In spite of rhetoric to the contrary, neither of the Castro brothers want to normalize relations with the U.S.
Normalizing Cuba’s relationship with the United States would open the streets of Havana to thousands of tourists. Their seaside marinas would be jammed with sport fishermen. Bars and clubs would be packed with Cuba-Libre-drinking vacationers. Cigar lovers would flock to buy hand-rolled Cuban cigars. With billions in foreign investment, Cuba’s economy would flourish. And that is the problem.
By freeing the Cuban economy to participate fully in an exchange of commerce with the U.S., the world would see first-hand the failures of Castro’s policies. They would see the failed health care system and the ruinous effect of his collective economic policies. With tourists and businessmen on the island, Cubans would learn of the life beyond. Knowing how others live, they would be empowered to speak out against their conditions. At the same time, Castro would have to come clean about the fate of the many political prisoners who have disappeared.
So, no matter how many handshakes you see between Cuban and U.S. officials. Regardless of the press releases and the joint communiqués, Castro will not agree to normalize relations with the U.S. Imposition of the embargo gave him an enemy on whom to blame all the ills he foisted on the Cuban people. Without us, he would be forced to admit responsibility for the condition of his people. He wants us as the enemy. He needs us as the enemy. Without us, he has no country to rule.