Cruz, Rubio: No ambassador
U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) say they will block any attempt by lame duck Barack Obama to appoint an ambassador to Cuba.
Obama wants to name diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis to the post, but Cruz and Rubio cite a lack of progress in democracy and human rights in Cuba as their reason for blocking the nomination. [READ MORE]
Fidel skewers Obama
After Barack Obama returned from his visit to Cuba, former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro ripped the president for his comments about democracy and human rights. [READ MORE]
The more Obama gives them, the more the Castros want
Cuba said it would welcome Barack Obama to Havana, but the Communist government had no intention of changing its policies in exchange for normal relations with the United States.
In a long editorial in the Communist Party newspaper Granma, Cuba demanded Washington cease meddling in its internal affairs and said Obama could do more to change U.S. policy.
Cuba also objected to U.S. support for its political dissidents, whom many consider champions of human rights but whom the Cuban government view as an minority funded by U.S. interests. [READ MORE]
Obama's Cuba trip showing signs of imploding
Barack Obama's "historic" trip to communist Cuba is showing signs of falling apart. Far from the beisbol and mojitos junket that the president’s PR team is selling, disputes are all over, starting with which dissidents the regime will let the president see. It goes to show what a bad idea this was.
The situation got so bad that Secretary of State John Kerry canceled his preparatory trip to Cuba after Cuban officials told him which dissidents Obama could meet — and which ones he couldn't. [READ MORE]
Sympathy for the Devil: Stones prop up Castro brothers
The Rolling Stones will perform a "Concert for Amity" in Havana, Cuba on March 25. The Associated Press says they are the biggest act to play Cuba since the 1959 Castro takeover.
Kerry can't show evidence of improved human rights in Cuba
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart put John Kerry against the ropes.
In a State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on February 24, 2016, Kerry could not provide factual evidence of improved human rights in Cuba when asked by Diaz-Balart. [READ MORE]
Human rights on the ropes in Cuba yet Obama is eager to visit
Barack Obama makes no secret of his eagerness to visit Cuba, but as recently as December he insisted that there would be no such trip until human rights and civil liberties on the island had improved.
“If we’re seeing some progress in the liberty and freedom and possibilities of ordinary Cubans, I’d love to use a visit as a way of highlighting that progress,” Obama told Yahoo News. “If we’re going backwards, then there’s not much reason for me to be there.”
Cuba is going backwards. By all accounts, the Castro regime’s repression has grown worse, not better, since the renewal of diplomatic ties with the United States in 2014. Beatings and arrests of dissidents have soared. There has been a crackdown on churches and religious groups.
Yet Obama announced last week that he’s going to Cuba anyway, thus abandoning his December pledge and rewarding the hemisphere’s sole dictatorship with the enormous prestige of a presidential visit. [READ MORE]
Castro brothers the only beneficiaries in Obama trip to Cuba
Announcing another historic “first,” Barack Obama said he and the first lady would visit communist Cuba to help improve the lot of the Cuban people. Last time he said that, when he normalized ties, the whip came down.
No regime has been showered with goodies the way the White House has heaped them onto the Castro brothers’ 57-year military dictatorship. From cash and trade, to the prestige of a costly U.S. presidential visit, the Castros have made out like bandits. The U.S. gets nothing in return. Nada. [READ MORE]
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