Giving without getting.


Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 12/19/14


For more than fifty years spanning ten presidencies it has been U.S. policy that the island nation of Cuba be without the economic benefits of open relations with the United States until such time as Cuba begins respecting and protecting human freedom.

On Wednesday, that policy was turned on its head by President Obama, again through unilateral executive action.

Reasonable people may disagree as to the effectiveness of the U.S. diplomatic and economic embargo of Cuba that began during the Kennedy administration. Those who defend the president’s action say that U.S. policy toward Cuba is out of date and in need of change and they may well be right. There are good arguments on both sides.

It is, however, hard to argue that giving much while getting nothing constitutes good statesmanship. Such will lead friends and foes to very quickly conclude that you’re an easy touch.

Yet that’s exactly what Barack Obama did this week with respect to Cuba. The president conceded to Cuba all that he could possibly concede while getting nothing in return.

No promise of free elections. No independent press. No free speech. No Cuban citizen right to travel. No unfettered access to the Internet. No expansion of individual property rights. In other words, not a single step away from the (often brutal) repression that brought U.S. sanctions down on Cuba in the first place.

Obama abandoned principle and forfeited leverage in return for exactly zip.

This story is much bigger than Cuba. Those around the world who have counted on the United States to stand resolutely for freedom are bound to be disappointed that Obama gave a dictator like Castro a Christmas present while getting nothing in return for those who still suffer on his island-turned-prison.

For their part, the nuke-seeking Iranians, the leaders of ISIS, that crackpot running North Korea and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are among the world’s bad actors who took due note of how easily President Obama will give away the store. As a result, our friends trust us less while our foes fear us less.

Not exactly the a step forward this Christmas season on that long, tortuous path toward Peace on Earth.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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7 Responses

  1. pk says:

    The sanctions on Cuba could have been rescinded at any time by them allowing an election, allowing 2 parties, allowing individual rights & allowing religious freedom & the right of assembly. They would not.

    So Obama, in his usual, devil-may-care style gave the Castro brothers just what they wanted FOR ZERO CO-OPERATION on Castro’s part.


    Only Obama for notariety headlines & getting it in his history book

    This is so selfish on Obama’s part.
    Does he EVER think of anyone but Obama.??

    The poor people of Cuba, so long under the Castro , getting arrested for all of above , unable to have internet, censorship, etc. still have all of the above.

    Obama is like a loose canon; anything to rile people & get a headline.
    Damn the precedent or the consequences.

    Obama is still a Community Organizer at heart because the too is following Alinsky’s rules of overloading the system & naming a singular opponent to label it with.
    Alas for the rules of logic.

    Martin King ” Let people judge us by our character not our skin color.”

  2. your neighbor says:

    you are a right-wing nut-job. go stick your head back in the sand.

  3. R. Eagleman says:

    Now let us take a little stroll down memory lane regarding the record of our esteemed president’s negotiating skills. It seems that I recall an anti-ballistic missile system which had been approved by us and welcomed by the host countries in Eastern Europe. It was cancelled by our genius-in-chief to make nice to Putin and to “re-start” our relations with Russia. These installations would have been immeasurably valuable to deter and ultimately protect our allies and us from rogue regimes, which are now on the edge of nuclear arms capabilities. We all know how that generous gesture toward Putin “re-started” his invasion into a sovereign country. How about the reluctance of our president to “get involved in the politics” of Iran, when the freedom-seeking people were crying out to the U.S.A. for moral support; but no, once again we were sitting on the sidelines watching a real opportunity to spread democracy being crushed. Oh yes, there was another crafty deal by our president to trade 5 high level terrorists for a single malcontent and possible deserter, which we have yet to learn the details of his alleged “capture”. There are so many other clever pronouncements, such as the “red line” he dared Assad to cross by moving or using chemical weapons. Can’t you just hear the knocking of the knees of every tyrant on the face of the Earth, trembling in fear of our country, not to mention the lack of respect/trust by our allies. A reasonable person reviewing the dismal and harmful decisions by our president might say that his record reflects that of a person who is trying to cause damage to the very foundation of this nation. But how could this possibly be? This wonderful country has placed him on a pedestal throughout his life, including overlooking his glaring lack of qualifications to elect him president. The reasonable person might reply that you only need to look at the confidants who influenced and are still influencing him. The reasonable person might also opine that it is not our president who is gullible, but in the words of the very charming Dr.Gruber, it is “the stupidity of the American voter”. I think that a reasonable person may take issue with Sen. Rubio’s statement that “President Obama has to be the worst presidential negotiator in history”. We may wake up one morning and realize that our president is indeed a very shrewd negotiator, to our demise, but shrewd nonetheless.

  4. R. Eagleman says:

    “Your neighbor’s” response to pk’s thoughtful comments are very profound! There is no logical discussion, just the shallow personal attacks that we expect from our Liberal friends. Of course, it is very difficult to defend the indefensible, but surely you can do better than that.

  5. Oh ye-of-little-faith in CAPITALISM.
    HOW MUCH pent-up demand awaits?
    Fun fact: Every day in Havana two buildings collapse.

    And the equally-decrepit regime there doesn’t stand-a-chance once the do-re-mi flows. The commies may THINK they’ll rake-off big bucks, but the same ingenuity that made the USA the Free Enterprise capital of the world is in homo sapiens’ DNA.

    Major League Baseball is among iconic USA brands that are lining-up for Cuba Nueva.

    The two big business stories of 2015 have already emerged, and they’re both about the fall of Prohibition: Cuba and Legalization.

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      MUCH truth in your comment but it nevertheless misses my fundamental point. That point is, when negotiating — particularly when negotiating with a thug — GET something when you GIVE something or the next thug with whom you negotiate will see you as an easy mark. Obama got NOTHING from Castro while giving much. – Paul L. Gleiser

    Stay tuned.

    What the president, and The Holy Father, have triggered now BEGINS to unfold. And they’ve demonstrated what “The World’s Greatest Negotiator” Herb Cohen has preached for decades:

    The most important piece of information in any negotiation is…the other party’s deadline.

    With the ruble in free-fall, and oil heading south of $60/bbl, tick-tock Raul.

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