The Libertarian Response to the Cuban Crisis

by Ali Motamedi

The Cuban people have been engaged in a series of unprecedented anti-communist protests in the wake of months of severe shortages. Common chants by the protestors include “We Are No Longer Afraid,” a reference to the fact that the people will no longer tolerate the communist government’s efforts to quell uprisings, and “Homeland and Life,” a play on the phrase “Homeland or Death” popularized during the Cuban communist ‘revolution’ of 1959.

Libertarians are compelled to sympathize with the Cuban protestors’ struggle against the cruel, totalitarian and collectivist regime, which has done nothing but suppress their people’s ambitions and squander their nation’s resources. This regime also publishes dubious statistics which have been utilized by a wide range of left-wing American state expansionists to ‘discredit capitalism’.

As libertarians, however, we must also come to recognize that the efforts by some individuals within our government to actively support these protestors—most notably the efforts of Florida Republicans Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio, and Francis Suarez—is wholly inappropriate and runs contrary to our values and principles as freedom-loving individualists.

To provide the government with a mandate to intervene in the affairs of a foreign nation in order to establish a regime that is in line with our foreign policy interests would require the extortion of Americans who may deem such an intrusion to be immoral at best and unconstitutional at worst. Furthermore, it reinforces the already existing precedent set by institutions, such as the CIA, of the United States being willing to meddle in the affairs of foreign nations so long as our ‘strategic interests’ are served.

Given that this precedent has been used by administrations of the past to justify our involvement in conflicts such as the Vietnam War, the War on Terror, and the Iraq War, it is difficult to comprehend why certain ‘libertarians’ would aim to reinforce it and implore the current Biden administration to adopt it in order to justify an intervention in the ongoing Cuban crisis. It is neither pragmatic nor libertarian to place pressure on the American government to meddle in the affairs of the Cuban nation through the usage of resources that belong to American citizens and that were seized through state coercion.

When all is said and done, we as libertarians must recognize the realities of the situation. We should actively call out those that seek to have our government take an official stance in a conflict that does not involve us. But we should also support the Cuban people in their struggle against tyranny through our engagement in protests, boycotts, and other voluntary and non-coercive actions that may pressure and weaken the current Communist regime and bolster the position of the Cuban opposition. 

Ali Motamedi is a high school senior who has been involved in the liberty movement for the past two years. He has an interest in a wide range of issues, but his influences especially include Murray Rothbard, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

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