President Trump’s words about Cuba and Venezuela mean a lot

In case you got distracted with the Ukraine phone call controversy, President Trump spoke at the UN about Cuba and Venezuela. This is what he said:   

In his speech in New York, Trump sharply criticized the socialist policies of Maduro and his close ties to leaders in Cuba along with the practice of detaining political prisoners and reports of extrajudicial killings by death squads linked to leaders in Caracas.    

“According to a recent report by the United Nation Human Rights Council, women in Venezuela stand in line for 10 hours every day waiting for food, over 15,000 people have been detained as political prisoners, modern day death squads are carrying out thousands of extrajudicial killings,” Trump said.

He added: “The dictator Maduro is a Cuban puppet, protected by Cuban bodyguards, hiding from his own people, while Cubans plunder Venezuela’s oil wealth to sustain its own corrupt communist rule.”

Home to the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela was for decades an economic leader in the western hemisphere and, despite a massive gap between rich and poor, was a major destination for neighboring Colombians and other Latin Americans fleeing their less prosperous and more troubled homelands.

I loved it.  

Like President Reagan’s “evil empire” comment in 1983, it will be welcomed by dissidents and despised by the corrupt leaders. It’s a clear sign that President Trump stands with them and will make life difficult for the two regimes.

I recall years ago talking to my father’s cousin who spent 14 years in a Cuban political prison.  I asked him about the value of US presidents talking about the Cuban prisoners.  He told me that it meant a lot. At least, as he said, it reminded the men in prison that someone was thinking about them.

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