I’m on record here as saying that the right time to begin discussions with Havana over normalizing relations was “approximately 11 seconds after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.” But I also warned that the Obama White House was “the one Administration we can count on to somehow screw it up.”
State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki repeatedly refused to answer questions this afternoon about the 53 political detainees Cuba promised to release as part of a deal with President Obama to normalize relations with the United States.
When asked about a lack of transparency in the prisoner exchange process, Psaki said, “Well, we know who’s on there. And the Cuban government knows who’s on there.”
The Cuban government hasn’t exactly been a model for transparency the last half century. Included in his deal with Cuba, Obama announced two weeks ago that the U.S. government had released three Cuban spies. The lack of progress in freeing the Cuban political prisoners increases the scrutiny on that White House decision.
After Psaki stated that she had no updates to provide, a befuddled Matt Lee asked, “Hold on — hold on a second. Can we — I mean, is it — what’s happening? Are they out? Are they not out? … Where are they?”
Psaki responded, “I don’t have any more updates to provide for you, Matt.”
Lee, frustrated, followed up, “So the Cubans don’t actually have to do anything?”
I’m now convinced that the entire normalization push is nothing more than a ruse to further poison the well between the GOP and Latino voters, with the added benefit of having the potential to lure Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz into a frothing, unelectable anger.