From Reuters, the news agency whose Cuba beat reporter used to work for the official newspaper of Communist Party USA has this item (emphasis mine):
Bush rejects idea of negotiating with Castro
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President George W. Bush on Thursday rejected the idea of encouraging Cuba to open up democratically by sitting down for talks with new Cuban leader Raul Castro.
Asked at a White House news conference what would be lost by a meeting, Bush said: “What’s lost by embracing a tyrant who puts his people in prison because of their political beliefs? What’s lost is it will send the wrong message.”
“It will give great status to those who have suppressed human rights and human dignity. I’m not suggesting there is never a time to talk,” he said, but he added now was not the time to beginning discussions with Raul Castro.
“He’s nothing more than an extension of what his brother did, which was to ruin an island and to imprison people because of their beliefs,” Bush said.
(Reporting by David Alexander, editing by Lori Santos)
As if raul castro could be convinced through “encouragement” to abandon 49 years of Marxist economic and political policies. We’re going to “encourage” raul to release the political prisoners and allow people to organize political opposition. He’ll be so “encouraged” by our presentation about the benefits of representative multi-party democracy that he’ll dismantle the repressive machinery that he helped assemble over half a century. For a president that is much maligned by the media, they sure have a lot faith in his power to encourage murderers to reform, crooks to straighten out and abusers to end their abuses.
Let’s all “encourage” raul castro to do the right thing. You know, like the Vatican “encourages”. Like Spain “encourages”, like the UK and Canada “encourage”. Yes that’s what we need is one more encouraging voice in the chorus of encouragers.
I encourage Reuters to piss up a rope.