Sometimes It’s Just So Hard to be Humble!


Since I read a lot, and doing so makes it rather easy to connect the dots, I occasionally publish "Ed's Fearless Forecasts." They are generally distributed to a few faithful friends who will permit me to say "I told you so," or have the good grace not to mention it when my forecasts fail. (My record, so far, is about 50/50.)

Realizing that the closing of the "Guantanamo Naval Base and Prisoner Recreation Facility" is high on the President's priority list, and observing that his several efforts at closing it have not been particularly successful, last December 18th, I offered the following prediction:

"President Obama's next step, after restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, will be to cancel the US lease for the military and penal facility at Guantanamo Bay, turning the facility back over to the sovereign nation of Cuba." 

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Six months later, on June 24th, standing in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama announced the formal resumption of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba after more than half a century of hostilities. The two countries have agreed to reopen embassies in Washington and Havana. And President Obama said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Havana this summer to "proudly raise the flag over our embassy once more."

The reopening of the embassy "is not merely symbolic," the President said. It will mean the U.S. will be able to "substantially increase our contacts with the Cuban people."

But, as was the case with Putin in the Ukraine, and with the Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran, the U.S. is saying "pretty please," but Raul Castro is saying "not yet":

Although President Obama has loosened the trade embargo with a range of measures designed to increase economic ties with Cuba, Cuban President Raul Castro has said that Cuba welcomes the measures, but has no intention of changing its system. To the contrary!

In addition to the demand that this US vacate the "illegally occupied" Guantanamo facility, a condition President Obama was quick to accept, Cuban President Castro has produced an additional list of demands, including -- so far:

  • An "up front" end to any US economic blockade.
  • All radio and TV broadcasts beamed toward Cuba must stop.
  • Deliver "just compensation of hundreds of millions of dollars to our people for the human and economic damage that they've suffered."
  • An end to US support for Cuban dissidents and the removal of Cuba from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

I could go ahead right now and predict that President Obama will be so anxious for a legacy setting agreement with the Communist dictator that he will concede all this and more as the time for formal diplomatic recognition approaches.

But that would be too easy, wouldn't it?

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