The escalating US crackdown on Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua is a fresh example of the selective morality and strategic expediency shaping President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
Washington is cloaking its policies in its own geopolitical backyard in the language of human rights, democracy and freedom.
Yet Trump’s transparent admiration for some of the world’s most ruthless leaders elsewhere leaves him facing charges of hypocrisy, inconsistency and of severing core US foreign policy principles.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Wednesday that “dictators perceive appeasement as weakness, not strength,” as he announced measures meant to hammer Cuba’s weak economy.
“Detente with the regime has failed. Cozying up to Cuban dictators will always be a black mark on this great nation’s long record of defending human rights,” Pompeo said.
In Florida, National Security Advisor John Bolton struck a similarly Reaganesque note by predicting the “troika of tyranny” in Havana, Caracas and Managua led by “three stooges of socialism” is about to fall.