BAD NEWS FROM NUCCIO
by Hugo J. Byrne
Mr. Richard Nuccio,the former State Department Official in charge of the U.S. Cuban policies for the Clinton administration, delivered a rather important address recently. The occasion was a seminar orchestrated by an organization named "Project Cuba", of Queens College and the University of New York.
Listening to Nuccio's presentation it becomes extremely clear how an avowed enemy of the U.S. such as Fidel Castro, can thrive over 40 years just 90 miles south of the Florida coast. Nuccio's statements are not as nearly important as the implications of his remarks. No one could be surprised by his comparison between Castro and the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Some writers documenting the Cuban tragedy from both sides of the language divide, established that parallel long ago. Nuccio's remark: "Castro could drag us into a disaster", is a very late admission of a fact learned by the American people since the 1962 missile crisis. Nuccio's acceptance of Cuban political realities: "Castro is not in the least interested in leading a democratic transition", can only be compared to rediscovering America.
What makes his statements news worthy lies in the fact that Nuccio is now a private citizen. Free of the limitations imposed by his previous responsibilities, Nuccio has opened a crack through which we are able to view and analyze the logic or absence thereof utilized by the Clinton administration on the Cuban problem.
The picture we see through that opening is devastating: Yes, Clinton's White House is fully aware of the danger Castro poses to Florida, economic and otherwise. This administration also realizes the stubborn opposition of the Cuban regime to any meaningful political reform (or economic, if broad enough as to curtail Castro's political control).
It also can be surmised from the former diplomat's statements that the U.S. has not a clue as to what to do about Cuba. Nuccio's words imply the U.S. has not presently a foreign policy and not even have a contingency plan concerning Cuba. The question then remaining is how will the U.S. react when Castro's death or incapacitation creates a dangerously political and potentially violent situation?
What formula does Nuccio offer? To use a popular idiom, DO NOT MAKE WAVES. Nuccio proposes a universal, Munich's like accommodation of Cuba's dictator, regardless of his attitude, demands or deeds: "Let's not react to the crisis unleashed by Castro, like the immigration crisis, or the one provoked by his dawning of the planes of Brothers to the Rescue." In other words, according to Nuccio, Castro should enjoy the right of swarming Florida with raft people, murdering american citizens in high seas and doing anything else necessary to prolong his rule, for adverse consequences may ensue if stopped!
Obviously, to Mr. Nuccio, "our image in Latin America and the deleterious debates in the U.N. about our attitudes" are far more important than the lives of U.S. citizens, or Florida's economic plight.
Besides repeating the tiresome demand to lift the economic embargo (but adding: "It is not that Cuba could buy much, nor that those purchases could alleviate the scarcity"), Nuccio pointed to what he considers the worst obstacle to his fabled Cuban transition to democracy: Us!
Mr. Nuccio imply that Cuban exiles and Cuban Americans in general are unpredictable and violent people, perfectly capable of spoiling Cuban chances at a pacific solution: "In a pacific transition in Cuba, only the people in the island should participate, NOT THE CUBANS IN MIAMI, NOR THOSE IN UNION CITY (New Jersey), for a violent transition would be disastrous for the Cuban people and the U.S., affecting negatively our relations with Latin America."
What method would Mr. Nuccio suggest in order to prevent our "negative influence" in a pacific transition in Cuba? Since that process is supposed to be open and democratic, is he envisioning the lifting of our protection under the First Amendment? Is he proposing our herding incommunicado in detention camps not unlike those used for the Americans of Japanese ancestry in 1941, having our American citizenship perhaps revoked as well? Given U.S. political realities, is there any practical way to implement such an absurd prohibition short of a declaration of war or martial law? On the other hand, how can Nuccio imply that such an abyss exists between the agenda of the Cuban Americans and the legitimate aspirations to liberty and justice of the Cubans in the island? After forty years of exploitation, oppression and crime suffered by the people at the hands of Castro's totalitarian regime, how could Nuccio suggest that nobody in Cuba posseses the least political similarities with anybody among the two million strong Cuban Americans?
If that insane notion is truly believed, it is a very telling indication of the absence of a rational approach among the policy makers in the State Department. Truly confused and frustrated, those social engineers defy common sense even after leaving their jobs. Sadly misled by avowed altruists like former Senator George McGovern's presidential campaign staffer Samuel ("Sandy") Berger, their "liberal" dogma inhibits them from admitting the obvious reality: The only real danger of violence to any change in Cuba is posed by the Castro regime in its alienation to eleven million Cubans and the U.S.
Those millions are continuously kept in bondage by a tyrant whose criminal whim America and the world have tolerated for just way too long.