Meetings in Cuba with apartheid regime by Obama’s top sanctions official raises questions

Looks like President Obama is looking to reward Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship with yet more unilateral concessions.

Susan Crabtree in The Washington Examiner:

Why was the top U.S. sanctions cop in Cuba?

cuba sanctions cop wash exam

Critics of President Obama’s diplomatic thaw with Cuba are questioning why a top official with the U.S. government office charged with maintaining the trade embargo and leveling sanctions against the Castro government was in Havana earlier this month meeting with regime officials.

Acting Deputy Director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea Gacki was one of several U.S. officials in Havana for meetings that took place in mid-July, a senior administration official confirmed to the Washington Examiner. The official did not respond to follow-up questions about whom Gacki met with and what they discussed.

Since Obama announced his intention to start normalizing relations with Cuba in late 2014, dozens of U.S. officials have participated in negotiations about easing travel and other restrictions with the island nation, both in Havana and Washington.

But Gacki’s travel to Cuba this month has critics fuming because her office is charged with doling out punishment for those who violate U.S. law. Opponents of Obama’s rapprochement with the Castro regime fear she was there to help Cuba negotiate ways around U.S. sanctions.

Only Congress can lift the embargo entirely, although Obama has used his executive authority to allow greater travel from the U.S. to Cuba, and U.S. banks are negotiating with Havana to allow them to operate on the island.

Marion Smith, the executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit group founded to highlight the plight of those who have suffered under communism, said he views Gacki’s visit to Cuba as the “latest blatant attempt” to show the regime how to get around trade embargo against Cuba.

“While it’s not surprising, it’s hugely frustrating for us,” he said. “The oxygen the regime is getting in terms of access to capital is something that we’ll have to deal with from years to come,” no matter who is elected president of the United States in November.

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1 thought on “Meetings in Cuba with apartheid regime by Obama’s top sanctions official raises questions”

  1. Well, I can tell you he wasn’t there to do a damn thing to further the cause of Cuba’s freedom.

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