Thursday, February 09, 2017

Another Democrat visits Cuba


Governor John Hickenlooper (D) of Colorado spent a few days in Cuba.  He spoke about doing business with Cuba but not about human rights.  This is a summary of his visit:
The governor of Colorado said on Sunday he believes the Cuban government wants to further improve relations with the United States under President Donald Trump, as he wrapped up a three-day visit to the Communist-run island nation.
“They seemed eager for the chance to build a relationship with President Trump and have it be a constructive one,” Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said of his meeting with Cuba’s point person for U.S. relations, Josefina Vidal.
He said in an interview that Vidal, director of U.S. affairs at the Cuban foreign ministry, and other foreign ministry officials “were cautiously optimistic.”
“They realize they have to wait and that the new administration has a lot of things going on. They understand things could change in some ways, but I didn’t sense there was any fear or some sort of depression,” the governor said.
Hickenlooper, who traveled with a cultural and business delegation, was the highest-ranking elected U.S. official to meet with Vidal since Trump assumed office last month. Trump has said he wanted a better deal than that brokered by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
On Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said a “full review” of America’s foreign policy toward Cuba was underway.
Hickenlooper then said he didn’t doubt that many innocent people were hurt in the early years of the revolution.  He followed that by saying that most of those involved had passed away.
Really?  I would love to tell Governor Hickenlooper that my mom, and my father’s cousin, who spent 14 years in a political prison, are alive.  There are lots of former political prisoners living in the U.S.  And the repression in Cuba has not changed much, either, as we saw in the recent mistreatment of “Las Damas en Blanco,” the ladies dressed in white who march every Sunday.
We hope President Trump reviews this misguided U.S.-Cuba policy.  This is the same Castro regime we’ve all known for years.
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