Castro Visa: Wrong Then, Worse Now

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Today, national Republicans criticized the Obama Administration for granting a U.S. visa to Cuban dictator Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela.

Democrats have responded by pointing to the Bush Administration, which gave Mariela Castro a visa in 2002.

The fact is that two wrongs don't make a right -- both the Bush and Obama Administrations erred in doing so.

But it's actually worse now.

Prior to Raul Castro becoming dictator-in-chief in 2006, few non-Cuba observers even knew that Raul had a daughter (let alone two more, Deborah and Nilsa).

Since that time, the Cuban dictatorship has turned Mariela Castro into its most prominent public relations figure.

She has now been traveling the world defending her family's brutal dictatorship, attacking peaceful pro-democracy activists as "despicable parasites" and justifying the arbitrary taking of an American hostage, Alan Gross.

Just try to stomach this 30 minute interview.

Moreover, to his credit, President Obama announced in August 2011 that human rights would become a central focus of his visa policy -- specifically identifying "prolonged arbitrary detentions" as unacceptable violations (a Raul Castro specialty).

So actions should speak louder than words.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has just denied political asylum to a former Cuban military official that turned on the Castro regime and served almost two decades in prison.

Even worse yet.