Aberdeen Columnist: Engagement Good for Vietnam, Germany, Japan, Good for Cuba

US-Cuba flagsOver the weekend, President Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to shake hands and talk substantively with a Cuban leader since President Eisenhower met with dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1956. GOP presidential hopefuls deem our engagement with Cuba “disturbing” and counterproductive (to their presidential aspirations, certainly).

Aberdeen columnist Gerald Krueger says opposing engagement with Cuba makes no sense in the context of our international relations with other former foes:

Numerous airmen and soldiers suffered so greatly at the hands of the North Vietnamese. Yet today, look what relations we have with them. We have numerous trading going on, they have made tourism a national business — mainly curiosity-seekers wanting to see the scene of such suffering by our airman and soldiers.

So this turns into a thriving exchange and our country enjoys the gain from this exchange. Look on some of the labels of merchandise you buy. You will find many items “made in Vietnam.”

If there is ongoing criticism of these new relations with Cuba, let’s look at other similar circumstances with other former enemies of America. That list gets pretty long. Begin with Japan, Germany, Italy and a host of other former foes and it leads you to understand that to continue to barricade this small nation regardless of our philosophical differences is just not prudent or wise. There are always benefits from being friendly again in spite of our dislike of the way they treat their citizens [Gerald Krueger, “Hating Cuba Is Getting Us Nowhere,” Aberdeen American News, 2015.04.13].

Remember, we beat the Soviet Union with blue jeans and the Beatles (and deficit spending… and a convenient collapse in the oil market in 1986). Now Jeff Sveen can help undermine the Castro regime by selling gizzards to Cuba (once his suppliers recover from the bird flu).

20 Responses to Aberdeen Columnist: Engagement Good for Vietnam, Germany, Japan, Good for Cuba

  1. larry kurtz

    This thing is moving at warp speed: $20 says Cuba will be annexed into the US in less than ten years.

  2. larry kurtz

    Yesterday, on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, President Jefferson lamented the Hamiltonian Empire the US has become and applauded Canada’s course toward a Jeffersonian Democracy even as he broke the rules of the Constitution to buy the source of the Missouri River and beyond.

  3. Bill Fleming

    Suzie and I spent a few magic hours at Three Forks park (the Missouri River Headwaters) on our way back to Bozeman from the McCartney concert in Missoula last summer. It was a magical mystery tour. A few days later we folloed the Madison down to Yellowstone Park, and I tried to calculate how far Lewis & Clark had to walk to get to the Snake River, which of course runs into the Columbia, and ultimately into the
    Pacific. It all still feels like a foreign land, don’t you think, Kurtz? (Btw, we looked for bigfoot the whole time. Never saw him/her. I’m thinking s/he was holed up with grudznick somewhere playing rock-paper-scissors.)

  4. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

  5. Fidel and Raul were nothing more a couple of hoodlums peddling lumber into Cuba when Fidel stumbled upon opportunity, probably set up by our CIA. Cuba has been at best, a play on American fears and at worst, the U.S. throwing hundreds of thousands of Cubans under the bus.

    I’d say both.

  6. grudgenutz

    I searched Dakota Free Press for the term “grudznick,” trying to find my errant brother’s Tourettish comments. Here’s what the search function told me, “Nothing was found though it was regrettable. Please change the key word if it is good, and retrieve it.”

    Cory, grudznick has obviously entered your system and messed with its ability to speak English.

  7. larry kurtz

    75% of Cubans love Obama while less than 50% trust the Castro brothers: we live in interesting times, folks.

    Canyon Ferry Reservoir is just downstream from there, Bill: Missouri River inflows are way off this Spring. Some 12,000 years ago the Clovis People met then went down the river and up the Little Missouri: the first humans to visit the Black Hills because the glacier covering the Rocky Mountains was virtually impenetrable.

    Likely unknown to them the Columbia River was the highway for the descendants of the Beringians who explored the upper Snake into the Bonneville Lake basin then into the Colorado River.

    Massive as it is, the upper Columbia watershed is at risk to the Carlyle Group threatening to sell some of that water and Missoula’s water system to a Canadian company that has a pipeline to the parched Colorado on the drawing board.

  8. [No, that’s just text imported with the theme. I have tracked it down and edited it.]

    [Now if every comment starts getting headed with “Grudz”, I’m going to get cranky. Keep it real, people.]

  9. mike from iowa

    Uncle Sam caters to and trades with the former Confederacy,and like today’s wingnuts,they await their chance to bite the hand that feeds them.(lots of good ole white boys on welfare)

    Ask hypocritical wingnuts about amnesty for Cubans and see what they think. They allowed amnesty for illegals under the last three wingnut Potii,but not Obama. Is it because he is BLACK?

  10. [POTII! Fascinating… although I’d argue for POTI, since the singular is POTUS, not POTIUS.]

  11. Bill Fleming

    HypoPotiMass. A new Catholic sacrament reserved for American presidents who don’t parctice what they preach.

  12. Bill Fleming

    …practice… Geeze… give me a break on the instant spelling Karma. :-)

  13. larry kurtz

    Today is President Jefferson’s birthday.

    In 1808, President Thomas Jefferson tried to buy Cuba from
    Spain. A year later, he wrote to his successor, James Madison,
    that with the addition of Cuba and Canada “we should have such an
    empire for liberty as she has never surveyed since the creation.”
    By 1823, having acquired Florida from Spain a few years
    earlier, the United States had expanded to within 90 miles of Cuba.


  14. Woulda coulda shoulda… and here we are rooting for more imperial expansion?

  15. Bill Fleming

    …and right after that round of applause, the Dali Lama and Carl Jung walk in, and they all go into spontaneous meditation and yoga postures, drop acid supplied by Spock, then commence with group depth therapy lead by special guest Alan Watts. Right Larry?

  16. larry kurtz

    Engagement with Cuba and a pope citing an Armenian genocide but canonizing a genocidal North American saint while tribal nations await their own extirpation.

    Mr. Obama still has plenty of work to do.

  17. mike from iowa

    Sure am glad no one ever accused me of being literate,let alone an English major. In my defense of Potii,my keyboard stuttered.

  18. mike from iowa

    Good one,Bill. I’m sure Funk and Wagnalls will be impressed.

  19. mike from iowa

    Before I get totally senile,Haliburton,through offshore subsidiaries was doing business with Iraq in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq. They made a potful of money from Uncle Sam’s Dick (and killed some servicemen and sold unpotable water to the troops) during the war and are still servicing Iraq afterwards. Nothinglike trading with past,present and future enemies at one time.