Over the weekend, we summed-up the first round of U.S.-Cuba "normalization" talks as "Castro Coerces, Obama Acquiesces" (click here) and "Obama's Cuba Credibility Deficit" (click here).
The first round of these talks looked a whole lot like the Obama-Castro secret agreement that preceded it: a one-sided deal benefiting Cuba's dictatorship.
Since December 17th, we've seen repression unchanged, new political prisoners and no gestures from Cuba's dictatorship. To the contrary, it now wants even more unilateral and unconditional concessions.
Meanwhile, President Obama has given away his entire diplomatic, political and economic arsenal -- in exchange for nothing. Actually, not for nothing, in exchange for the release of an American hostage -- an innocent man who should have never been imprisoned in the first place.
In case you don't believe us, here's the AP's take:
Cuba Digs in Heels on Concessions as Part of Better US Ties
The start of talks on repairing 50 years of broken relations appears to have left President Raul Castro's government focused on winning additional concessions without giving in to U.S. demands for greater freedoms, despite the seeming benefits that warmer ties could have for the country's struggling economy.
Following the highest-level open talks in three decades between the two nations, Cuban officials remained firm in rejecting significant reforms pushed by the United States as part of President Barack Obama's surprise move to re-establish ties and rebuild economic relations with the Communist-led country.
"One can't think that in order to improve and normalize relations with the U.S., Cuba has to give up the principles it believes in," Cuba's top diplomat for U.S. affairs, Josefina Vidal, told The Associated Press after the end of the talks. "Changes in Cuba aren't negotiable."
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