Cuban American Senators hit brick wall of oblivion with Obama State Department

The headline from The Hill’s article on yesterday’s Senate Hearing on repression in Cuba pretty much sums up the challenges faced by U.S. lawmakers who seek democracy in Cuba and the Obama State Department: “Cuban-American senators hit brick wall with Obama administration on Cuba policy.” Regardless of the overwhelming evidence showing the White House’s Cuba policy as a complete and utter failure, the Obama State Department continues to obliviously defend and push that failed policy.

Via The Hill:

Cuban-American senators hit brick wall with Obama administration on Cuba policy

The Senate’s two Cuban-Americans spent Thursday morning talking past the Obama administration’s top official for the Americas on the issue of U.S. policy toward Cuba.

Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were the only two senators who showed up for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee subpanel hearing on freedom in Cuba. They called the administration’s relaxing of travel restrictions to Cuba “naive” and bashed the State Department’s decision to grant visas to high-profile Cuban officials, including President Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela.

“The Cuban people are no less deserving of America’s support than the millions who were imprisoned and forgotten in Soviet gulags,” Menendez said. “I am compelled to ask again today — as I have before — why is there such an obvious double standard when it comes to Cuba?”

Rubio said Castro government officials are master manipulators of U.S. policy and public opinion.

The two senators favor a hard-line stance against Cuba until regime change takes place. Critics of that policy argue that more than 50 years of U.S. sanctions have only enabled Castro brothers Fidel and Raul to consolidate their power while impoverishing the Cuban people.

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson made it clear the White House policy isn’t going to change, the senators’ concerns notwithstanding.

The Obama administration’s priority is to “empower Cubans to freely determine their own future,” Jacobson testified. “The most effective tool we have for doing that is building connections between the Cuban and American people in order to give Cubans the support and tools they need to move forward, independent of their government.

“U.S. citizens engaging in well-defined, purposeful travel are the best ambassadors for our democratic ideals. The hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans who have sent remittances and traveled to the island since we eased the way for them early in the administration are an essential part of the strategy to ensure Cubans have these opportunities.”

Despite their divergent views, Jacobson and the senators agreed to work together to further democratization on the island, for example, by spreading access to the Internet.

4 thoughts on “Cuban American Senators hit brick wall of oblivion with Obama State Department”

  1. Jacobson was being polite. What she really meant was that Obama understands the Cuba thing far better than mere Cubans.

  2. In the wonderful movie U.N. Me all logic is tossed aside in this organization. No amount of facts causes intelligent responses in policy. Definitions of good and bad or responsible behavior are upside down. No one can find a definition for terrorism or tyranny.
    We need people who run things who know the differences. November can’t come soon enough for me. And I hope the national numbers are as good or better than Wisconsin’s. We must oust this administration. And I wouldn’t mind ousting the U.N. either.

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