As a lame duck president what could George Bush do to advance Cuban freedom in the last 40 days of his administration?
Everything that he hasn't done in the last 8 years.
What is he actually going to do?
Meet with Val Prieto and other bloggers against totalitarianism to highlight the importance of their work.
What the hell?
The importance of their work?
Is this guy kidding, delusional, or what?
He is the president of the United States and he wants to confab with bloggers about the prospects for freedom in their respective countries?
Nothing that a blogger can do individually or all bloggers as a group to advance the cause of freedom in the world can compare even remotely to the potential for good, largely unexercised, which Bush might have brought to bear on behalf of the world's oppressed.
Eight years of sounding off from his bully pulpit about human rights in other countries while endeavoring to curtail them here, with star chambers, renderings, water boarding and indefinite sentences, has resulted in the U.S. losing the moral high ground in a contest where it was always outnumbered but never discredited. On George Bush's watch, the U.N. Human Rights Commission, in Geneva, which had condemned human rights abuses in Cuba throughout the 1980s and 1990s, was abolished and replaced with a Human Rights Council, controlled by the world's worst abusers of human rights, on whose itinerary Cuba has not and will never appear except as an aggrieved party. In response to being outmaneuvered by the world's totalitarians, Bush quit the game, that is, he withdrew the U.S. from the new sham Council rather than contest its actions or at least protest its hypocrisy. Perhaps this retreat was inevitable or even prudent under the circumstances. The glass house was more important than casting stones at freedom's enemies.
Jimmy Carter's idea of human rights was to replace authoritarians friendly to the U.S. with totalitarians hostile to it. George Bush's policy was a lot simpler: leave the totalitarians alone (except in Iraq and Afghanistan). It is thanks to Bush's policy of destructive non-engagement that an ideology discredited everywhere else in the world has come to die in Latin America. On his watch and with his blessing Communism finally took root in the Americas by grasping onto its unnurtured democracies and killing them by strangulation. Was democracy a plant of unnatural growth in Latin America or were the weeds left untended till they overran the garden? Not too long ago every country in the region except Cuba was a democracy however imperfect or fragile. Bush's tenure set Latin America back 100 years, politically, socially and economically; and the regression to barbarism is not yet complete and promises greater horrors in the next fours years, when its elected caudillos will not be ignored anymore but encouraged on their path to Socialism (i.e. total annihilation).
And the last minute solution to this and countless other international crises incubated for the last 8 years is -- a Bloggers' Summit!
Part 2: Will Val Prieto Be At Least the Man that Yoani Sánchez Is?