If we were truly seeing “the dying gasps of a failed regime” in
But as former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote after the President’s second inaugural where he stated the “ultimate goal of ending tyranny” worldwide, “this is not heaven, it’s earth.”
And in Cuba’s little corner of this earth, it’s hard to discern the gasping government and the teeming opposition that would be poised to bring the President’s vision of change into earthly reality any time soon.
To be sure, there are human rights violations and there is opposition in
One can’t fault the President for giving a visionary speech or for attempting to put political reform front and center at a time when the possibilities of economic reform are more prominent in public discussion.
But contrary to the Secretary of State’s view last May that Cuba has a “very nascent and fragile democratic opposition that is beginning to arise,” President Bush seemed to place Cuba’s opposition on the ramparts and spoiling for a fight, so much so that he thought it was time to tell Cuban soldiers and police that they will face a decision about “using force against your own people.” If they decide not to use force, they have now been assured by the President – of the
The President certainly did not try to dissuade Cubans from taking to the streets; he made clear that what matters to him is the final result of freedom, and if that comes at the expense of stability, that’s not a problem.
The President directed himself to those in
Which means one of two things: that everyone who reads Granma in
Why would that be? Here are a few guesses: to discredit the President’s assertion that they are weak; to highlight the President’s vision of possible violence and his indifference toward instability; to amplify his assertions that Cubans have no sense of community, that they cannot legally gather in groups of more than three, or that they cannot change jobs or houses; and generally to allow the President’s words to increase Cubans’ fear of radical change.
Before the speech, I thought the President was looking for a way to turn the page and start a new discussion about
The President concluded by leaving Cubans with “a mission.” His message seemed to be, in sum, “I have done what I can, and what I have done will not change