Saturday, March 20, 2004

Getting tough with Fidel
I see via Jesse at Pandagon that Karl Rove is swearing to find ''new and creative ways'' to tighten the grip on Castro. Pandering to the Miami Cuban exile community is an election year tradition. And why not? They hold one of the most enviable positions in American special-interest politics. It’s difficult to become president without Florida’s electoral votes and it’s hard to win Florida if the quarter-million or so Miami Cuban vote against you. Thus a minority in one city in one state manages to hold the foreign policy of the United States hostage.

It’s been shown again and again that the sanctions and election year rhetoric about getting tough with Fidel only serves to strengthen his grip on Cuba. Nothing like a nice outside threat to get the country to rally around the leader. That principle is completely unknown to this administration and that’s why they continue to pursue this failed policy. Right?

Of course, get tough with Fidel is only a failed policy if you assume the goal is to get rid of Castro. If the goal is to deliver the votes of the Miami exile community to the Republican Party, it's been a fabulous success. I wonder what the Republicans will do when Castro finally does die and the Miami Cubans stop voting with one voice. I wonder what the Miami Cubans will do when they become just another minority in a state full of the Republican’s preferred constituency, racist white males.

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