Bill Richardson Makes Right Call on Billy the Kid: Now Make Him Our Cuba Envoy

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New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson knows all the great news angles and pardoning Billy the Kid, as he was thinking of doing, would have kept him ablaze in the press for at least a week. Richardson and this pardon may have been the single threat to Anderson Cooper’s & Kathy Griffin’s ratings tonight.

But pardoning the Kid would have been a major mistake and would have been something that might have preempted President Barack Obama from putting the talented nearly former New Mexico Governor to work on the international stage where he really belongs.

I think Richardson is the right presidential envoy to finally end the Cold War with Cuba and bring that relationship into the 21st century.

Richardson should be made America’s Special Presidential Envoy on US-Cuba policy.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

9 comments on “Bill Richardson Makes Right Call on Billy the Kid: Now Make Him Our Cuba Envoy

  1. samuelburke says:

    people diplomacy.
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americas/01/05/cuba.skate
    boarding/index.html?hpt=C1
    Havana, Cuba (CNN) — Rene Lecour’s plan started out simple:
    Take his son on a skateboarding trip to someplace “epic.”
    While he and his son, Kaya, were searching the internet, they saw
    videos of Cuba’s skateboarders making do with beaten-up and
    jerry-rigged boards.
    Economic shortages and the U.S. embargo make it difficult to get
    most sporting equipment there. For skateboarders, it was nearly
    impossible.
    “We both said right away, ‘We are going there,’ ” Lecour recalled.
    Lecour owns a chain of skateboard shops in South Florida and
    thought his contacts in the skating community would make it
    easy for him to bring boards to Cuba.
    He was wrong.
    Skateboarding school in Afghanistan Cuba-US: Roadblocks to
    change Cubans’ New Year’s wishes
    “I e-mailed every single skateboard company I know,” Lecour
    said. “The only two responses I got were unfortunately one
    person who said we shouldn’t be allowed to go because of the
    embargo. Another ‘genius’ said we shouldn’t come because all
    the skaters are all communist.”

    Reply

  2. John McAuliff says:

    Making Governor Richardson a special Presidential
    envoy for Cuba is a great idea.
    However, it will only mean something if the
    President is prepared to really change US policy.
    A recent example of being mired in past paradigms
    came from the official spokesman for the State
    Department, PJ Crowley, who set a new higher bar
    for Cuba: “before we would envision any
    fundamental change in our relationship, it is Cuba
    that has to …fundamentally change its political
    system”
    http://www.thehavananote.com/2010/12/state_departm
    ent_spokesperson_appears_raise_bar
    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development

    Reply

  3. nadine says:

    “Overseas corporate investments have always been a primary determinant in US foreign policy. The US won’t normalize relations with Cuba until the country is safe for US investments” (Don Bacon)
    That’s silly, Don. You can make lots of money trading with Communist dictatorships (assuming they have any money or natural resources). If investments were all that mattered, our foreign policy would look like China’s, who does invest in oil anywhere and asks no questions about human rights. But as it happens, there are other considerations besides business in US foreign policy, anti-Communism being one. You have this weird bee in your bonnet about American corporations.
    Now that Marco Rubio is in the Senate to provide a strong voice for the US Cuban community, I would guess any chance of normalization with Cuba before the Castro brothers have kicked the bucket is approaching zero.

    Reply

  4. Don Bacon says:

    Overseas corporate investments have always been a primary determinant in US foreign policy. The US won’t normalize relations with Cuba until the country is safe for US investments. Cuba is moving slowly in that direction.
    blog report (excerpts):
    Cuba Attempts at Privitization
    by Michael Diaz Jr.
    November 8, 2010
    The Cuban Communist Party is expected to unveil a broader agenda for economic growth later this year or in early 2011, which could hint at preparations for a political transition to life beyond the aged Castro brothers. Announcing public sector layoffs of over 10% of the nation

    Reply

  5. samuelburke says:

    i left out that the cuban community in the u.s is driven by a
    bellicose stance against the island nation, and it’s influence over
    policy is strong.
    Opening of relations is our friend, the bellicose stance produces no
    good. the results are in a fifty year track record.
    The policy of the last fifty years produced the results one expects
    from a gov’t program.

    Reply

  6. samuelburke says:

    Why is it so difficult for the u.s to declare peace with cuba?
    The cuban community in the u.s would benefit from a
    rapprochement with the island nation, and they are probably the
    The citizens of Cuba and the Cuban american community would
    come together in peace if it were not for the ideologies that drive
    the formal relations.

    Reply

  7. The Pessimist says:

    My questions:
    How much unilateral authority does a presidential envoy in the capacity such as you are lobbying Richardson for truly have? Aren’t they typically just parroting a series of minimally negotiable demands from the White House?
    Or are you insinuating that all envoys are allowed to freely ebb and flow within the dynamic of truly objective real-time negotiations? How is Richardson different than any other envoy? Why does he rate higher than Jimmy Carter in your assessment?

    Reply

  8. The Pessimist says:

    My questions:
    How much unilateral authority does a presidential envoy in the capacity such as you are lobbying Richardson for truly have? Aren’t they typically just parroting a series of minimally negotiable demands from the White House?
    Or are you insinuating that all envoys are allowed to freely ebb and flow within the dynamic of truly objective real-time negotiations? How is Richardson different than any other envoy? Why does he rate higher that Jimmy Carter in your assessment?

    Reply

  9. non-hater says:

    I can’t think of a better choice off-hand. Certainly his experience and fluent Spanish are a plus.
    However, I still don’t see much to be resolved here. The US simply has to stop being stupid. Oh, wait…

    Reply

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