Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, has delivered a knock out punch against Sen. Marco Rubio to normalization of relations with Cuba to benefit the United States. The punch was as decisive as Muhammad Ali’s knock out of George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle 40 years ago. Mr. Rubio’s presidential ambitions are over.
The Florida senator’s implacable hatred of Fidel Castro and Cuba’s Communist regime has driven him to anti-democratic tirades and to a policy of Cuban ostracism that sneers at Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. His child-like immaturity and conflicting loyalties between Cuba and the United States disqualify him for the White House.
Mr. Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants who fled under the dictatorship of Fulgencia Batista. He has apparently forgotten that as a U.S. citizen and senator, his sole allegiance is to the U.S. Constitution and to the general welfare of the people of the United States. If there is a conflict between Mr. Rubio’s sympathies for the Cuban people and the best interests of the United States, he is required to abandon the former in favor of the latter.
The United States forged an alliance with Joseph Stalin during World War II to advance the interests of the United States, not to advance the cause of human rights or democracy in the Soviet Union.
The United States forged an alliance with France during the Revolutionary War to advance the goal of independence, not to encourage a revolution against King Louis XVI.
The United States forged defense pacts with Spain’s Francisco Franco to advance the interests of the United States in Europe, not to promote Spanish democracy against Franco’s fascism.
The unstarry-eyed Winston Churchill sermonized that, “If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”
Mr. Rubio should thus be rebuked for subordinating the interests of the United States to what he perceives to be the interests of the Cuban people. Borrowing a page from Fidel Castro’s scorn for elections, Mr. Rubio snapped, “I don’t care if polls say 99 percent of the people believe we should normalize relations in Cuba.” So much for “We the people of the United States” as sovereign, and officeholders as provisional stewards of our liberties and ambitions. Mr. Rubio has the mindset of a tyrant, not a democrat.
He speaks endlessly about how normalizing relations with Cuba would betray the yearning of the Cuban people for democracy or human rights. But he is silent on how maintaining a policy of ostracism would benefit the American people whom he serves. The Soviet Union is no more. There is no possibiilty of a second Cuban Missile Crisis. The World Communist Movement is dead. Cuba is not a national security threat except to people frightened of their shadows.
A normalization of relations with Cuba will open opportunities for Americans and Cubans to profit. And as philosopher Samuel Johnson quipped, “A man is never more innocently occupied than when he is making money.”
Mr. Rubio’s ostracism policy pivoting on personal animosity also flouts the foreign policy wisdom of President George Washington in his Farewell Address.
The greatest president in the history of the United States advised: “[N]othing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.”
Mr. Rubio betrays his greater loyalty to the people of Cuba than to the people of the United States by his declination to sponsor legislation that would terminate normalized trade with Communist China to punish its Communist dictatorship and suppression of human rights and to benefit Chinese champions of democracy. In his calculus, the Chinese quest for democracy must bow to the economic and other interests of the United States, but Cuban hopes for democracy should take precedence over the interests of the American people.
Mr. Rubio may protest that he is a patriot. But philosopher Johnson warned, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
For more information on Bruce Fein, visit brucefeinlaw.