Please disable your Ad Blocker to better interact with this website.

Foreign Affairs History Politics

Obama Missed His Chance for a “Tear Down this Wall” Moment

Gary DeMar
Written by Gary DeMar

I would love to see Cuba give up its Communist ways. During Pres Obama’s visit, Fidel and Raul Castro complained that America lacks economic equality, and they would be right. It’s also true that there is near economic equality in Cuba. The vast majority of the Cuban people are equally poor.

Like the majority of politicians and political elites in the United States who benefit from the way our nation’s political system is rigged, Cuba’s Castros are multimillionaires. Forbes puts Fidel’s net worth around $900 million.

Once again, President Obama apologized for the imperfections of America. Compare Obama’s Cuban visit with a third-rate dictator like Castro with the way Ronald Reagan confronted Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of a real super power.

Reagan knew he needed to confront the opposition directly even if it wasn’t politically polite. President Obama refused to make such a forceful confrontation. If business comes to Cuba, you can be sure the Castros will have their hand deep in the pie. True freedom would mean a change in government, and the Castro brothers will never agree to such a revolutionary change.


I’m sure Obama was told to go easy. Don’t offend the government bosses. Play nice. Reagan was given similar advice. Reagan’s administration officials wanted him to cut the line “tear down this wall” from his Brandenburg Gate/Berlin Wall speech because they believed it to be an “outright affront to the Soviet leadership.” Here’s what Peter Robinson, Reagan’s speechwriter, says happened:

“[T]he speech was circulated to the State Department and the National Security Council. Both attempted to squelch it. The assistant secretary of state for Eastern European affairs challenged the speech by telephone. A senior member of the National Security Council staff protested the speech in memoranda. The ranking American diplomat in Berlin objected to the speech by cable. The draft was naive, it would raise false hopes. It was clumsy, it was needlessly provocative. State and the NSC submitted their own alternate drafts — my journal records that there were no fewer than seven, including one written by the diplomat in Berlin. In each, the call to tear down the wall was missing.”

Reagan ignored their advice and confronted Gorbachev directly and publicly. The Berlin Wall came down, East and West Berlin reunited, and the Soviet Union collapsed. The Eastern Bloc nations regained their sovereignty and borders.

Reposted with Permission from

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Gary DeMar

Gary DeMar

Don't Miss Out!!

Get your daily dose of Eagle Rising by entering your email address below.

Don't miss a thing. Sign up for our email newsletter to become an insider.

Send this to a friend