Diary

Actually, Rand Paul Knows Exactly What He Is Talking About

Appearing with Megyn Kelly to discuss the Cuba situation last night, [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] discussed the policy change toward Cuba. [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] and his comments were brought up. [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] stated that [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] doesn’t know what he is talking about. A social media battle ensued.

After Rand came out in support of opening relations with Cuba, many of the reactions were typical. I can’t count how many times I saw people accuse Rand of (gasp!) supporting Obama. There were just as many statements accusing him of loving dictators and communism.
Unfortunately, low information politicos abound. Thinking seriously about policy, or even reading past headlines just isn’t their thing.

The truth is, Rand has a very valid position, and if people would read this Breitbart article, perhaps they would come to understand exactly what it is he is advocating.

Unlike Obama (and with the sanction of Congress), if Rand were negotiating he would demand some conditions in exchange for ending the embargo:

“I think the other thing that goes into this is that if you’re negotiating to open up trade, you would expect something on their side of the coin,” Paul said in that interview. “They would be opening up the ability of their citizens to have communication with us—that’s part of trade, communication. The other thing would be you would be hoping they would open up and allow for elections. There’s always been talk about beginning trade again but in exchange for actually having elections in Cuba.”

Now we know that the embargo has not worked. The Castro brothers are still in power-although they won’t be alive much longer. Putting the economic screws to their regime hasn’t caused a revolution. If anything, it has entrenched them further. And the Cuban people have suffered as a result. It is time to try a new approach. As Rand put it in his Time op-ed:

I support engagement, diplomacy, and trade with Cuba, China, Vietnam, and many countries with less than stellar human rights records, because I believe that once enslaved people taste freedom and see the products of capitalism they will become hungry for freedom themselves.

He’s right. Free trade and free ideas will undermine the Castro regime, not further isolation.

[mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] isn’t offering a solution. He is just repeating decades-old talking points. What [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] supports-opening relations and a conditional end to the embargo-makes sense. And it isn’t the same thing Obama is moving forward with, either.