Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | May 26, 2002

Anti-Castro sentiments making mess of US Latin American policy

I was devastated when Bush named his Latin America state department team. Otto Reich has been an eager proponent of pro-US governments throughout the hemisphere without regard to democracy or human rights. The Venezuela coup fiasco a month or so ago clearly proved my worst fears were well founded.

Part of the problem is that most of these so-called foreign policy "experts" stem from the only pro-GOP segment of the Latino community -- Cuban Americans. Their rabid anti-Castro, anti-communist sentiments cloud their vision to a degree unimaginable to most casual observers. Indeed, one of the arguments for supporting a military coup against a democratically elected government was that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez provided Castro's Cuba with oil. This while we trade with communist China and the police state of Saudi Arabia.

Venezuela aside, these wingnuts haven't forgotten their raison d'Ítre -- the continued (and inneffective) isolation of their long-time nemesis Fidel. However, their cause long-ago lost its moral clarity, and the bulk of the American people, and Congress, now favor restoration of ties with Cuba. Thus, in a desperate gambit to tie the War on Terror to their war on Cuba, John R. Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, added Cuba to their baby axis of evil nations. The reason? Cuba was supposedly manufacturing biological weapons. The evidence? Cuba is the number one supplier of medical vaccines in Latin America.

The horror. How dare Cuba export vaccines!?

It was thus with smug satisfaction that I read the following piece from the Miami Herald. In short, the US commander of military forces in Latin America and the Caribbean stated flatly that Cuba was not building biological weapons. The general also wonders why Bolton "chose to raise the issue". Is the general that clueless?

Jeb Bush and 2004. Florida is a true swing state. So long as the Cuban American community can swing votes, Cuba will be on the right's crosshairs.

Posted May 26, 2002 06:30 PM | Comments (1)


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