Bush and Rubio Are Right to Criticize Obama on Cuba Trafficking Report

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
By Daniel Vasquez in Sun-Sentinel:

Bush, Rubio blast Obama for going easy on Cuba for human trafficking: They're right

Obama shouldn't cut corners on Cuba

America and Cuba are racing to normalize relations. We get that.

But giving Cuba a break on forced labor and human sex trafficking shouldn't be a part of the game plan.

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are both blasting the Obama Administration for allegedly rewriting an annual State Department to make some nasty countries appear a lot less nasty, including Malaysia, China and Cuba -- all in the name of political expediency.

Listen to Rubio, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, as reported by el Nuevo Herald: “The president and his administration have set a dangerous precedent that could lead countries to believe that they can negotiate their way out of being named and shamed for their human trafficking abuses, instead of actually adopting reforms and tackling the problem."

Bush and Rubio are righteously peeved at reporting interference by State Department brass that apparently resulted in the U.S. giving Cuba brownie points for thinking about change and talking about change, without actually making change.

Cuba was removed from the report's Tier 3 nations list, despite the fact that Cuba does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The report alludes to Cuba efforts, but that's about it.

We know the Cuban government is abusing its people, locking many in prison for even suggesting political and social change, and we know it systematically fails to protect its people from the worst crimes of forced labor and human trafficking of adults and children.

The State Department itself acknowledges that sex trafficking of kids in Cuba in connection to tourism is a significant problem, but they give Fidel & Co. an E-grade for effort.

There is good reason to believe that a new relationship between America and Cuba could eventually lead to better conditions for the Cuban people. But, it will take time. Cutting corners along the way to serve the overall purpose could backfire in a bad way and harm Cubans more in the end.