Latin American leaders made clear to President Obama the policies over the past half century of isolating Cuba have failed and it was time to explore new roads. “There is no more Cold War,” shouted Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in urging the American president to put aside old anger and deal with life in the 21st century. Prior to the meeting Obama lifted restrictions on visiting Cuba and will allow relatives to send money back to their old home. Even as the discussions progressed Raul Castro insisted his country was ready to discuss “everything” in an open dialogue with Washington. He even got specific concerning what he would discuss with the United States. “We’ve told the North American government that we are prepared to discuss everything– human rights, freedom of the press political prisoners–everything, everything.”
Which approach will lead to freedom in Cuba– isolation and anger or discussion and openness?
After several months of silence, former Defense Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once again offered advice on how to win the war in Iraq. He argued the United States is “sitting on the sidelines” in the global war of ideas. “We’re barely competing,” and that’s why we are losing. Rumsfeld argued America needs a “21st century agency for global communication”to spread our message about the importance of democracy and freedom. Rumsfeld believes the decision to fold into the State Department the United States Information Administration was a mistake and took away an agency that could present the American viewpoint in a positive manner. He called for creation of an Internet Information aency which could employ modern technology in the fight to expand its message.
Perhaps, the new information agencies desired by Donald Rumsfeld can finally tell the world the real story about Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction and, in the process, help resurrect the reputation of the only man who stood up against the forces of truth without flinching. I see no reason why anyone today would fail to take advice from a man who was never right.