Saturday, December 20, 2014

Obama Change in Cuba Policy Based on Lies and Betrayal

Has Obama ever met a communist regime he didn't like?

What do you suppose Obama's attitude would be towards a right wing dictatorship that brutally repressed it's own people? He would demand sanctions and the full diplomatic and economic isolation of that regime. Remember South Africa before Mandela if you want an example.

But when it comes to Iran he decided negotiation was the way to go. Iran is still speeding towards getting a nuclear weapon which will further destabilize the Middle East. Obama "reset" relations with Russia and Putin responded by invading Ukraine.

Now, it's Cuba's turn. Team Obama says isolating Cuba hasn't worked so they're throwing in the towel and opening the floodgates to U.S. money. Just what the Cuban communist government needs as Venezuela, which previously subsidized them, is also on the ropes after the collapse of oil prices.

Obama left Cuban Democracy advocates in the cold on his decision. An editorial in the Washington Post titled "President Obama’s ‘betrayal’ of Cuban democrats" says it all:
Guillermo FariƱas, the general director of the dissidents’ United Anti-Totalitarian Front, told reporters in Havana that Mr. Obama had promised in a November 2013 meeting with himself and Ms. Soler that any U.S. action on Cuba “would be consulted with civil society and the nonviolent opposition. Obviously this didn’t happen . . . they didn’t take into account Cuban democrats.”

The negative response from the people whom Mr. Obama portrays as the beneficiaries of his initiative is one reason to question his contention that Cuba should be treated like China and Vietnam, two Communist nations with which the United States normalized diplomatic and economic relations decades ago. The United States was not able to join with opposition movements in those countries in demanding democratic reforms as part of a normalization process because, at the time, such movements barely existed in either place. In Cuba’s case, the opportunity was there.
...
In Cuba’s case, that means listening to the brave freedom fighters Mr. Obama spurned. Mr. Obama’s prescription was not the only alternative to what he saw as the failed policy of the past half-century. Opposition leaders from throughout the island have agreed on four immediate demands to put before the government: the release of political prisoners; the end of repression against human rights and pro-democracy groups; the ratification of international covenants on human rights; and the recognition of Cuban civil society groups.

Mr. Obama could have linked a step-by-step normalization with Cuba to the regime’s satisfaction of these steps, which stop far short of introducing democracy. Instead he settled for the release of 53 political prisoners — or about half the number that Cuban human rights activists say are held — and a vague promise of greater access to the Internet.
...
If U.S. policy is really to be revised and refocused on helping the Cuban people, it would be well to promote the changes that their citizen leaders are seeking — not just the ones sought by their totalitarian rulers.
Bipartisan Opposition to Obama Move

Note that Obama threw Cuban democracy activists under the bus and violate his pledge to work with them in the process. He did the same to the U.S. Congress. Members of both parties were appalled by the decision. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), son of Cuban immigrants and outgoing Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said this deal "stinks."The Senator went on to say ""I think it's wrong. I am deeply disappointed in the president."" Menendez was not consulted which is standard practice and something that Obama again had pledge to do.

Nailing the point about consultations home, in confirmation hearings in November for Tony Blinken who was seeking a top State Department job there was clear promise made to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), also the son of Cuban immigrants:
“Do you anticipate, during the rest of the president’s term, that there will be any unilateral change” to sanctions on Cuba absent democratic reforms, asked Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, whose parents emigrated from Cuba to the U.S.

“Anything that might be done on Cuba will have to be consistent with the law,” Blinken replied. He added, “Anything that in the future might be done on Cuba would be done in full consultation” with Congress.
The day after the Senate voted to confirm Blinken Obama made his announcement. Since this plan was in the works for months it can only be concluded that the Obama Administration lied to Congress. It's not the first time.

Once again, Obama takes unilateral action that only caused more division, even in his own party. It won't help the Cuban people gain their freedom any more than his "reset" of relations with Russia did any good or engagement with Iran. Obama doubles down on stupid and we will regret it!

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