Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
Here's the RSS feed or subscribe to our FFF Email Update to receive Hornberger’s Blog daily.

My Advice to Obama on His Upcoming Trip to Cuba


Here’s my advice to President Obama for his upcoming trip to Cuba:

  1. Don’t lecture the Cuban regime on its violations of civil liberties, for two reasons.

One, what goes on inside Cuba is none of your business or the business of the U.S. government.

Two, and more important, you have no moral standing to be lecturing anyone on civil liberties. After all, you will have a difficult time responding if Cuban President Castro responds: “You lecture us on civil liberties? Look at your prison camp and ‘judicial’ center on the other side of Cuba as well as the powers that the U.S. national security establishment now wields over American citizens as part of its “war on terrorism.” Indefinite military detention, torture, abuse, secret surveillance schemes, and kangaroo tribunals. Such things are the hallmark of totalitarian regimes.”

  1. If Castro brags about Cuba’s system of socialized healthcare and socialized education, neither praise him nor criticize him. Instead, simply explain that government involvement in healthcare and education (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, medical licensure, public schooling, and state-supported colleges and universities) have destroyed healthcare and education in the United States. Castro should get the point.
  1. If Castro brags about Cuba’s retirement system, say nothing … except maybe point out that Social Security in the United States, which is based on the Marxian principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need,” is a major factor leading toward the financial bankruptcy of the country.
  1. If Castro attempts to negotiate the lifting of the 50-year-old, Cold War-era U.S. embargo on the Cuban people, respond by telling him that no negotiations are necessary because America is going to lift the embargo unilaterally. Tell him that this is going to be the first step in America’s quest to lead the world to economic liberty, by example.
  1. If Castro complains that too many Cubans are leaving the island owing to the open-border U.S. immigration policy with Cuba, tell him that the U.S. believes in such fundamental rights as freedom of association, freedom of movement, liberty of contract, and economic liberty. Therefore, while other countries, including Cuba, might continue to have immigration controls, America’s borders are once again going to be opened, not just for Cubans but for everyone else who wishes to come here.
  1. Tell Castro that the United States is unilaterally surrendering all rights to the U.S. government’s leased property at Guantanamo Bay. Explain to him that not only is that place a shameful denigration of America’s founding principles and heritage of limited government, it is also a sad part of America’s turn toward imperialism in 1898. Tell him that America has no more business maintaining a military base in Cuba than Cuba has maintaining a military base here in the United States. Bring all the troops stationed in Cuba home with you and then discharge them into the private sector.

President Obama, you still have some time left to make your presidency at least somewhat meaningful rather than a total waste of eight years. This would be a good way to do that.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.