Sunday, March 20, 2016

Obama in Cuba

Obama in Cuba

by Stephen Lendman

He’ll arrive Sunday afternoon, March 20, the first US president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

He’ll meet with dissidents challenging governance most Cubans support, an unacceptable affront. He won’t announce Guantanamo’s closure, returning the territory to its rightful owner, or plans to end lawlessly imposed embargo.

Claiming Congress alone can lift it is false. For 24 consecutive years, the UN General Assembly last October voted 191 - 2 (America and Israel alone dissenting), calling for an end to the US imposed economic, commercial and financial embargo - initiated in October 1960.

The GA called on all member states to repeal, invalidate, or refrain from enforcing laws and measures violating UN Charter provisions, as well as other international laws, reaffirming free trade and navigation.

Obama’s December 2014 pledge about “charting a new course on Cuba” conceals dirty business as usual he intends, strategy and tactics alone changing, not objectives.

Embargo, limited US travel and other restrictions remain in place. So does longstanding hostility toward Cuban sovereign independence.

Normalized relations aren’t possible without ending over half a century of lawless embargo. Obama doesn’t need congressional permission. 

As head of state, he can act on his own. Jack Kennedy formalized embargo in 1962 by executive order, using the 1917 Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA) as authorization, prohibiting trade with US enemies - defined as “any individual (or) government of any nation” at war with America.

Cuba isn’t a US enemy as defined under TWEA. Neither country declared war on the other. No legal authority exists for applying TWEA to US/Cuban relations.

Obama by executive order can rescind illegal embargo regulations. He can normalize US/Cuban relations with a stroke of his pen.

He can use his visit to announce it on arrival, making his trip truly historic, undoing over half a century of hostility, initiating a new era based on rule of law principles.

America disdains international, constitutional and its own statute laws. Longstanding enmity toward Cuba remains.

Obama’s visit will do nothing to normalize relations responsibly. Its government is justifiably wary. America can’t be trusted.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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