Cuban Dissidents Cite 'Betrayal' by Obama
President Obama and those supporting the opening to Cuba have been repeating a mantra the last few days that our engagement will help the Cuban people toward their goal of achieving democracy.
What do the people fighting for freedom in Cuba today think? Perhaps the president should have talked to them before taking this step. An editorial in the Washington Post details the reaction of major dissidents in Cuba, and, not surprisingly. it turns out that they feel betrayed by the president.
PRESIDENT OBAMA said he decided to normalize relations with Cuba because “we can do more to support the Cuban people and promote our values through engagement.” So it’s important to know the reaction of those Cubans who have put their lives on the line to fight for democracy and human rights. Many have supported engagement and opposed the U.S. embargo. But they are now pretty much unanimous in saying that the way Mr. Obama has gone about this is a mistake.
Actually, “mistake” is the polite word used by Berta Soler of the Ladies in White, an astonishingly courageous group of women who march each week in support of political prisoners. “Betrayal” was the term used by several others, who asked why Mr. Obama had chosen to lift economic restrictions and dispatch an ambassador without requiring the “significant steps toward democracy” he once said must precede liberalization.
Guillermo Fariñas, the general director of the dissidents’ United Anti-Totalitarian Front, told reporters in Havana that Mr. Obama had promised in a November 2013 meeting with himself and Ms. Soler that any U.S. action on Cuba “would be consulted with civil society and the nonviolent opposition. Obviously this didn’t happen . . . they didn’t take into account Cuban democrats.”
What does a promise to people risking their lives for freedom matter when there's history to be made! This president's mania for getting his name in the history books has already led to a gargantuan health insurance law that isn't working, the enabling of Iran (the world's most fanatical and dangerous regime) to build a nuclear weapon, the abandonment of Iraq to the forces of evil in his historic bid to end the war, and the amnestying of 6 million people without congressional approval.
The president is making history, alright -- no matter how many people are hurt along the way.