With April Summit Looming, Castro Accelerates Coercion

Friday, February 6, 2015
In two concerning news stories today, the White House is pressuring the State Department and intelligence agencies to hastily expedite the removal of Cuba from the "state-sponsors of terrorism" list by April, while the Castro regime is suspending visits by U.S. Congressional delegations until late April.

What's with April?

The Summit of the America's is taking place on April 10-11 in Panama City.

Due to a lack of leadership by the Obama Administration, it will be the first time Cuba's totalitarian dictatorship will be allowed to participate in this gathering of democracies.

That, in itself, is a hemispheric coup for Castro's regime. But it's not enough.

The Castro regime knows that President Obama is desperate to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba -- for the sake of a legacy one-liner.

Moreover, it knows Obama wants to have diplomatic relations established by the April summit -- for the sake of a photo-op to accompany the one-liner.

Thus, Castro does what he knows best -- coerce.

He has conditioned the establishment of diplomatic relations to the removal of Cuba from the "state-sponsors of terrorism" list.

And sadly, the Obama Administration is -- once again -- playing right along.

To ratchet pressure from Castro's (witting and unwitting) Congressional allies, it's also suspending their boondoggles to Cuba until that time.

During his December 17th announcement, Obama stated that Cuba's designation as a "state-sponsor of terrorism" will be based on facts and law.

The fact remains that Cuba continues to provide sanctuary to terrorists and fugitives from justice, including one of the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted Terrorists and members of Treasury-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations; it continues to traffic heavy weapons and intelligence to rogue states in violation of international law, i.e., North Korea, Iran and Syria; and it continues to subvert democratic institutions in the Western Hemisphere, i.e., Venezuela.

The fact also remains that indictments remain open against three Cuban regime officials for the murder of Americans pursuant to an "act of terrorism" over international waters.

And finally, the fact remains that Cuba's regime has recently reiterated that it will not budge on any of the above.

Thus, clearly Obama's review has little to do with facts and law -- but everything to do with coercion.