State's Dangerously Mixed Messages

Monday, May 21, 2012
Last week, it was revealed that the State Department quickly granted U.S. visas (and even distorted U.S. law) to Cuban dictator Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela Castro, and her entourage.

Yet, tragically, it has simultaneously denied political asylum to a former senior level Cuban intelligence official, Máximo Omar Ruiz Matoses, who spent 17 years in Castro's prisons for "betraying" the dictatorship.

Ruiz Matoses was arrested in 1990, during the purging of several senior Cuban military officials, after publicly calling for the resignation of Cuban dictators Fidel and Raul Castro.

As former Cuban military defector General Rafael del Pino told the publication Cafe Fuerte:

"Was this the unilateral decision of a USINT bureaucrat or is it the Obama Administration's policy to deny political asylum to ex-Cuban military officials who have opposed the Castro tyranny from within its own ranks, including those who suffered nearly two decades in prison as a result?"

Either way, it sends a dangerously mixed message.