Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

Cuba: “What next” would mean

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

In yesterday’s post, Cuba: What next?, I posited,

I have been predicting for quite a while that the Obama administration’s next goal regarding its foreign policy on Latin America is to gift the Guantanamo naval base to the Castro’s communist regime.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) explains the consequences this will have for America:

Aside from further demonstrating weakness, relinquishing the base at GTMO would be a strategic misstep of epic proportions for the United States. It would have significant national security and military implications. GTMO is the oldest overseas U.S. naval base and only permanent U.S. defense base in the region. Its location enables U.S. forces to maintain full advantages across a wide spectrum of military operations. It plays a critical role in migrant operations assistance missions and is a logistics center for U.S. ships and aircraft, allowing these assets to maintain tactical advantages and freedom of movement in strategic waters in a region with limited U.S. military presence.

If Castro achieved control of GTMO, what would happen? The all-too-obvious answer is that it would allow him to extend an invitation to one of the close allies of Havana, such as the Putin regime in Moscow or the mullahs in Tehran. If any of the actors interested in taking over the lease of GTMO does move into the warm Cuban waters off Florida’s southern coast, this would provide a direct military threat to the U.S. homeland. Consider for a moment the depth of waters and potential ability for nuclear submarines to conduct intelligence operations or worse.

Two years ago, the Russian Defense Minister stated that Russia wants to build military bases in several countries in the Western hemisphere, including Cuba. Press reports of Russian intelligence ships operating in the waters around Cuba, most recently earlier this year on the eve of U.S. talks with Cuba in Havana, prove that Russia is deadly serious about making good on those intentions.

Duncan does not exaggerate; Last year Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries:

the list includes Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries.

“The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.

The minister added that the negotiations cover not only military bases but also visits to ports in such countries on favorable conditions as well as the opening of refueling sites for Russian strategic bombers on patrol.

Duncan continues

Remember what Russia is doing in its own neighborhood for a moment. Vladimir Putin brazenly acted to annex the Crimean Peninsula, ignoring the international outrage, and Ukraine is worried about a “full-scale” Russian invasion. If the U.S. gave way on GTMO, Putin would likely welcome the opportunity to have warm-water lodging for his navy only 90 miles from the United States.

And let’s not forget Iran,

Similarly, Iran continues to test the patience of the international community with its nuclear operations and refusal to cooperate with international inspectors. If things go badly for Iran with any nuclear deal, having a deeper presence in Latin America through Cuba offers Iran options for retributive action should they want it.

Dr Ely Karmon, in his report Iran in Latin America: President Rouhani’s Era points out,

On April 30, 2014, the State Department issued its Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, which stated that “Iran’s influence in the Western Hemisphere remained a concern,” but that “due to strong sanctions imposed on the country by the United States and the European Union, Iran has been unable to expand its economic and political ties in Latin America.”[2]

Whether Iran gets what it wants on the nuclear deal (which it does) or not, by lifting sanctions, the U.S. has given Iran every incentive to continue its ongoing economic and political expansion into Latin America. You can expect that making a deal with the Castros on Gitmo is part of their plans.

Related:
1. The Deal Wasn’t About Iran’s Nukes

The administration readily caved on Iran’s nukes because it viewed the matter only as a timely pretense for achieving other cherished aims. These were: (1) preventing an Israeli attack on Iran; (2) transforming the United States into a more forgiving, less imposing power; (3) establishing diplomacy as a great American good in itself; (4) making Iran into a great regional power; and (5), ensuring the legacies of the president and secretary of state as men of vision and peace.

Items 2-5 will play well with that Gitmo gift.

2. Raul Castro calls for new Cuba-US relationship (emphasis added)

In a speech to the National Assembly, Mr Castro said that, for normal relations to resume, a US embargo on Cuba would have to be lifted.

He also called for the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay to be returned to Cuba.

The die is cast, now we just wait for it to roll.

Cuba: What next?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

A little speculation on what the Obama administration has in mind:
Cuba: What next?

Today’s big story: Iran’s nukes

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Drudge juxtaposes:

IT’S A DEAL…
‘Smile diplomacy’ secures…
OBAMA WARNS CONGRESS: HANDS OFF…
Gambles on foreign policy legacy…
May Take Years to Pay Off…
NETANYAHU: ‘Historic Mistake for World’…
‘Surrender by West’…
Iran given ‘license to kill’…

‘VULNERABLE TO UNRAVELING’…
Death to America; Deal with America…
KRISTOL: This cannot stand…
House Intelligence Chairman: Paves Way for Bomb…
ROUHANI: ‘God has accepted nation’s prayers’…
Centrifuges Continue to Spin…

IRAN CELEBRATES

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement,

When you are willing to make an agreement at any cost, this is the result. From the initial reports we can already conclude that this agreement is an historic mistake for the world.

Far-reaching concessions have been made in all areas that were supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. In addition, Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe.

One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: ‘Death to America.’

We knew very well that the desire to sign an agreement was stronger than anything, and therefore we did not commit to preventing an agreement.

We did commit to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and this commitment still stands.

Meanwhile, over in Cuba,

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Cuban Dissident Who Warned Obama Engagement With Castro Would Fail Injured By Castro’s Thugs; “this is what change looks like” to Antonio Rodiles,

Carnival to launch humanitarian trips to Cuba

The trips—which are cleared under existing U.S. Treasury rules that allow approved travelers to go to the island for cultural and humanitarian exchanges—still need a green light from Cuban authorities.

I don’t think Rodiles will get to visit with them.

Victor Davis Hanson:

Apparently, the [Iranian] theocracy sees Barack Obama and John Kerry as hell-bent changers, willing to achieve their own legacies at the expense of the interests of their country and its allies — and thus as bewildering and worthy of contempt in a world where leaders are expected to promote their own people’s interests. Expect the geriatric Castros to share the same contempt for American outreach, and to double down on their anti-Americanism and their ruthless suppression of freedom to add spite to the embarrassment of U.S. appeasement. They see U.S. recognition as a big change that will further empower their police state.

Indeed they have

While President Obama described the embassy as “not merely symbolic” and a move representing the liberation of the American people from “the past” in a speech this morning, the Cuban government issued a statement refusing to reestablish full diplomatic relations with the United States until America gifted the territory of Guantánamo Bay to Cuba and ceased broadcasting radio and television news reports into the island, which constitute the only way many Cubans have of receiving trustworthy international news.
. . .
While President Obama boasted of Americans’ privilege to not be “imprisoned by the past,” 84-year-old dictator Raúl Castro assured Cubans in his official statement on diplomatic relations with the United States that the Cuban people would remain in his shackles. Cuba “will continue bottled up in the process of realizing its economic and social model, to construct a prosperous and sustainable socialism, advance the nation’s development, and consolidate the achievements of the Revolution,” the statement reads.

Raul Castro also wants reparations.

Brazil: Dilma wants U.S. investment

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Dilma Rousseff is visiting Pres. Obama today, and she’s saying she welcomes U.S. business . . . while keeping Brazil’s protectionism:

Brazil’s President Seeks Investment During U.S. VisitBusiness friendly environment is needed to attract investors and restore growth, Rousseff says

Her visit comes amid a widening investigation into alleged price-fixing and corruption surrounding government-controlled oil giant Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras. Several Brazilian companies are being investigated in connection with the scandal. Some are cooperating with investigators; some have denied wrongdoing. Some of those executives who have made plea deals have alleged that Ms. Rousseff’s campaign received some of the illegal funds.

Her party created the Foro de Sao Paulo  (initially named Meeting of Left and Anti-imperialist Parties and Organizations of Latin America) in 1990.

UPDATE
Obama: We Have Common Values with Brazil; Similar History – “Similar history”?

Cuba: Willfull blindness

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Pres. Obama, in his desperate quest for a legacy while Iraq is lost and the economy grows at 2%/year, turns a blind eye to human rights abuses and seizes the low-hanging fruit.

Hence, the Communist regime gets all it asks for in exchange for nothing.

Here’s a question,
Obama Says Cuba Doesn’t Sponsor Terrorism. So What Are All These Hijackers and Bomb-Makers Doing There?
The White House says that Cuba has nothing to do with terrorism. But Havana is like a Star Wars cantina of Cold War radicals—including some of the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists.

It is not only American terrorists who find safe haven in Cuba. Over a dozen members of the State Department-listed Basque terrorist group ETA reside on the island, though the Cuban government has repatriated several members back to Spain. Last month, however, the Spanish government requested that the United States try to persuade Cuba to extradite two ETA leaders; it’s difficult to see how that will ever happen now that Washington has surrendered even more leverage to Havana by removing it from the State Department list. Cuba also shelters a number of insurgents associated with the FARC, a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization long at war with the Colombian government. In 2013, the Panama Canal Authority seized a North Korean-flagged ship ferrying undeclared weapons and armaments—including two Soviet-era MiG fighters and surface-to-air missile systems—from Cuba. According to a United Nations report on the seizure, commissioned in respect to Havana’s violation of a Security Council-imposed arms embargo on the North, the shipment “constituted the largest amount of arms and related materiel interdicted to or from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since the adoption of resolution 1718,” prohibiting the transfer of various weapons.

North Korea is not the only rogue regime aided and abetted by Cuba. A 2014 report by the Washington-based Center for a Secure Free Society alleges that Cuban state security had assisted Venezuelan officials with passport technology information to help provide new identities to nearly 200 individuals from the Middle East.

What’s next? Two things: 1. ceding Gitmo to the Communists. 2. a triumphal visit – his “presidential aspiration“.

As for the members of Congress who did nothing to stop it, where the hell were you?

UPDATE:
Linked to by BitsBlog. Thank you!



This just in: Cuba off sponsors of terror list

Friday, May 29th, 2015

U.S. Takes Cuba off Terror List, Paving the Way for Normal Ties

Removal from the list, announced by the department on Friday in an e-mailed statement, came as a matter of course because Congress made no move to block the action within 45 days after President Barack Obama announced plans to do so on April 14.

Related: Cuba and terrorism.

UPDATE
Linked to by The Universal Spectator. Thank you!

The era of moral imbecility

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Welcome to the era of moral imbecility, where “realism” wins over moral clarity..

Read also Esther Goldberg’s The Realism of Moral ImbecilesHoping our enemies will treat us extra nice.

Just what we need: Ferries to Cuba! UPDATED

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

So we can all go see the misery by boat:
U.S. Permits Ferry Service to CubaThe U.S. has granted licenses to four American firms to operate ferry services to Cuba for the first time in more than a half century

Unclear was how receptive Cuba’s government would be, as it seeks to balance economic benefits with concerns that any sudden change could endanger the island’s one-party rule.

Oh, well, since you brought that up, Obama Appeases Cuba – Castro Demands Reparations And Return Of GITMO.

$5 says Obama will go along with that.

Back in the days when MTV actually played rock videos, David Bowie said in one of their ads, “too much is never enough.” Raul Castro couldn’t agree more.

We talked about this and other topics in today’s podcast,

UPDATE:
MARK FALCOFF: WHY LIBERALS LOVE CASTRO

Cuba: How’s that “easement” going?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Pres. Obama announced on December 17, 2014 an easing of U.S. relations with Cuba

that will engage and empower the Cuban people.

Four months and a few days later, how’s that working out so far?

Castro police arrest more than 100 Ladies In White, other activists as they leave Havana church

The Ladies in White have been attacked continuously every Sunday since Dec. 17.

How about the conditions of political prisoners?

Cuban secret policeman to hunger striker’s mother: ‘If he dies, it’s not our problem’

The Dec. 17 WH website statement was titled A Failed Approach.

Prescience.