The NSC- We Can't Change A Policy... They Need To Review The Definition... Quickly.

By Twitter:

"US will abstain for first time on UNGA Resolution calling for end to embargo on Cuba. No reason to vote to defend a failed policy we oppose" (26 October 2016)

The Honorable Benjamin Rhodes
Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications

With communications being the relevant component of his portfolio, perhaps Mr. Rhodes should consider a refresher course as to the definition of the word "policy" and how this word differs from "statute" and "regulation."

noun: policy; plural noun: policies

    a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business, or individual.
    "the administration's controversial economic policies"
    synonyms:    plans, strategy, stratagem, approach, code, system, guidelines, theory; More
    line, position, stance, attitude
    "government policy"
    practice, custom, idea, procedure, conduct, convention
    "it's good policy to listen to your elders"
        prudent or expedient conduct or action.
        "a course of policy and wisdom"

noun: statute; plural noun: statutes

    a written law passed by a legislative body.
    "violation of the hate crimes statute"
    synonyms:    law, regulation, enactment, act, bill, decree, edict, rule, ruling, resolution, dictum, command, order, directive, order-in-council, pronouncement, proclamation, dictate, fiat, bylaw, ordinance
    "she built her case around an all but forgotten statute"
        a rule of an organization or institution.
        "the appointment will be subject to the statutes of the university"
        (in biblical use) a law or decree made by a sovereign, or by God.

noun: regulation; plural noun: regulations

    a rule or directive made and maintained by an authority.
    "planning regulations"
    synonyms:    rule, ruling, order, directive, act, law, bylaw, statute, edict, canon, pronouncement, dictate, dictum, decree, fiat, command, precept
    "they obey all the regulations"
        in accordance with regulations; of the correct type.
        modifier noun: regulation
        "regulation army footwear"
        synonyms:    official, prescribed, set, fixed, mandatory, compulsory, obligatory, de rigueur
        "regulation dress"
        antonyms:    unofficial
        of a familiar or predictable type; formulaic; standardized.
        "a regulation Western parody"
    the action or process of regulating or being regulated.
    "the regulation of financial markets"
    synonyms:    adjustment, control, management, balancing More

If the “US” opposes "a failed policy" towards the Republic of Cuba, why does the Obama Administration continue to maintain policies and regulations which may, at the direction of the Executive Branch, be changed?  True, there are provisions within statutes which may not be changed; but there are also provisions within statutes which may be changed.  And, regulations implemented by the Executive Branch may be changed by the Executive Branch.

If the Obama Administration does not want to make further changes to policies and regulations, then be honest and say so and explain the reason(s).  The United States business community appreciates the difference between policy, regulation and statute… so to should Mr. Rhodes.

What can the Executive Branch do through a change in “policy”?

  • Authorize more (or all) commercial activity under a general license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury and Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the United States Department of Commerce, including Direct Foreign Investment (DFI)
  • Authorize more (or all) transactions with Republic of Cuba government-operated companies
  • Authorize more (or all) imports under general license; is coffee (authorized in 2016) the only product that the United States Department of State is permitted to authorize by policy, regulation or statute?
  • Authorize more (or all) exports under general license
  • Authorize Republic of Cuba government-operated financial institutions to have accounts with United States-based financial institutions for correspondent activities; there will be no Direct Correspondent Banking transactions until this is authorized; and companies in the United States and the 11.3 million citizens of the Republic of Cuba will continue to make payments to financial institutions in headquartered in third countries.
  • Remove all restrictions upon the government of the Republic of Cuba using United States currency for transactions.
  • File motions to dismiss unwarranted civil judgements against the Republic of Cuba
  • Deliver a proposal to the government of the Republic of Cuba relating to the settlement of the 5,913 claims certified with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) within the United States Department of Justice

From one observer: “The Obama Administration has renounced a failed policy, but it’s not going to be bothered to do the simple and easy things that are within its power to effectuate and give substance to that change in policy.  In other words, the United States Congress should undertake the activity because we're too lazy, disorganized and indifferent to perform, even though it's infinitely easier to create a general license or rescind a regulation than it is to pass legislation in two chambers.  You're right to suggest that it's perhaps a basic issue of literacy; that is, maybe they really don't know the difference between policy and law.”

There remain 84 days to “defend a failed policy we oppose.