How an animated sheep caper won the night.
Read my post, Shaun vs. the SOTU.
How an animated sheep caper won the night.
Read my post, Shaun vs. the SOTU.
Washington, D.C. lawyer Jason Poblete reports that Congress Knew About Hellfire Missile in Cuba, A Year Ago (emphasis added):
Yesterday I was contacted by several Congressional sources who told me that the Obama administration read in several Members and staff, House and Senate, on the incident. No surprise there. With something as serious as losing a missile to a state sponsor of terrorism, the administration is obligated to share with the Congress.
If this turns out to be true, and I have every reason to believe these people, why did Congress sit on the information? Did the administration ask them not to share? Granted, it could be an ongoing law enforcement matter or other investigation; however, with the many and significant Cuba policy changes last year, sitting on this information was not an option.
As I posted yesterday,
And Congress knew.
Why did the story surface now? Read the Wall Street Journal story. It is clear as day that it was a leak designed to put a spin out there that this was a mistake. Someone is selling the mistake malarkey. Let’s hope more rational heads in Congress are not buying.
TWO years after the fact, and this is the first time we hear about this.
It gets worse, State Department WON’T DENY that the U.S. sold Hellfire missile to Castro regime
“This particular missile didn’t contain explosives.” Just like a firearm with no bullets in it, only with a heck of a lot more military security codes, programming and national defense information.
Read my post on The inert Hellfire and “common sense”.
Cuba remains the only dictatorship in the Americas, as repressive and hostile to human rights as ever. More repressive, in fact: Over the past 12 months, the government’s harassment of dissidents and democracy activists has ballooned. In November, according to Amnesty International, there were nearly 1,500 political arrests or arbitrary detentions of peaceful human-rights protesters. That was the highest monthly tally in years, more than double the average of 700 political detentions per month recorded in 2014.
On Dec. 10 — International Human Rights Day — Cuban security police arrested between 150 and 200 dissidents, in many cases beating the prisoners they seized. As is usually the case, those attacked by the regime’s goons included members of the respected Ladies in White, an organization of wives, mothers, and sisters of jailed dissidents. The women, dressed in white, attend Mass each week, then walk silently through the streets to protest the government’s lawlessness and brutality. Even the United Nations, which frequently turns a blind eye to the depredations of its member-states, condemned the Cuban government’s “extraordinary disdain” for civil norms, and deplored the “many hundreds” of warrantless arrests in recent weeks.
But from the Obama administration there has been no such condemnation. One might have thought that the White House would make it a priority to give moral support and heightened recognition to the Cubans who most embody the “commitment to liberty and democracy” that the president has invoked. But concern for Cuba’s courageous democrats has plainly not been a priority. Particularly disgraceful was Secretary of State John Kerry’s refusal to invite any dissidents or human-rights advocates to the flag-raising ceremony at the US embassy in August. To exclude them, as The Washington Post observed, was a dishonorable gesture of appeasement to the hemisphere’s nastiest regime — “a sorry tip of the tat to what the Castros so vividly stand for: diktat, statism, control, and rule by fear.”
For all the president’s talk about using engagement and trade to promote the cause of liberty and civil rights in Cuba, his policy of détente has been wholly one-sided. In aninterview with Yahoo! News this month, he was asked what concessions Havana has made over the past year. He couldn’t think of any.
But hey! Supporters of “normalization” justify it because “what we were doing before wasn’t working.”
It wasn’t working because the Communist regime won’t. Instead, it is asking for more.
Mary O’Grady, in her article, Cuba One Year After Obama’s Olive Branch. Thousands of political arrests, migrants flee, and Russia wants in. Sound familiar?, gets to the core of what the regime is after,
Mr. Obama agrees with Raúl that the U.S. should lift the embargo. But Cuba can already buy food and medicine from the U.S. and, practically speaking, there are few limits on American travel, though such travel is disguised as “cultural exchange.” What’s left of the embargo is a ban on access to bank credit, and legal claims for almost $8 billion in property stolen by the revolution.
The Castros have a solution to the latter. They claim the embargo cost Cuba over $100 billion since 1959, so the U.S. actually owes them.
That’s laughable. What’s not so funny is Cuba’s credit score. Even after the Russian write-down, Havana is still in arrears to the rest of the world—ex-U.S.—on some $85 billion of debt. Countries are not lining up to lend more. The Castros need a new mark. That’s where Mr. Obama comes in.
Cuba’s economy, heavily dependent on Venezuelan oil and China aid, is unable to support the nation. According to Mr. de Salas-del Valle, “the assumption that economic engagement with the Castro regime will spare the U.S. an immigration crisis across the Florida Straits appears to be the underlying if unstated motivation for the White House’s unprecedented courtship of Raúl Castro.” If so, it’s a gross miscalculation. The policy has emboldened the dictator.
$5 says Obama will give them that, and Gitmo, too.
After all, who’s going to stop him? Congress?
Pres. Obama announced on December 17, 2014 an easing of U.S. relations with Cuba. A year later, James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a group lobbying to lift the embargo, quoted by Nick Miroff, finds out that the Communist regime is not about to change:
“The non-responsiveness has slowed things down.”
Read my post, Obama’s Cuba deal, a year later.
What is a verbal contract worth these days? Read my post, The $100 billion no-deal Iran deal.
This is what the US will bring to Cuba. Welcome back, Yankees! Cubans, stay home with Castro forever! pic.twitter.com/TkroryGFBI
— OrlandoLuisPardoLazo (@OLPL) November 6, 2015
Jackson Diehl writes on how Obama’s olive branches are lifelines for authoritarian regimes in Iran, Burma and Cuba:
Since announcing the end of the 50-year freeze between the countries 11 months ago, Obama has twice loosened restrictions on U.S. travel and investment in Cuba. Thanks to that, tourism arrivals are up 18 percent this year, and billions in fresh hard currency are flowing into the regime’s nearly empty treasury. The White House has dispatched a stream of senior officials to Havana, including Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. The deputy secretary of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, last month paid court to the general who heads Castro’s repressive internal security apparatus.
In response to this, Castro has done virtually nothing, other than reopen the Cuban Embassy in Washington and allow a cellphone roaming agreement . His answer to repeated pleadings from U.S. officials for gestures on human rights has been to step up repression of the opposition. According to the independent Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, there were at least 1,093 political detentions in October, the highest number in 16 months.
Castro has meanwhile shunned offers from U.S. businesses and dramatically cut U.S. imports. Pritzker did not sign a single deal during her high-profile visit last month. Instead, Cuban officials are using the prospect of increased U.S. trade and investment as “chum” to strike bargains with other countries, according to a report by the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council. While imports of U.S. food are down 44 percent this year, imports from China are up 76 percent.
Remarkably, the administration appears happy to accept this.
The Tower points out that Diehl’s article
followed an unsigned editorial in the Post on Friday calling for Iran to release American hostages or face renewed sanctions.
When you’re leading from behind, no such demands are likely to come from the U.S.