There are few historical events that remind us of the evolution of Frankenstein's' monster. The birth of the Cuban American National Foundation, with the support of presidency, at first supported the needs of the oval office, but in time came to be the very entity that lead to restricting those very same hands in the Cuban policy arena.
In this work, The Cuban Embargo, The Domestic Politics of an American Foreign Policy, Haney and Vanderbrush walk us through he genesis of Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) from the Regan presidency to modern day. They show the growth of the group through its repeated ability to influence politics at ever increasing levels. Their current level of political control over the Cuban embargo and politics thereof is contrasted against the unbridled power of the executive exercised in the early years of the embargo.
Haney and Vanderbrush have both been professors at Miami University. Miami is the hotbed of political activity related to the Cuba policy. Both authors have written many scholarly documents on the relations between the United States and Latin America.
By stepping through each presidential administration from Ronald Regan to George W. Bush we get to see how each of these president interacted with CANF as either friend or foe. We get to contrast this against the background information provided on the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, administrations. It becomes clear the relationship between CANF and the oval office starts out cozy but goes through some uncomforableperiods as well. As the book wraps up, prior to the current administration, it becomes clear that the political capital, garnered by supporting the Cuban embargo, is more important that the net effect of the policy.
Power of the Executive
The Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations are covered quickly to provide a back drop for the remaining chief executives. Understanding these administrations shows how clearly the presidents drafted and enacted the embargo policy. They, with select members of their inner circle including Kennedy's famous Executive Committee, acted within the authority of the executive to take measures to bring Cuba to heel. In the opinion of the framers of this policy, there was no need for public scrutiny of the policy or congressional hearings to support it. They acted under the guise of the executive's authority to conduct foreign affairs without apology.
President Nixon exercised a harsher line on Cuba declaring Castro either naive or a committed communist. The opportunities to normalize relations with Cuba escaped both the Ford and Carter administrations due to missteps on both sides of the Florida straits. Cuba's intervention in Angola and their support for Puerto Rican independence led to calls to congress to take action against Cuba for these exploits and in return Castro doubled down vowing to continue his efforts.
Jimmy Carter took office and started to undo some of the provisions...