Complaining about President Trump’s hypocrisy is rather like complaining about a prostitute’s promiscuity. Except that consequences from Trump’s hypocrisy could destroy a country, or even the whole world.
That said, Trump’s “America-First” policy towards Cuba amounts to little more than pandering to Miami Cubans, while cutting off America’s nose to spite its face. However, as is invariably the case with Trump, this “overhaul” is not quite as advertised.
He’s trying to have it both ways: for political (re-election) purposes, by feeding a dying breed of Miami Cubans the Cold-War rhetoric they crave; and for practical purposes, by restricting instead of completely shutting Obama’s open door policy.
But significantly, he’s not cutting off diplomatic relations, closing the US embassy in Havana, or even reinstating the “wet foot, dry foot policy.”
Still, there’s no denying that these changes will hurt many Cubans in their pocketbooks, notwithstanding that many are the newly liberated entrepreneurs who compose America’s best hope for a Cuba that is more friend than foe.
As it was for the 55 years before Obama normalized relations, these changes will not chasten Cuba’s ruling elite politically or hurt them financially. And Canada and Europe will now be competing with Russia and China to pick up the slack America’s retreat creates.
Trump clearly couldn’t care less about making it inconvenient for ordinary Americans to travel to Cuba. But it speaks volumes about his hypocrisy that he’s planning to deny American businessmen the very opportunities he himself was seeking to exploit in Cuba just years ago. Then there’s the self-defeating prospect of Trump provoking Cuba to cease all cooperation on regional anti-terror and anti-drug efforts.
In other words, these changes only provide further vindication for those of us who think this president is just plain STUPID, which stands for Self-absorbed, Tendentious, Unhinged, Pusillanimous, Insecure, and Delusional.
Little GOP support
You’d be hard-pressed to find many Republicans – outside Florida’s congressional delegation – who support Trump’s plans. That’s how politically alienating and positively insane they are.
In fact, polls show that over 70 percent of the American people support the steps Obama took to normalize relations with Cuba. Alas, the other 30 percent is composed of idiots for whom Trump can (literally) do no wrong, as well as perverse Miami Cubans dreamers
Meanwhile, Trump’s America-First policy towards Qatar, including selling the country billions of dollars in US weapons, amounts to little more than selling Qatar presidential indulgences – its abysmal record on human rights (and even its support for terrorism) be damned.
Trump is blithely doing business with a country that he publicly condemned as a sponsor of the very terrorism he claims he’s fighting “like no president has before.” That’s hypocritical enough.
Height of hypocrisy
But it reeks – like no hypocrisy Washington has experienced before – that Trump’s first trip abroad was not to a bona-fide democracy like Canada, Mexico, or any number of countries in Europe. Rather, it was to Saudi Arabia, which Amnesty International rates among the 10 worst abusers of human rights across the world.
And there’s his stupefying bromance with Russian President Vladimir Putin – that wannabe czar who punctuates his human-rights abuses by having political dissidents and independent journalists murdered.
To be fair, every president has been guilty of hypocrisy. Obama had no compunction about preaching the gospel of universal human rights on Sunday, only to bow before the repressive Saudi king on Monday. But at least he showed (amoral) consistency by having America deal with Cuba and Iran just as it deals with Saudi Arabia and China.
In any event, I’ve denounced Trump’s hypocrisy in previous columns. And for the record, even though Cuba has a lot to answer for, its record on human rights is better than Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s in many ways.
And this is Trump’s latest stab at either whitewashing or undermining Obama’s accomplishments.
It seems that Trump has predicated his presidency on vindicating his birther conspiracy he peddled about Obama being an illegitimate interloper – an uppity African – who does not belong among the ranks of American presidents.
Anthony L. Hall is a native of The Bahamas with an international law practice in Washington, D.C. Read his columns and daily weblog at www.theipinionsjournal.com.