The New York Times endorses slavery for Cubans

Once again the fact that Cuban workers sent abroad are nothing more than modern day slaves, is exposed. Cuba’s slave trade in doctors program, and the U.S. Cuban Medical Professionals Parole Program has collided in Columbia, providing more evidence that the administration’s stated concern for human rights in Cuba is a lie.

Via Front Page Magazine:

PRO-CASTRO OBAMA REFUSES TO TAKE IN CUBAN DOCTORS SEEKING ASYLUM
The New York Times endorses slavery
By Daniel Greenfield

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If you’re an El Salvadorian gang member, Obama will set you loose on your own, until you kill someone. If you’re a Cuban doctor, good luck.

The New York Times and other pro-Castro media outlets have been pushing to deny asylum to Cuban doctors. Because apparently it’s “cruel” to interfere with the Communist dictatorship’s influence building by letting doctors claim asylum.

Apparently according to liberals, Cuban doctors are human chattel, slaves, who should be viewed as Castro’s property even outside Cuba. And Obama is following that script.

[. . .]

Here’s the slavery that liberals at the New York Times believe the human chattel of the Castro regime should be subjected to.

Discel Rodriguez, a 42-year-old nurse, said he was forced to live with five other doctors in confined quarters. They had a 6 p.m. curfew and were discouraged from making friends in the community.

“At least in Cuba you could live in a house with the people that you cared about,” he said. “But Venezuela was punishment — it was a prison.”

Annie Rodriguez, a 29-year-old rehabilitation specialist, was sent to the Venezuelan town of Ospino, about 240 miles southwest of the capital. There, she shared a room with three other doctors. They put up a cardboard wall for privacy from their male roommates.

“The house had a dirt floor, there wasn’t a kitchen or a bathroom,” she said. “When it flooded we’d have to put our luggage on the bed.”

In April 2014, she discovered she was pregnant — a violation of her contract. It meant she would be sent back to the island and stripped of the salary that had been deposited for her there.

She borrowed money from her mother and finally made it to the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá seven months pregnant. On Dec. 9, however, her asylum request was rejected. She said the shock of the news sent her into labor.

Internacionalistas are given modest stipends but the bulk of their salary is held in Cuba. When they’re sent home early — as he was being threatened with — they’re denied even those modest savings.

This is what the New York Times and Obama endorse. Maybe it’s what they want for America.

Continue reading HERE.

Visual Artists Guild: United States a collaborator of repression in Cuba

Via Ann Lau, Chair, Visual Artists Guild, a supporter of Human Rights in Cuba, who has been instrumental in bringing Cuban and Chinese dissidents together, released the following on Secretary Kerry’s statement in Havana.

Press Release: Opening of US Embassy in Cuba
For Immediate Release

Visual Artists Guild welcomes Secretary of State, John Kerry’s statement yesterday at the opening of the United States Embassy in Cuba in which he stated, “We remain convinced the people of Cuba would be best served by a genuine democracy, where people are free to choose their leaders, express their ideas and practice their faith.”
However, words must also be aligned with actions. Visual Artists Guild is disappointed in Secretary Kerry’s failure to invite Ms. Berta Soler, leader of the activists group Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) to the opening ceremony.
This failure of Secretary Kerry contrasts glaringly with the February 1989 visit to China by President Bush during which the Chinese dissident physicist Fang Lizhi was invited to the U.S. embassy reception to meet with the President. While China’s security personnel forcibly and successfully prevented Fang from entered the the embassy, it created international news and exposed China’s reality to the world.
The Ladies in White is a group of women with support from others has been protesting every Sunday after mass since 2003. Dressed in white, a symbol of peace, they silently press for the release of their husbands and loved ones.
Despite the rapprochement, the Ladies in White has been harassed, beaten, imprisoned almost weekly since the announcement of rapprochement in December, 2014.
In fact, as early as 10 days ago, Cuban rocker, Gorki Aguila, was arrested for attending a Ladies in White march and for authoring a song in honor of The Ladies in White. Aguila was later released. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHvmaOTKIuo
Visual Artists Guild calls on President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, to bring out the current repression against the Ladies in White and their supporters by the Cuban government. The silence by the United States government in fact makes the U.S. a collaborator of repression in Cuba.

Ann Lau
Chair, Visual Artists Guild

WaPo: The U.S. outrageously snubs Cuban dissidents

The Washington Post:

The U.S. Outrageously Snubs Cuban Dissidents
By Editorial Board

THE AMERICAN flag is a powerful symbol of the country’s long and noble struggle to defend the values of freedom and democracy. When Secretary of State John F. Kerry raises it over the U.S. embassy in Cuba on Friday, the ceremony will mark an end to a half-century of hostility between the two nations. President Obama has gambled that establishing normal relations with Cuba — commerce, information, culture and “soft power” — is the best way to change the isolated island, still in the grip of the Castro brothers and their sclerotic revolution.

What’s unfortunate about the scenario planned for Havana is that Mr. Kerry has decided to omit the very people in Cuba who embody the values that the American flag represents: human dignity, the wisdom of the individual above the state and free access to basic rights of expression in speech, assembly and thought. These people — the dissidents in Cuba who have fought tirelessly for democracy and human rights, and who continue to suffer regular beatings and arrests — will not be witnesses to the flag-raising. They were not invited.

The official U.S. explanation for excluding the dissidents is that the flag-raising ceremony is a government-to-government affair. This is lame. Inviting the dissidents would be a demonstration to Raúl and Fidel Castro of what the flag stands for: people freely choosing their leaders, a pluralism of views and a public engaging in the institutions and traditions of a healthy civil society. Not inviting them is a sorry tip of the hat to what the Castros so vividly stand for: diktat, statism, control and rule by fear.

It would not have been hard to find witnesses to this turning point who have been muzzled and physically injured in their quest to be heard: dissidents Jorge Luis García Pérez and Antonio Rodiles, the blogger Yoani Sánchez, members of the Ladies in White, to name just a few. Mr. Kerry offers to meet with some of them separately, out of public view. It is insulting and acquiesces in the Castros’ desire that the dissidents be hidden away.

In a sense, the “government-to-government” excuse exemplifies what has been wrong in Mr. Obama’s outreach from the start. Engagement could help spark change in Cuba; most Cuban democrats agree. But it won’t happen automatically: Just look at China, with its capitalism and wealth blended with increasingly repressive rule.

Mr. Obama could have designed an engagement policy that made room for human rights and its courageous advocates, as he once promised them he would do. Instead, he’s bestowed all legitimacy on a government that can claim none in its own right — that rules through force, and not the consent of the governed. Maybe Mr. Kerry can at least leave an empty chair at the ceremony to symbolize the people, and the values, that will be kept outside the fence.

Díaz-Balart Condemns Yet Another Shameful Capitulation to the Castro Regime

DiazBalartmage001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 14, 2015

Diaz-Balart Condemns Yet Another Shameful Capitulation to the Castro Regime


MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after reports that the Obama administration chose to exclude Cuban pro-democracy leaders from the ceremony with Secretary Kerry at the U.S. post in Havana.

“That a U.S. Secretary of State would sideline Cuba’s pro-democracy activists simply to avoid offending their oppressors is unthinkable. In Cuba, pro-democracy and human rights activists strive each day, at grave personal risk, to achieve freedom for the Cuban people. It is shameful that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have stooped so low as to publicly choose the Castro regime over the Cuban people, and exclude Cuba’s brave leaders from a U.S.-hosted event at our post in Havana. Our U.S. mission in Cuba has always been a welcoming haven and symbol of liberty for those struggling for freedom in the midst of tyranny. The U.S. must remain unequivocal in its support for democracy, human rights and essential liberties, which necessarily includes standing by those struggling to achieve them.”

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Cuban Dissidents Reject Kerry’s Insulting Second-Fiddle Offer

I’m glad to see this dignified response, how dare dare Kerry treat them so shabbily, although we are not surprised. Obama’s new Cuba policy is based on lies and a treacherous betrayal of Cuba’s dissidents, including outright lying to their face Obama told them that any U.S.action on Cuba “would be consulted with civil society and the nonviolent opposition.”

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Cuban Dissidents Reject Kerry’s Insulting Second-Fiddle Offer

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told media outlets yesterday that the reason why Cuban dissidents aren’t invited to the flag-raising ceremony at the new U.S. Embassy in Havana is because there isn’t enough space.

What a pathetic — and untrue — excuse.

The courtyard of the U.S. Embassy in Havana is easily four to five times the size of the Cuban Embassy’s in Washington, D.C.

Yet, the latter invited over 500 guests to its flag-raising ceremony, including their lobbyists, apologists and a Code Pink delegation to party outside.

The real reason why Kerry is not inviting Cuban dissidents to the flag-raising event is because the Castro regime doesn’t want them there — and the Obama Administration has shamefully acquiesced.

In other words, the Obama Administration is (once again) lowering our standards to raise the flag.

Instead, Kerry has offered to meet Cuban dissidents “in a closet” of the Ambassador’s residence afterwards.

This morning, Berta Soler of The Ladies in White and Antonio Rodiles of Estado de Sats, who have been leading the courageous Sunday demonstrations against the Castro regime (in the face of rising violence and repression), rejected Kerry’s insulting second-fiddle offer.

The image of the flag-raising ceremony at the Embassy will be of the U.S. standing side-by-side with the oppressors of the Cuban people.

It will forever be captioned — “No dissent is allowed.”

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Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: Kerry’s Visit to Havana Another Stop on Capitulation Tour

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PRESS RELEASE

August 13. 2015

Kerry’s Visit to Havana to Inaugurate American Embassy Another Stop On His Capitulation Tour, Says Ros-Lehtinen

Miami, FL – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Havana today to inaugurate the American embassy in Cuba. Statement from Ros-Lehtinen:

“John Kerry’s presence in Havana on his global capitulation tour is yet another example of the Obama administration’s desire to pursue deals at any cost. While the Castro brothers will roll out the red carpet for Secretary Kerry, the people of Cuba will continue to be met with violence and detentions. While Secretary Kerry just changes the sign on the door at our post, he purposefully forgets that the Castro regime tries to prevent the people of Cuba from even reaching our building. While political prisoners languish in Castro’s gulags, Secretary Kerry will be shaking hands with their oppressor. The arrest of more than 100 pro-democracy leaders just days before Kerry’s visit should provide proof enough that the Castro regime has no intention of changing, so why should our policies change?

From a dangerous Iran deal to being weak against North Korea to giving in to the demands of the Castro brothers, this administration has demonstrated it imposes no moral bar to negotiating with tyrannical regimes. It is a shame we continue to give away so much in exchange for nothing since the White House was unable to ensure democratic freedoms for the people of Cuba, the return of fugitives from American justice, or compensation for illegally confiscated properties. Our country stands for so much more than the pittance it has accepted from the Castro regime.”

#####

An open letter to John Kerry, Secretary of State

Via The Sun-Sentinel:

An open letter to John Kerry, Secretary of State

Dear Sec. Kerry:

Friday you are scheduled to embark on the first visit by an American Secretary of State to Cuba in 70 years.

That visit was by then Secretary of State Edward Stettinius and was a celebratory visit. The United States was close to winning the World War II, and Cuba had been its first ally in the Western Hemisphere.

The one prior to that was from Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and it lasted 13 days from July 19 to Aug. 1, 1940.

These two visits were bookends to a world war. Friday, you travel with much ballyhoo to raise the American flag at the re-opening of the American Embassy in Havana.

As television station KTLA in Los Angeles said: “A Cuban delegation of diplomats, artists and veterans of the revolution were to commemorate the breakthrough with about 500 guests and more than likely down a few celebratory mojitos and shots of Havana Club rum.”

Unbelievable Mr. Secretary! This is a disgrace.

Your predecessors went to visit America’s first ally in the Western Hemisphere during the United States’ time of need. You go to raise a flag and down a few mojitos.

All this is fine and refined for a French-speaking diplomat who represents a president who wants his legacy to show he re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba despite all the obstacles Cuban President Raul Castro could put in his path.

Since the Dec. 17 announcement, Castro has said the Cuban communist government will not change. It’s iron grip on all dollar producing businesses will continue, as will its repressive policies of beating up and arresting anyone who dares dissent from the regime.

Certainly some of your assistants may have told you that since President Obama made his historic announcement, the Cuban government has made it a point to increase its repressive measures against those in opposition to the regime.

Verifiable reports out of Cuba say the government and its squad of goons have doubled the number of dissidents beaten, harassed and imprisoned — anyone who dares say they want a democratic regime with free elections, freedom of expression and freedom from a totalitarian government that monitors every one of their moves.

What say you, Mr. Secretary, to these human rights abuses?

At some point during the last six plus months, I recall there was a weak statement from a State Department spokesman saying how disappointed the United States was by the human rights abuses in Cuba.

Baloney, Mr. Secretary!

And please pardon my lack of diplomacy.I am a simple journalist who was born in Cuba, who came to this country 55 years ago and love both countries with all my heart.

That is why I cry today, Mr. Secretary!

I cry because you have not given any indication that you will meet with any of the dissidents in Cuba.

You do not have what it takes to do honor to the many secretaries of state who have preceded you that defended the principles this country stands for in the face of enemy representatives.

And do not doubt it, Mr. Secretary. Cuba is a sworn enemy of the United States. If it can help Iran, it will. Russia is already readying itself to open “monitoring” facilities in the island.

Yet your president and you have taken it upon yourselves to shake hands, raise a flag and have a few drinks with 500 Cuban dignitaries. Maybe the five convicted spies will be in attendance. Be sure to shake their hands. also.

At this point Mr. Secretary there is only one thing you can do to avoid making this trip the disaster that it already is. You could, if you truly believe in the principles of what our founding fathers said in Philadelphia more than 200 years ago, demand to see the Cuban dissidents.

Go shake hands with them and say that freedom-loving Americans believe in their cause. Give them hope for a better tomorrow. Show them that the United States truly is looking for a day when Cuba will be a democracy again.

Sincerely,

Guillermo Martinez, a Cuban-born, American citizen. One who loves both countries with all his heart.

Guillermo I. Martínez lives in South Florida. Guimar123@gmail.com

Continue reading HERE.

U.S. Cuba Policy: Good words from Jay Nordlinger

Ditto Jay, especially what he writes about our friend Mauricio Claver-Carone.

Via National Review Corner:

Cuba (A Few, Weak Words)

“Cuban dissidents, so long the center of U.S. policy toward the island, won’t be invited to Secretary of State John Kerry’s historic flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Friday, vividly illustrating how U.S. policy is shifting focus to its single-party government.” So begins an Associated Press report.

Understandably, several people have asked me to comment on this. I’m afraid I can’t. I mean, I’ve been commenting — and interviewing and reporting and analyzing — for many years. I’m afraid I’m about spent.

Do you get the impression that the Obama administration is warmer toward the Castro dictatorship than it is toward its opponents and victims? I do. And if that makes me a McCarthyite, so be it.

Over the weekend, about 90 dissidents were arrested in Cuba. (Read about it here.) This is par for the course — but repression has increased since Obama declared his opening right after the midterm elections in the U.S. (They don’t have elections in Cuba — not democratic ones.) Some of the dissidents were wearing an Obama mask. They did not mean that in a complimentary way.

I damn myself for being tired. I once said to my friend Mauricio Claver-Carone, “How can you get up every day and do battle with these apologists and propagandists and liars?” (He is a Cuban-American democracy activist, who mans the website Capitol Hill Cubans. He is a scourge of the Castros and their defenders.) He responded with the slogan of Leopoldo López, the Venezuelan oppositionist who is a guest in the chavistas’ jails: “El que se cansa, pierde” — “He who tires, loses.”

I’m not tired. I’m just resting for a second in anticipation of future bursts and blasts . . .

P.S. Mauricio has written about the recent arrests here. Not only were these people arrested, they of course had the hell beaten out of them, which is how the Castroites roll.

P.P.S. You know who never tires? Democracy leaders on the island. Through beatings and imprisonment and torture — and betrayal at the hands of people in the Free World — they keep going. It’s almost a miracle.

P.P.P.S. For years, democracy has been in bad odor in America. The Left doesn’t like it, of course — their heart beats for the Castros, the chavistas, the can-do Chinese Communist Party, and others. And significant elements on the right don’t like it, because democracy smacks of George W. Bush and “neocons” and war and general ickiness. But it’s extremely important, democracy. Ask those who don’t have it.

Continue reading HERE.

Kerry to Shun Cuban Dissidents From Embassy Event

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Kerry to Shun Cuban Dissidents From Embassy Event

Supporters of Obama’s Cuba policy should be very proud of themselves.

In October 2014, we had warned:

“If relations with Cuba were normalized, the United States might occasionally raise the issue of human rights and democracy rhetorically — but in practice it would be relegated to the bottom of the agenda.”

And now, that’s exactly what’s happening.

The Obama Administration has completely lost its moral compass.

Think of the poor example this sets for other nations.

Is this how the international community will “press” the Castro regime on democracy and rights, as the Obama Administration contends?

In a nutshell, here’s what “change looks like” in Obama’s Cuba policy — Castro si, disidentes no.

From AP:

Cuba dissidents won’t attend US Embassy event

The Obama administration doesn’t plan to invite Cuban dissidents to Secretary of State John Kerry’s historic flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Friday, vividly illustrating how U.S. policy is shifting focus from the island’s opposition to its single-party government. Instead, Kerry intends to meet more quietly with prominent activists later in the day, officials said.

The Cuban opposition has occupied the center of U.S. policy toward the island since the nations cut diplomatic relations in 1961. The Cuban government labels its domestic opponents as traitorous U.S. mercenaries. As the two countries have moved to restore relations, Cuba has almost entirely stopped meeting with American politicians who visit dissidents during trips to Havana.

Their presence at the embassy would have risked setting back the new spirit of cooperation the U.S. hopes to engender, according to the officials, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about internal planning and demanded anonymity. But not meeting them at all, they said, would send an equally bad signal.

Key dissidents told the AP late Tuesday that they had not received invitations to any of Friday’s events.

Dissident Yoani Sanchez’s online newspaper 14ymedio has received no credential for the U.S. embassy event, said editor Reinaldo Escobar, who is married to Sanchez.

“The right thing to do would be to invite us and hear us out despite the fact that we don’t agree with the new U.S. policy,” said Antonio Rodiles, head of the dissident group Estado de SATS.

The cautious approach is consistent with how Obama has handled the question of support for dissidents since he and Castro announced a prisoner swap in December and their intention to create a broader improvement in relations. The process has resulted in unilateral steps by Obama to ease the economic embargo on Cuba and last month’s formal upgrading of both countries’ interests sections into full-fledged embassies.

When senior diplomat Roberta Jacobson held talks in Havana in January, she met several government critics at the end of her historic trip but was restrained in her criticism of the government. Since then, American politicians have flooded Havana to see the sights, meet the country’s new entrepreneurs and discuss possibly ending the U.S. embargo with leaders of the communist government.

According to an Associated Press count that matches tallies by leading dissidents, more than 20 U.S. lawmakers have visited Cuba since February without meeting the opposition groups that were once obligatory for congressional delegations.

Tragically, rather than being on their side:

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The Obama Administration is now on his side:

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Note via @CapitolCubans – AP title misleading. Cuban dissidents were not invited by Obama Administration.

Rubio: Shunning Dissidents From Embassy Opening A New Low For Obama Administration

From the Office of Senator Marco Rubio:

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

RUBIO: SHUNNING DISSIDENTS FROM EMBASSY OPENING A NEW LOW FOR OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, issued the following statement regarding reports that the Obama Administration doesn’t plan to invite Cuban dissidents to Secretary of State John Kerry’s flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Friday:

“This is a new low for President Obama and a slap in the face by this administration to Cuba’s courageous democracy activists. Cuban dissidents are the legitimate representatives of the Cuban people and it is they who deserve America’s red carpet treatment, not Castro regime officials. What a pathetic policy President Obama has embarked on that shuns Cuban dissidents like this, yet has welcomed Castro regime officials to the White House.”

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A message for American tourists to Cuba

Dear U.S. Cuba bound tourist: Do you know that Cuba is totalitarian military dictatorship that rules with an iron fist sans Human Rights and The Rule of Law? Do you know that Orlando Zapata Tamayo died on February 23, 2010, following seven years of unjust imprisonment combined with physical and psychological torture at the hands of the Castro dictatorship in Cuba? He was a human rights activist who was recognized by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.

John Suarez is correct, this question now applies to Americans traveling to Cuba as Cubans suffer there under a totalitarian dictatorship. Via @johnsuarez on Twitter:

Question of the day: When Was This Cuba Story Written?

Excellent unmasking of the MSM by Capitol Hill Cubans:

When Was This Cuba Story Written?

The following article could have been written this week — and some variant of it probably was — by a journalist enthralled by the latest “change in Cuba” narrative.

And yet, Castro’s regime remains as manipulative, monopolistic and repressive as ever.

So when was this story actually written?

From The New York Times:

On the Street, Cubans Fondly Embrace Capitalism

Less than a year into major economic changes that have opened the way for foreign investment and freed many Cubans to work for themselves, life in this city is being transformed by a new ethic: the frantic search for dollars.

Although Cuba’s Communist leadership has often sought to rein in the changes, repeatedly reminding the people that it has not chosen capitalism as a solution to the country’s grave economic problems, almost everywhere one looks these days private enterprise is filling voids left by an exhausted Government.

In special shops once reserved for diplomats, Cubans with dollars earned in small private businesses or sent by relatives abroad line up to buy basic imported goods, from bath soap to over-the-counter medicines, that failing Government enterprises can no longer supply.

Although these shops are owned by the state, and therefore are not examples of private enterprise, echoes of capitalism can be heard in the hum of activity around them.

Each of the diplo-tiendas, as the special stores are known, has spawned an outdoor market where, from the paid bicycle parking lot and carwashes to the fevered trading in home-grown produce, clothing and handicrafts, Cubans who have abandoned Government jobs now fend for themselves.

While capitalism is most evident in the street-corner flowering of petty commerce, Havana’s biggest moves toward it involve foreign investors. At the International Center of Havana, a private business consulting concern that opened last fall, each month brings a handful of new European or Latin American companies hoping to get in on the ground floor of the transformation of a Cuban economy with enormous needs but also considerable potential.

Foreign business people here say the most important changes are in the attitudes of Cuban officials toward international investment.

“The investments which meet our needs are the ones we will greet,” said Reynaldo Taladrid, deputy minister of the state committee that oversees new private investment in Cuba. “We need partners and we need foreign exchange.”

But even as they have opened the door to foreign capital, Cuban officials, fearful that things may be getting out of hand, have recently stepped up warnings that the Communist Party leadership, far from embracing capitalism, intends to retain a Communist economy.

Ultimately, business executives and economic experts here say, Cuba will be guided by pragmatism. In November, the Government invited a two-member team from the International Monetary Fund to advise it on transformations under way in Eastern Europe and to make suggestions on Cuba’s own changes.
According to the fund’s summary report on the visit, the Government has concluded that without major changes the economy will inevitably collapse, “with all the accomplishments of Cuba’s political and social model disappearing in the wreckage.”

Answer: February 3rd, 1994

Rubio to Kerry: Meet With Cuban Democracy Leaders During Friday’s Cuba Visit

From the office of Sen. Marco Rubio:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Aug 11 2015

Rubio to Kerry: Meet With Cuban Democracy Leaders During Friday’s Cuba Visit

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, today urged Secretary of State John Kerry to demand freedom and respect for the human rights of the Cuban people during his upcoming visit to Cuba.

Rubio also reiterated his promise to block the confirmation of any ambassador to Cuba until political reforms and progress on human rights are seen, the return to the U.S. of harbored terrorists and fugitives to face justice, and the resolution of outstanding American property claims and judgments against the Cuban government.

“Despite all the setbacks President Obama’s [policies] have inflicted on the cause of a free and democratic Cuba, I urge you to at least use the opportunity of your upcoming August 14th trip to Havana to demand the freedom and rights of the Cuban people,” wrote Rubio. “During your meetings with Cuban officials, you should demand that all political prisoners are released. During your visit, you should meet with the courageous leaders who are fighting to bring freedom to Cuba and invite them to the ceremony you will be presiding over at the new American embassy. This should include leaders such as Antonio Rodiles, head of Estado de SATS; Berta Soler, head of the Ladies in White; Jorge Garcia Perez Antunez, former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and human rights activist; Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, a U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and labor leader; and Guillermo Farinas, recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

“They, among many others, and not the Castro family, are the legitimate representatives of the Cuban people,” Rubio continued. “For the Obama Administration to shun these courageous Cubans after years of enduring imprisonment, physical abuses, assassinations and threats would be another unforgivable betrayal of America’s moral leadership in the world. The Obama Administration has already given the Castro regime enough, and it stands to give away even more as it loosens business and travel regulations. At the very least, don’t send another message that, under this president, America cares more about endearing itself to the oppressors instead of standing up for the oppressed.”

A PDF of the letter is available here, and the text is below:

August 10, 2015

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20220

Dear Secretary Kerry,

When you visit Cuba this week, the Obama Administration will be sending its most chilling signal yet; that it views diplomatic relations with the Castro regime to be more important than the interests of the American people, or the basic human rights of the Cuban people. As I have said before, I will make sure that the embassy you are opening in Havana will not have a U.S. ambassador unless, at the very least, we see real political reforms and progress on human rights, the return to the U.S. of harbored terrorists and fugitives to face justice, and the resolution of outstanding American property claims and judgments against the Cuban government.

It is a diplomatic and moral failure on this Administration’s part to have moved forward with opening an embassy in Havana and providing the regime with a windfall of U.S. dollars without achieving any of our national interests in return. Rather than negotiate with Cuba from a position of strength, the Obama Administration chose to give away too much up front in exchange for the regime’s empty promises of future discussions.

Throughout the Obama Administration’s negotiations with Cuba, a demoralizing message was also sent to Cuba’s valiant pro-democracy movement, which had neither a voice nor a presence in these talks. Over the past eight months since President Obama announced his new Cuba policy, a steady stream of administration officials and members of Congress visited Cuba with few of them bothering to meet with Cuban democracy and human rights leaders and none demanding to meet with political prisoners. Not surprisingly, the regime has responded with an unprecedented wave of repression and political arrests.

Despite all the setbacks President Obama’s [policies] have inflicted on the cause of a free and democratic Cuba, I urge you to at least use the opportunity of your upcoming August 14th trip to Havana to demand the freedom and rights of the Cuban people. During your meetings with Cuban officials, you should demand that all political prisoners are released. During your visit, you should meet with the courageous leaders who are fighting to bring freedom to Cuba and invite them to the ceremony you will be presiding over at the new American embassy. This should include leaders such as Antonio Rodiles, head of Estado de SATS; Berta Soler, head of the Ladies in White; Jorge Garcia Perez Antunez, former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and human rights activist; Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, a U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and labor leader; and Guillermo Farinas, recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

They, among many others, and not the Castro family, are the legitimate representatives of the Cuban people. For the Obama Administration to shun these courageous Cubans after years of enduring imprisonment, physical abuses, assassinations and threats would be another unforgivable betrayal of America’s moral leadership in the world. The Obama Administration has already given the Castro regime enough, and it stands to give away even more as it loosens business and travel regulations. At the very least, don’t send another message that, under this president, America cares more about endearing itself to the oppressors instead of standing up for the oppressed.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio
Permalink: http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2015/8/rubio-to-kerry-meet-with-cuban-democracy-leaders-during-friday-s-cuba-visit

Planned Parenthood and Communism: A Shared Culture of Death

“Once you deny that the human person is a child with divine rights to be born alive, it is only logical to legalize the murder of unborn children. The connection between the massive culture of death in our day and Communism is so close that most people do not even realize that there is a cause and effect relationship between the two.” Father John A. Hardon, S.J.

The founder of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger, was a Marxist and a member of the Women’s Committee of the New York Socialist Party. Contrary to accepted progressive opinion, her ideas on eugenics and the sterilization of the so-called unfit fit perfectly within her leftist ideology.

In 1935, she visited Soviet Russia, and upon her return wrote an article on her findings there. Titled Birth Control in Soviet Russia, it appeared in the June 1935 edition of her newsletter, The Birth Control Review.

From the article:

I visited dispensaries, hospitals, Clinics and Institutes for the Protections of Motherhood in Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, Odessa and elsewhere. Contrary to the oft-quoted warning that I would see only what I was supposed to see, I found that I was able to see anything that I asked to see, and many things that I was not supposed to see. To understand the Russian birth control situation, and the abortion situation, for the two are connected, one must keep in mind the attitude of Soviet Russia toward its women. This would delight the heart of the staunchest feminist. Equal rights are a settled and accepted fact. Woman is equal to man in every occupation, in sports, in the arts, in marriage, in all activities. When pregnancy begins this equality ceases. Then the woman becomes a protege of the State. Both the mother and the child are under the protection and care of the government, to an extent perhaps never before equaled in history.

[. . .]

In summary theoretically, there are no obstacles to birth control in Russia it is accepted, not on economic grounds, but on the grounds of health and human right. Practically, supplies are few and are of poor quality, Russia’s need is for the importation and manufacture of tested and reliable supplies. In this respect America is far ahead. On the other hand, we could well take example from Russia, where there are no legal restrictions, no religious condemnation, and where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.

Successive Planned Parenthood presidents beginning with Dr. Alan Frank Guttmacher who succeeded Sanger 1962, have proudly embraced her ideology. Reading through Planned Parenthood’s website reveals many connections with known leftist politicians and organizations.

Of course there’s a Cuba connection. Dr. Guttmacher visited Cuba in 1966, and wrote about the visit in a letter:

March 15, 1966

Dear Friend of Planned Parenthood:

For an American to go to Cuba is a dream; but for me it was reality, and it happened so accidentally. At a luncheon at the U.N. Conference on Population in Belgrade last fall, the chief of Cuba’s delegation asked me if I would address the triennial Cuban Medical Conference in February. I was amused and said; “Sure, but there are two hurdles; first Castro has to invite me and second, LBJ has to let me.” I had forgotten the incident when the invitation came Dec. 23 (mailed Oct. 16 in Havana!) On Jan. 24, I received official U.S. sanction from the Passport Division.

(Note:Apparently he was untroubled by the well publicized executions taking place in Cuba, not to mention the 1962 planned terrorist attack on Manhattan the day after Thanksgiving.) More of the letter is posted HERE.

Also, I came across an article on the visit published in the February 19, 1966 edition of the St. Petersburg Times.

Planned Parenthood has promoted Cuban propaganda on more than one occasion, for example this 2013 “interview” with Mariela Castro, Politics, Sex and Revolution.

Planned Parenthood Regional Director Carmen Barroso with Cuba's Mariela Castro
Planned Parenthood Regional Director Carmen Barroso with Cuba’s Mariela Castro

State Dept. encourages travel to Cuba hours after latest crackdown

How deep is that Obama Cuba pile?

Via the Washington Examiner:

State Dept. encourages travel to Cuba hours after latest crackdown

By PETE KASPEROWICZ

The State Department on Monday was encouraging people to learn more about how they can travel to Cuba under the Obama administration’s relaxed travel rules, less than a day after the Cuban government arrested about 90 political activists.

Despite the latest crackdown in Cuba, the State Department was set to host a Spanish-language Twitter chat Monday afternoon to answer questions about how people can travel to Cuba under the administration’s relaxed travel rules.


The invitation is likely to lead to further complaints that the Obama administration is working hard to court Cuba by making significant concessions to the island, and failing to insist on better treatment in Cuba for those opposed to the Castro regime.
Less than 24 hours ago, AFP reported that Cuban security forces threw dozens of activists in jail, including about 50 people who were marching with the Ladies in White dissident group.

Several protestors seemed to blame Obama for Cuba’s ongoing crackdown against dissident groups. Many held up Obama masks, and one protestor said Obama’s concessions to the Cuban government have only made it worse for political protestors.

“The Cuban government has grown even bolder,” said Angel Moya told AFP just before he was arrested. “That’s why we have this mask on. Because it’s his fault,” Moya said, referring to Obama.

Republicans and even some Democrats have said Obama’s concessions to Cuba made no sense because they weren’t conditioned on better treatment for political dissidents. But the Obama administration has insisted that it made the most sense to ease some of the travel rules for Cuba, and hope that those moves lead to reforms in Cuba.
State’s tweet on Monday seemed to confirm that at least for now, the Obama administration hasn’t changed its mind.

Travel to Cuba is restricted by U.S. law, but the president has some authority to ease or tighten those rules as he sees fit.

Under current law, there are 12 authorized categories of travel to Cuba, including family visits, journalism, and travel related to humanitarian efforts. For years, many of those categories required a “specific” license, but Obama last month said travel could now be done under a general license, which essentially means trips to Cuba don’t have to be pre-approved by the government.

Continue reading HERE.