August 15, 2006
Thoughts on Cuba
I recently read "The Case for Democracy" by Natan Sharansky, which outlines one of the hidden reasons why the Soviet Union fell. That reason was an allowance by the Soviet government for Jewish dissidents to emigrate to other countries (such as Israel). The result was that the ensuing mass emigration allowed many to overcome the fear of the government, and, in turn, encouraged dissenting speech which weakened the country.
In light of this, consider the case of Cuba. Ever since Castro seized power, Cubans have continued to seek refuge in the US and other countries. Initially these immigrants were considered as refugees by the US government and were granted asylum - and rightfully so. However, over the years, the US government has gradually changed it's stance on cuban immigrants. In 1994 we reached the point where we struck a deal with Castro to return those who were caught before reaching land, the so-called "feet-wet/feet-dry" policy.
This policy, in my opinion, is not in the best interest of the US. Despite the recent turmoil over general US immigration policy, restricting the immigration of Cubans to our country prevents the destabilization of Cuba. The already present Cuban population shows strong support for policies that would weaken Castro, which is testament to the Sharansky's thesis. They are the equivalent of Soviet-Jewish dissidents seeking refuge in Israel. Thus, encouraging and assisting (to a small degree) Cuban refugees to reaching our shores would gradually destabilize Castro's government.
Alright, so the natural response to my opinion is 'then why didn't Castro fall during the many years that we did accept all Cuban refugees?' For the many years that we did have a liberal immigration policy for Cuban refugees, Cuba was being funded and stabilzed by the Soviets. Then, only shortly after the Soviet Republic fell our policies began shifting to limit cuban refugees.
Posted for Flynn
Posted by Richard at August 15, 2006 9:17 AM