Obama's Bay of Pigs
Nothing like making friends with commies to bring on the holiday spirit – peace on earth and good will and all that. Taking a break from complaining about being mistaken for a valet driver, Barack Obama announced Wednesday the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with the communist dictatorship of Cuba.
“Today,” Obama’s statement read, “the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.” Well, for starters, the U.S. has never had a problem with the people of Cuba; it’s the communist government with which our Liberty-loving nation has taken issue. But casting principle – not to mention law – aside, Obama extended to Cuba the hand of America’s friendship and tossed in an embassy to boot. It’s a metaphorical Bay of Pigs betrayal all over again.
The announcement came after 18 months of secret talks between the U.S. and Cuba and on the heels of Cuba’s releasing U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who had been imprisoned there since 2009. Cuba also released a U.S. intelligence agent who had been imprisoned for 20 years, while the U.S. let loose three convicted Cuban spies.
Yet Obama’s vain attempt to write a foreign policy success story accomplished nothing for Cubans, which is even more remarkable at a time when low oil prices have weakened Cuban sponsors Venezuela and Russia. In other words, the U.S. was in prime position to negotiate for human rights improvements in Cuba. Instead, Obama just offered Cuba a huge influx of dollars for nothing in return.
In heralding this Christmas gift to Fidel and Raul Castro, a senior administration official said, “We are charting a new course toward Cuba. The president understood the time was right to attempt a new approach, both because of the beginnings of changes in Cuba and because of the impediment this was causing for our regional policy.” Translation: Not to worry, Castro brothers, we forgive you. Care for some U.S. economic investment?
Lifting the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba will require congressional action, but that’s never stopped Obama before. As the Guardian reports, “The White House hopes that by using a series of executive actions to minimize its enforcement [of the embargo], it can provide a breakthrough that will encourage political reform in Cuba and soften political opposition in the US.” Congress and the Constitution be damned. Full speed ahead.
Of course, this is hardly surprising, seeing how well Obama was able to get away with amnesty, along with the fact that Congress has gone home for the holidays. And he’s never cared much for the Constitution or Rule of Law anyway.
The truth remains, though, that there is a reason the U.S. closed our embassy in Cuba in 1961 and imposed a trade embargo that same year. That reason was Castro’s oppressive regime. And that regime – and reason – still stand.
Cuban-Americans on both sides of the political aisle aren’t pleased with Obama’s actions. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), soon-to-be former chair of the powerful U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and whose parents came to America from Cuba just before his birth, said, “President Obama’s actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), incoming chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee and whose parents, like Menendez’s, were Cuban immigrants, also slammed the president’s actions. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Rubio wrote, “The announcement by President Obama on Wednesday giving the Castro regime diplomatic legitimacy and access to American dollars isn’t just bad for the oppressed Cuban people, or for the millions who live in exile and lost everything at the hands of the dictatorship. Mr. Obama’s new Cuba policy is a victory for oppressive governments the world over and will have real, negative consequences for the American people.”
He also noted, “The opportunity for Cuba to normalize relations with the U.S. has always been there, but the Castro regime has never been interested in changing its ways. Now, thanks to President Obama’s concessions, the regime in Cuba won’t have to change.”
Other nations like Iran are taking note.
It remains to be seen whether Congress will at last take a stand against the president’s recklessness and uphold our constitutional government. In the meantime, somewhere, Comrades Castro are smiling.