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America should demand more from Cuba

Caricature of SteveWhile I agree with President Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, I concur with critics who argue that such recognition by Washington should come with concessions from Havana.  To date there are few.

Although the strongest critics have been Republican and conservative voices, today The Washington Post joined the chorus of disappointment. The liberal publication notes that hoped for relaxation of harsh policies under the Castro regime have not materialized. In fact they’ve grown more intense.

I hope that more liberal voices will follow the Post’s lead in demanding a stronger stand by the White House before reopening the U.S. embassy in Cuba.

Unless America pressures for a more balanced quid pro quo, our recognition of Cuba looks more like appeasement than firmness.

The current nuclear talks with Iran already have demonstrated Washington’s inability to push harder for realistic concessions from adversaries.  And if we don’t expect more from Havana in exchange for our recognition of the island nation, this will be just one more example of American weakness on the world stage.

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