President Obama has truly outdone himself.
During his joint press conference with Raul Castro, Obama said of the Cuban dictator:
And, you know, I actually welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels that we’re falling short because I think we should not be immune or afraid of criticism or discussion as well.
Scarcely hours before President Obama landed in Havana, Cuban authorities arrested members of The Ladies in White, a prominent dissident group whose husbands are in jail for speaking out against the Communist regime.
At the very same press conference where Obama welcomed the Cuban dictator’s commentary on our shortcomings, Castro denied the very existence of political prisoners in Cuba:
What political prisoners? Give me a name, or names, or after this meeting is over you can give me a list of political prisoners and if we have those political prisoners they will be released before tonight ends.
I’m sure he’ll get right on it.
So long as Raul Castro denies the existence of political prisoners in Cuba, no American President should give a damn what Raul Castro thinks about us.
But Barack Obama is an American President unlike any other. What other American President would be caught dead posing with a large mural of Che Guevara? While Obama is perfectly receptive to the Raul Castros of the world, he isn’t so receptive when it comes to listening to the views of Benjamin Netanyahu. Or Republicans.
It wasn’t so long ago when Republicans criticized the Iran nuclear deal, Obama proclaimed the GOP had common cause with Mullahs. Nor was it so long ago when Republicans criticized our policy on Syrian refugees, Obama saw fit to call their position a “potent recruitment tool for ISIS.”
But by all means, President Obama, please take Raul Castro’s word at face value. President Obama said during the press conference, “President Castro, I think, has pointed out that in his view making sure everybody’s getting a decent education or health care, has basic security in old age, that those things are human rights as well. I personally would not disagree with that.”
Well, I think a majority of Cubans would see fit to disagree with Raul Castro — if only they were allowed to do so.
If the Cuban people are so fond of their education, health care, and old age security, then why are many of them literally dying to get off the island?
Only 48 hours before Obama landed on Cuban soil, 18 Cubans were rescued at sea by a Royal Caribbean cruise ship about 130 miles southwest of the Florida coast. Nine of their compatriots didn’t survive. All things considered, they might be the lucky ones. The survivors have to return to Cuba.
An American President who believes in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would take the word of those brave Cubans seeking freedom over a tyrant like Raul Castro without any hesitation. But Barack Obama will never be that President.
After all, it was President Obama who sought out Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. It was President Obama who saw fit to normalize relations with Cuba. It was President Obama who wanted to travel to Cuba before he left office.
No doubt Obama would lecture us that President Reagan had a rapprochement with the Soviet Union. But it is worth remembering that Reagan’s rapprochement came not with Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, or Konstanin Chernenko. Reagan found a partner in Mikhail Gorbachev, who made a concerted effort to reform Soviet society with glasnost and perestroika.
Could President Obama please tell us when Raul Castro embarked on Cuba’s glasnost and perestroika?
In seven plus years in office, Barack Obama has done more than any other President before him to undermine American values while giving tyranny the seal of legitimacy. He has done this through his endless apologies for America’s wrongdoings — real and imagined, the Iran nuclear deal, allowing ISIS to take over parts of Iraq, Syria, and Libya, and now restoring relations with Cuba. Is it any wonder a critical mass of Americans are receptive to a candidate who promises to make America great again?
President Obama will soon seek to lift the embargo against Cuba. The time has come to embargo President Obama.