Requiem for a Despot

Slavery is what Fidel’s revolution was about. Brooking no dissent, he enslaved a nation in the name of eternal class warfare, creating a new elite dedicated to suppressing their neighbors’ rights. Continue Reading »

Remembering Castro's Crimes

Last December, when the United States announced that it would be re-establishing diplomatic relations with Communist Cuba after more than fifty years of separation, the news was welcomed by many while leaving others in near despair. Writing in the Washington Post, Yale historian Carlos Eire . . . . Continue Reading »

Cuban Hopes for the Papal Visit

In early June, the distinguished Catholic editor Dagoberto Valdés Hernández, a leader of the Cuban democratic opposition, gave a lecture at Georgetown and reprised its main points later that day at the National Endowment for Democracy (on whose bipartisan board I serve). Mr. Valdés has thought . . . . Continue Reading »

Evangelical Challenges for Vatican Diplomacy

The bilateral diplomacy of the Holy See is unique in world affairs, in that it has little or nothing to do with the things with which diplomats typically occupy their time: trade issues, security matters, visas. Rather, the reason why the Vatican engages in bilateral diplomacy is to secure the freedom of the Catholic Church to be itself in the countries with which the Holy See has, or wishes to have, diplomatic relations. To be sure, in crisis situations, the Holy See’s representative in a crumbling or violence-ridden state can also serve as an honest broker amidst contending local parties, or a voice for persecuted Catholic communities, or a channel for humanitarian assistance. But whatever the situation, the first task of the pope’s representative to another sovereignty is to help maintain free space for the Church’s evangelical, sacramental, educational and charitable missions, all of which are essential to what it means to be “the Catholic Church” in any human situation. Continue Reading »

Beyond Cuba and Castro

Thawing relations with Cuba was the right thing to do. We’re a long, long way from the early 1960s when Cuba was a Soviet satellite and the prospect of nuclear missiles ninety miles from Miami posed a direct threat to our national security. We’re also a long way from the 1970s when Cuba was trying to export revolution to Angola and elsewhere. Fidel Castro is dying. His Marxist dream has been dying for more than twenty years. There’s nothing about Cuba in 2014 that poses a risk to American interests. Continue Reading »

Homesick in Miami

The Exile: Cuba in the Heart of Miami by david rieff simon & schuster, 220 pages, $21 City on the Edge: the transformation of miami by alejandro portes and alex stepick university of california press, 281 pages, $25 As the Fidel Castro deathwatch reaches its thirty-fifth anniversary, the . . . . Continue Reading »