and whether he’ll gift-wrap it for the Castros before he heads to Cuba
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) February 23, 2016
The news broke yesterday, that, as expected,
NEW: Pres. Obama to go to Cuba within the next month, sources tell @ABC News.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 18, 2016
Capitol Hill Cubans remind us that
During a December 2015 interview with Yahoo News, Obama stated that he would only travel to Cuba if he can meet with pro-democracy dissidents there. Such meetings should — at the very least — include internationally-recognized dissidents, such as Sakharov prize recipients, The Ladies in White and Guillermo Farinas; U.S. Presidential of Medal recipient Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet; Estado de Sats‘ Antonio Rodiles and former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez”. Otherwise, Obama will have lied — again.
But the trip to Cuba may only be the beginning, folks. I fully expect Obama to cede Gitmo to the Castros. Ted Cruz touched on the subject last night,
And we need to have a president that stands up to our enemies, that doesn’t – you know, if you look at Cuba when the Soviet Union collapsed, they lost their major patron, their source of money.
But then what happened is Venezuela stepped in and became a patron. And you saw the oil revenues and actually Cuba had a corrupt bargain where they would send thugs, they would send soldiers down to Venezuela, that they would use to oppress the citizens there and in exchange Venezuela would send money.
Well, as oil prices have been tanking, Venezuela’s economy is in freefall. And suddenly Cuba was again on the ropes. The Castros were again on the ropes. And just like with Iran, the Obama administration steps in with a lifeline.
The CNN video cut off at that point,
but Cruz continued,
And I’ll tell you one of the things, Anderson, I’m very concerned about, is that Obama is emptying Guantanamo. He is releasing terrorists that our soldiers bled and died to capture.
And the next president is going to have to send soldiers out to capture them again or kill them when they return to waging jihad. And I fear that by the end of this year President Obama plans to give the Guantanamo Navy Base back to Cuba, which would be undermining U.S. national security interests profoundly.
I hope he doesn’t do that. But it is consistent with his pattern of the last seven years. I think it is a profound risk.
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.