Rachel Marsden

Yes, government censorship in Cuba remains a serious problem. But China has provided Cuban citizens with something of tangible value through a cooperative business initiative. And the United States was going to trump that with some text messages? News flash: China and Cuba can both block text messages already, and China now has the technology to hijack cell phones to send intimidating messages to demonstrators at protests.

ZunZuneo is what we would refer to in high school as a "make-work project" -- like having to break out the pencil crayons and color a title page for a book report. Obviously, some government bureaucrat was sufficiently impressed by the idea to spend other people's money on it, thereby allowing it to get a good running start into its eventual belly flop. Even if ZunZuneo users didn't become exasperated by all the inane spam and had actually stuck around long enough to be regaled with serious talk of government overthrow, what exactly would have been the next part of the plan?

Whoever wins the economic war in Cuba is going to control the regime. Right now, China is winning that war. Perhaps U.S. President Barack Obama was trying to re-establish a foothold by twice softening the embargo against Cuba that has been in place since 1960.

The rationale behind the embargo has always been that it would prevent American money from going into the pockets of the regime and propping it up. But now China is propping it up anyway by investing in ventures such as the Mariel Bay development zone and in the exploration, drilling and refining of offshore oil. The question is whether America wants to ultimately cede Cuba to China's economic and ideological sphere. He who controls the local economy controls the hearts and minds.

It's one thing to have our heads up in the data clouds, but our feet still have to remain firmly on the ground.

Rachel Marsden

Rachel Marsden is a columnist with Human Events Magazine, and Editor-In-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate.
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