June 21, 2017

THE HISTORY OF APPEASEMENT

Reagan 1983There are some who, for varying reasons, would appease Red China. They are blind to history’s clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.

Douglas MacArthur

The latest fad among Obama supporters and extreme liberals seem to be to justify rapprochement with our long time enemies, like Cuba, by attacking the credibility of the opponents of this policy, i.e. the original Cuban exiles. The latest attempt to discredit this group was made by a lady named Fabiola Santiago that opines in The Miami Herald.

In the first decade of the Castro regime, most of the people that left the suffering island were doing so in search of liberty, many leaving behind the fruits of their honest labor. During these early years, this group of “exiles” was trying to topple the tyrant’s regime by any means possible including arms. Unfortunately, the history of this endeavor was filled with lack of support, broken promises, and even treason by the leaders of our new found homeland, the United States.

As time elapsed this original group was able through hard work and sacrifice to make a living, many achieving excellence, raise a family, and settle in. So what is our sin, according to this group that attacks us with much more vigor than they do the tyrants of Cuba? Why the constant reminder of our age and present value with the demeaning epithet of “historic”, as your time to speak out is gone? We have long ago renounced to the hope that we will live long enough to witness the return of the Cuba we knew.

We fully realize that the future of our enslaved island is in the present population, one made by, and for the Castro’s with a limited knowledge of what true freedom means. We all agree that it is inevitable that the present population will ultimately seek free will, but that it might take generations for that to occur.

If these Castro’s apologists would take time and effort to show the poverty, destruction, hopelessness of the majority of the population instead of exulting the few spots made attractive for tourism and making believe that autos reconstructed in a place frozen in time are charming instead of proof of what five decades of dictatorship brings, maybe they would understand our, the true exiles, feelings.

The biggest “sin” our generation has is that even as we age, loose hope, and make new lives; we will never renounce to our values, our love for liberty, human rights, and democratic principles. These ideals obviously clash with the present policy of economically helping Castro, his military and elite, without getting anything in return. But as criticism for what the opinion piece calls “hardliners” and adulation for Obama goes, Ms. Santiago gets the cake.

Calling Obama’s policy one that made an “eloquent case for democracy” and “leaving the future where it belongs in the Cuban people” would be laughable if not for being so out of touch with reality. Indeed it was a call for the population’s civil liberties immersed with no realistic solutions, and also clarifying the rights of any country’s self-determination, i.e. by the rulers.

It was similar to  Marie Antoinette’s “let them eat cake”, well intentioned, but unrealistic utterance. But again, topping the degree of past criticism she compared us with Fidel in “Fidel and exiles share a spot in the wrong side of history”. A statement not only false, as exiles would welcome any improvement of the relationship as long as the tyrants would admit their wrongdoings and make tangible moves toward democratization.

Ladies in White with their Liberty sign.

What we oppose vigorously is helping the Castro’s in their subjugation on the people, joining them in business endeavors, on the guise of helping the oppressed. And as being in the wrong side of history, I advise Ms. Santiago to take a refresher course on the subject as throughout ancient and modern history appeasement has never worked, leading to, rather than avoiding, wars.

Fernando J Milanes MD

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