◼ The Cuban Regime Is a Defeated Foe - Peggy Noonan/Wall St. Journal
Nothing can grant it legitimacy.
Fidel Castro ruined his country for a dead ideology and the whole world knows it. It may be closer to the truth to see the Castro brothers’ eagerness for normalization as an admission that they’ve run out their string. They’ve lost everything that kept them alive, from the Soviet Union to once-oil-rich Venezuela. The Castro government is stuck. Their economy is nothing. They have no strength. They enjoy vestigial respect from certain quarters, but only vestigial. They’ve lost and they know it.
So why not move now?
Nothing magical will immediately follow normalization. The Castro brothers will not say, “I can’t believe it, free markets and democracy really are better, I had no idea!” Nothing will make Cuba democratic overnight. But American involvement and presence—American tourists and businessmen, American diplomats, American money, American ways and technology—will likely in time have a freeing effect. With increased contact a certain amount of good feeling will build. And that could make Cuba, within a generation or even less, a friend.
And that would be good for the American national interest, because it’s better to have a friend 90 miles away than an active and avowed enemy.
The opening to Cuba may also spark a re-Christianizing effect among a people who’ve been denied freedom of religious worship for generations. That would be good too, for them and us.
◼ Peggy Noonan’s Wishful Thinking on Cuba - Joel B. Pollak/Breitbart National Security