Washington, D.C. – Oft times it has been said of President Richard Nixon that, “Only Nixon could go to China”. It may well be that four decades since that historic presidential visit, President Obama may find himself making a historic visit to the isolated nation of Cuba. In that sense, it may soon be said of the president that “only Obama could go to Cuba”. While there has been no formal invitation by the Cuban government to visit, aides close to the president admit that he is apparently open to visiting the nation.
For President Obama, Cuba may well be the success that will restore status to his battered foreign policy. His “lead from behind” strategy has not boosted America’s status among nations. Rather, it has encouraged Russian and Chinese hegemony in the parts of the world. His embracing of the Arab spring proved hasty with Egypt and Libya remaining unstable. His willingness to exit the combat theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan has created power vacuums that gave rise to ISIS and allowed the Taliban to mount a successful resurgence.
Businessman Bruce Levenson says however, the island nation of Cuba remains at a crossroad with Raul Castro, the younger brother of Cuban strongman Fidel Castro. Raul has appears more inclined to have Cuba modernize. Establishing ties with the aging leader now may help encourage substantive political and economic reform in the impoverished nation. Cuba may well be the foreign policy success that has eluded the president thus far.