We hear that Secretary Kerry is canceling his trip to Cuba over human rights. Good for him! The issue is dissidents or having the Cuban government decide which ones will meet with President Obama.
President Obama is still going to Cuba. He will join Mick & The Rolling Stones in Havana.
Frankly, I can understand Mick and Keith blasting “Street Fighting Man” in Cuba. The Stones will bring some much-needed relief to Cubans. They will finally get to see the group that they’ve hearing on Miami AM radio stations over the years.
At the same time, I cannot support a U.S. president who can’t seem to distinguish between friend and enemy, as we see in the Washington Times editorial:
The president’s attempt to redress relations between Washington and Havana is not only one-sided but rests on false assumptions.
The negotiations which led to reinstating formal ties with Raul Castro’s government were an enthusiastically one-sided affair. Just as the agreement was initialed Raul Castro’s government tossed more political prisoners in jail.
The promised economic reforms have reformed nothing. Ever-tighter regulations and continuing government interference, some petty and some not so petty, have made a mockery of attempts to open small businesses.
Only the American businessmen who enabled Mr. Obama’s romance are receiving subsidies from Washington, with more to come. They’re pushing now to lift the embargo on trade with the dictatorship.
It’s not likely that the president’s forthcoming visit will win concessions from the Castro brothers.
The brothers, basking in the prestige of the presidential visit, and the painting of the resumption of diplomatic relations as a victory for the regime, have learned that they need not answer concessions with concessions.
Good faith is not necessary.
That’s right. Good faith is not a word in a corrupt dictator’s way of doing business.
President Obama will sit down with an emboldened Raul Castro. He will put Mr. Obama on defense by discussing Gitmo or lifting the embargo. In other words, Raul Castro knows that he can push Obama around.
He should meet with the dissidents that he wants to see not the ones selected by Castro. It should be a condition of the trip. He should encourage the dissidents and call for freedom and open elections.
Will he do this? It would be nice and in the tradition of the U.S., the country most closely associated with freedom in the world.
Will he do it? As the old song goes: “I can dream, can’t I?”
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