In Jamaica, Obama Reveals Cuba Policy Contradiction (and Reasons for Concern)

Friday, April 10, 2015
During a town hall today at Jamaica's University of the West Indies, President Obama contradicted himself and gave us (even more) reason to be concerned about his Cuba policy.

Obama first repeated the -- ad nauseam -- talking point that he's unilaterally changing Cuba policy because:

"We will continue to have some differences with the Cuban government, but we don’t want to be imprisoned by the past. When something doesn’t work for 50 years, you don’t just keep on doing it; you try something new."

But then, a few minutes later, he recommended to Jamaica and the CARICOM nations:

"What I would say to Caribbean countries is, absolutely, you should continue to engage in Cuba in the ways that you’ve already doing -- you’ve already done in the past."


So the United States should change its past policy, which conditioned normalization to freedom, democracy and human rights for the Cuban people; but the Caribbean nations (and the rest of Latin America) should continue their past policies of unconditionally embracing the Castro dictatorship?

Why is one policy considered a "failure" and not the other?

And then, Obama gives Cuba's dictatorship a pass -- raising serious concerns:

"I don’t expect every country to pursue the same policies or have the same political practices as the United States."

This line is straight out of Havana's talking points.

In other words, Cuba's totalitarian dictatorship is just "different."

This was also the theme of the Summit host, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, who stated:

"[The Summit] is the beginning of a new era of relations based on respect for different systems of government."

Again, Cuba's totalitarian dictatorship is just "different."

We've said it before and we'll say it again -- Obama's Cuba policy is endangering democracy in the region.