There was a headline in the Miami Herald yesterday: “Cuba’s human rights abuses worse despite U.S. ties.” (Article here.)
Oh, yes. But I might question that word “despite.” Is the Castro dictatorship more brutal now despite President Obama’s normalization or because of it?
Last year, I talked with Berta Soler, the leader of Cuba’s Ladies in White. This is what she told me:
“The European Union, the USA, Pope Francis — they have turned their backs on us.” Obama promised that his new policy would empower civil society. “But we are seeing that what he has done is give a green light to the Cuban government to crush civil society.”
Yes, the green light.
If I were a journalist who had the opportunity to question Obama, I would ask, “What about this, Mr. President? Human-rights abuses are a lot worse since your opening. Is that something that concerns you? Does it make you reconsider the policy?”
My view is a very dark one. I think that Obama and his people simply wanted to poke their finger in the eye of the anti-Communists. My guess is, they view the Castros as basically on the “right side of history,” whatever their excesses.
Also, I believe that normalization with the dictatorship was on Obama’s “list” — the list that he said “rhymes with bucket.”
This would be kind of funny if not for the fact that real lives — and real broken bones, and real corpses — are involved.
Finally, let me note that both major presidential nominees this year are in accord with Obama’s Cuba policy. As the Republican might say, on Twitter, “Sad.” And disgusting.