Let's hold the applause for now. Right when it seemed appropriate to congratulate President Peace Prize for adding to his short list of accomplishments, he reminded us of why we shouldn't. In December of 2014, Barack Obama announced the beginning of efforts to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba. And though the easing of US restrictions on travel and money transfers is welcome, Obama's condescension and hypocrisy are not. Former President Fidel Castro made that very clear in an open letter to the US president following the latter's address to Cuba earlier this week. Consider the nerve of President Peace Prize attempting to lecture the Cuban people on democracy, the rule of law, or anything for that matter; least of all human rights. The historical record is rife with US military and economic aggression against Cuba. But we're not just talking past offenses here. Fidel, along with his brother (and current president) Raul, is apt to highlight the numerous, egregious and ongoing human rights violations committed by the US; including, of course, the barbarism going on at Guantanamo Bay.
According to the imperialists, this new era of cooperation between decades-old adversaries is in Cuba's economic interest. A claim promptly countered by Fidel's declaration that, "We don't need the empire for anything." In other words, "Fuck your favors. We've done quite well despite 60+ years of hostility and we'll continue to do so. Understand that."
It turns out that the recent detente has mutual benefits, if anything. While Cuba could potentially benefit from US capital investments, the US would reap the value of Cuban medical advancements. Cuba’s new lung cancer vaccine, for example, has the capitalists salivating at the impending profits.
One wonders what caused the sudden shift in Washington's policy toward Havana. Is it the realization of futility like Obama said? Perhaps. Is it the further deterioration of America's influence in the hemisphere? More likely. Regardless of the empire's motives, one thing seems as clear as ever - the Cuban people stand ready to defend the Revolution. Peace, much respect and last but certainly not least: #HandsOffAssata!