Thursday, September 18, 2008

Miami's Vice

Matt Yglesias, commenting on some of the warped logic surrounding our Cuban policies:

One obstacle to the adoption of a more humane and sensible Cuba policy is that the country has found itself on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. It’s pretty clear to anyone who thinks about it that this is a politically motivated move, designed to bolster status quo policies rather than an actual reason for adopting them. But it’s good to have Richard Clarke on record about this — he’s spent his career dealing with international terrorism and says Cuba has nothing to do with that problem, it’s all just domestic politics.

It's actually worse than that in some ways. The US itself has a long and shameful history of supporting anti-Cuban terrorists. Using an equally applied standard, we should be on Cuba's list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Tim Weiner goes into detail about some of the US-backed anti-Cuban terrorism in his book Legacy of Ashes (assembled largely from declassified official documents). While some of the names and incidents examined by Weiner have been popping up in the news over the past few years, many more remain much less publicized.

This is not to suggest that Castro is saintly, or that his regime has been above brutality. Far from it. But when it comes to sponsoring terrorism, the US has its own past to reckon with (and not just vis-a-vis Cuba), as well as its hypocrisy.

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