Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Castro to Obama: Take Your Flag Back

As reported by multiple news outlets, including the Miami Herald, Cuban President Raúl Castro has stated that he is willing to meet with President-elect Obama on "neutral ground", suggesting that the Guantánamo Bay United States Naval Base would be an ideal location.

In the interview - conducted by international communist superstar, actor Sean Penn - Castro went on to say that at the conclusion of the meeting he could give Obama a gift.  His idea?  To "send him home with the American flag that waves over Guantánamo Bay."

Despite Castro's errors of fact - the base at Guantanamo is technically not neutral ground, and the flag that flies there is not Cuba's to give - this smacks of taunting, a challenge to a fledgling world leader by an upstart nation.  Cuba may feel emboldened to poke a stick in the eye of Obama with the Soviet Russian Federation Navy currently sailing in the Caribbean, plus commitments by the Russians to build a space launch complex on Cuban soil and bolster anti-aircraft defenses for the small despotic island. 

It is a very minor flea on the dog, in terms of international relations, but those working the American desk in other nations' foreign ministries will be watching carefully.  Obama's reaction will begin to create a data set by which foreign governments might predict or manipulate his responses to situations.

My guess is that the flag over Guantanamo won't be moving any time soon.


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