the orwellian world of American freedom, criticising any of those policies is obviously bordering on racism. And the US' civil society cheer-leaders continue to echo that line.
Below is a brief excerpt from the GMF article I refer to above:
President Obama’s announcement is bold and strategic — a major step toward aligning U.S. policy with that of our hemispheric and European friends. It removes one of the last props for some of the surviving pockets of backward-looking anti-Americanism in Latin America, and eliminates an irritant to friends by making it easier for U.S. subsidiaries overseas to engage in trade with Cuba. Most important, it underscores, on the 20th anniversary of the Summit of the Americas process, that the United States is determined to remain a strong player in the Western Hemisphere.
If the Atlantic, north and south, was the venue of conflict and diplomacy over Cuba, it is notable that it is in the Atlantic that the fruits of normalized U.S.-Cuban relations will likely be greatest.
Of all the countries in the Caribbean and Central America, Cuba may ultimately have the greatest capacity and will to contribute meaningfully to regional and global public goods. Its response to the Ebola epidemic in Africa dwarfed that of many large developed states, and its disaster preparedness expertise and response capacity in the Caribbean has long made worthy contributions to neighbors. Cuba also stands out in a region that is criss-crossed by cartel-run trafficking as the state with the most effective control of its national territory and its 3,570 miles of coastline.
It is not a stretch to imagine that its institutional capacity and human capital — in a freer political and economic context — might be important building blocks in a new architecture of regional and Atlantic cooperation. Much of that potential hinges on the outcome of Cuba’s ongoing transition to a more open and sustainable system. Paradoxically, perhaps, the normalization of U.S.-Cuba ties may make it easier for Latin America’s open societies to engage with Cuban society more effectively in support of that transition.