Wow. Call it a miracle. Call it whatever you want. It is unusual, to say the least.
An Ivy League college newspaper has published an essay one might only expect to see on Babalu or some other such web site run by “those people” down in Miami.
What are the odds of something like this happening? Billion-to-one, for sure.
After all, Harvard University did welcome Castronoid lackey ex-Cardinal Jaime Ortega as a hero not so long ago, and gave him the chance to dismiss Cuban dissidents as low-class “delinquent” morons.
And Yale University gave Ecuadorian dictator Rafael Correa a platform from which to praise himself and his repressive regime.
Aahhh. But, every now and then, someone does win the lottery, despite the odds.
Ten extra credit points go to the Harvard Crimson, for daring to publish something so politically incorrect.
And a billion extra credit points go to the authors, one of whom is a Cuban-American.
The Cost of Obama’s Cuban Rapprochement
By DAVID LIEBERS and MICHAEL SILVA
As President Obama stepped off Air Force One to begin his historic visit to Havana, he seized the opportunity to fire off a tweet: “¿Que Bola Cuba?” His message, which in Cuban-Spanish slang roughly translates to “What’s popping?” or “What’s good?” was surely intended to ingratiate and serve as an opening olive branch to his hosts. The irony—that the majority of Cubans would never see his message thanks to repressive internet censorship—was entirely lost on the president.
This dissonance summarizes the mood of the two-day spectacle. President Obama, the first sitting U.S. President to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge, intended to lay the foundations for renewed cooperation between the two countries. The challenge for the President was to balance the diplomatic goal of demonstrating a workable political relationship with Raul Castro, while paying lip service to the issue of the dictator’s human rights abuses.
Predictably, the results proved awkward. During a joint press conference with President Obama, Raul Castro scolded reporters for asking about human rights violations and lambasted U.S. economic policy. Soon after the conclusion of the visit, an official organ of the state-controlled Cuban media used racially vulgar language to insult the President of the United States. The no-strings-attached commitment from President Obama to lift the embargo emboldened Castro to criticize the U.S. and redeploy his communist message.
Even more embarrassing, as our President posed for photos in front of a Che Guevara mural and tweeted about his trip, thousands of political prisoners—including members of the Ladies in White movement—detained for no reason other than their peaceful opposition to political repression, rotted in jails across the island.
The current Cuban regime has made brutality towards political dissidents a regular part of its operation. Raul Castro denies the presence of political prisoners, yet the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation reports 2,555 detentions in the first two months of this year, after more than 8,600 in 2015. Members of opposition political parties are regularly subject to machete attacks, and refugees stopped by Cuban coastguard risk extrajudicial killing. Despite all this, U.S. leadership seems to have fallen for Castro’s propaganda.
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