If anything, Cuba has become more oppressive since rapprochement
POSTED AT 12:01 PM ON OCTOBER 17, 2016 BY JAZZ SHAW
How's that Cuban rapprochement going these days? If you ask the
President, things are going swimmingly, with Barack Obama issuing yet
another "irreversible directive" in trade relations affecting
pharmaceuticals, transportation accommodations and commerce. Since such
generosity was supposed to be based on Raul Castro doing a better job on
the human rights front and democratic initiatives, one might expect that
progress is being made. But according to the Cuban Commission for Human
Rights and monitors who track such matters, things have not only failed
to improve, but seem to be getting worse. (Daily Signal)
Taking steps to return property is one condition the United States
placed on Cuba in order to lift the embargo. Other requirements include
taking steps toward democracy and a free press. Critics complain that
the Cuban government not only made no concessions, but has tightened its
power grip since the Obama administration normalized relations.
"Almost two years after a policy should be enough to know what the
behavior of the regime is going to be," Cuban dissident leader Antonio
Rodiles, who met with Obama in the Cuban capital of Havana this year,
told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. "The Obama administration is
moving ahead even though the regime has become more aggressive."
These aren't just anecdotal observations. There's hard data to show that
the Castro family is up to their old tricks and pouring American cash
into the economy isn't exactly causing the milk of human kindness to
flow freely. Again, as per the Cuban Commission for Human Rights, since
rapprochement began, the Cuban government made 8,616 politically
motivated arrests in 2015 and are on track to break that record this
year with 7,418 in the first six months alone. Castro expanded his
violations of religious freedom tenfold according to Christian
Solidarity Worldwide, counting 2,300 violations last year compared to
only 220 in 2014.
Okay, so Cuba isn't doing better on democracy or human rights. But we do
business with plenty of oppressive regimes. (See China for only one
example.) Cuba is at least supposed to be acting like a bit more of a
global partner, right? So can we expect to see them extraditing any of
the dozens of our prisoners taking refuge there to us any time soon? As
recently as June of this year… no such luck. (The Guardian)
Two American fugitives who fled to Cuba after they were accused of
killing police officers have said Cuban officials have assured them that
detente with the United States will not lead to their extradition.
The US and Cuba held a second round of law enforcement talks last month
dedicated partly to resolving the fate of scores of fugitives after more
than a half-century with almost no cooperation. The talks are part of a
series of US-Cuba negotiations aimed at normalizing relations after the
two countries declared an official end to cold war hostilities on 17
That's not only a lack of progress… it's a shocking acceleration in the
wrong direction. Back when this effort began I went on record here
saying I wasn't opposed to the attempt. After all, what we'd been doing
before clearly wasn't working. But at the same time I said that the
record established by the Castros gave me no cause for optimism either.
I'll confess, however, that I wasn't expecting it to be this bad. If
anything, I assumed that Cuba would at least try to disguise some of
their abuses a bit better in order to stay in our good graces.
So much for that idea.
Source: If anything, Cuba has become more oppressive since rapprochement
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