Saturday, April 11, 2015

Obama to the rescue: How did Raul Castro get so lucky?

A few months ago, dictator Raul Castro was wondering about the survival of the regime.  In other words, he saw Venezuela imploding and no one in the West willing to lend him any money.   (Cuba has to constantly reschedule its debts as Mexico, Canada and just about everybody else has learned)

Guess who comes in to offer a lifeline?  The answer is President Obama, the same one who is negotiating with Iran.
So how is it going it with the Cuba talks?   Well, Castro is demanding and demanding, as The Wall Street Journal reminded us today:
“Fidel’s little brother now says he won’t move on normalization until Mr. Obama hands over Guantanamo and takes Cuba off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Mr. Obama is waiting for a review of a State Department analysis on the terror list, but he’s sounding increasingly impatient.
We look forward to hearing how Mr. Obama handles Cuba’s harboring of Basque and Colombian terrorists, plus the odd U.S. fugitive.
Since Mr. Obama agreed to a prisoner swap and a path to normal relations in December, arbitrary political detentions in Cuba have increased.
The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami documented 178 political detentions in January, 492 in February and 610 in March.
Cuban repression is also a road show these days, with Raúl’s enforcers this week assaulting Cubans and Cuban-Americans in Panama who had traveled to the summit for a civil society forum.
The State Department condemned the violence, though it managed to avoid mentioning Cuba in its statement. You wouldn’t want a diplomatic incident.
Cuba’s South American bestie, Venezuela, will also make a splash at the summit by denouncing America’s minor sanctions. PresidentNicolás Maduro’s political prisoners back home include the mayor of Caracas, the former mayor of San Cristóbal, and former presidential candidate Leopoldo López.”
So Raul is on top of the world and Obama is being humiliated once more.    Have we not seen this movie before?
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The Democrats owe Themselves a Primary

(My new American Thinker post)
We hear that Secretary Clinton may be announcing this weekend. At the same time, we also hear that former Senator Lincoln Chaffee may be running, too.  
Add Governor O'Malley, former Senator Webb, and maybe someone else, and we have the makings of a primary.
I'm not in the business of giving Democrats advice but a little primary may do the party and the country good.
It's time to hear something other than "the country needs a woman president". I'm naturally not opposed to having a woman president but "gender" is not a qualification by itself.   
So far, Hillary Clinton has been running like she's entitled to the job or it's her turn. That's not a party should nominate a candidate, specially given the seriousness of the country's problems.
We also need a debate about liberalism. Where do the Democrats stand on health care reform after the debacle of ObamaCare?  National security and the mess in the Middle East? Gun control? Family values?  
The Democrats also need a frank discussion about the future of their party and their emphasis on identity politics, as John Kraushaar wrote recently:
One of the paradoxes of today's Democratic Party is that, despite the increasing importance of a diversified voting coalition, the party is drastically underrepresented by talented nonwhite politicians in its congressional, gubernatorial, and statewide ranks. The great irony of Obama's presidency is that by playing to his progressive base so much, Obama oversaw the collapse of his party at the local level -- and it's depriving Democrats of compelling, viable presidential recruits who reflect the changed nature of the party for 2016 and beyond.
The party is in a very weak position from coast to coast: 
Thirty-one of 50 governors are now Republican; the GOP now controls 68 out of 98 partisan state legislative chambers; and Republicans hold majorities in both the House and the Senate -- in the House, by the biggest margin since 1928. 
The Democrats need an internal debate about these issues rather than to just sit back and hand someone the nomination.    
P.S. You can hear my show (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter

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Confusion over the Iran nuclear deal and a few other thoughts

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