Statement on Establishing Diplomatic Relations With Cuba's Regime

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Tomorrow, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will announce the establishment of diplomatic relations with the only government in the Western Hemisphere not elected by its citizens.

That -- in itself -- encapsulates why this is a bad policy.

The announcement comes on the same week that the Castro regime violently arrested over 226 peaceful Cuban dissidents.

That makes the timing particularly distasteful.

According to U.S. law ("LIBERTAD Act"), diplomatic recognition should only be considered "when the President determines that a there exists a democratically elected government in Cuba."

It also states that, "the satisfactory resolution of property claims by a Cuban Government recognized by the United States remains an essential condition for the full resumption of economic and diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba."

That makes the announcement in contravention of U.S. law.

Finally, as a condition for the establishment of diplomatic relations, the Castro regime has demanded restrictions on U.S. diplomat's movement; the inspection of diplomatic pouches for the Mission; an end to the execution of democracy programs (i.e. the training of independent journalists); and the continuance of a state security cordon to intimidate Cubans from approaching the Mission.

That would be in contravention of the Vienna Convention -- and unprecedented in the Western Hemisphere.

Congress should closely probe these very concerning issues, withhold funding for the operation of an Embassy and block the confirmation of any Ambassador, until it receives satisfactory responses from the Obama Administration.