Hillary Belittles Little Havana

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Last month, Hillary Clinton gave a speech at Florida International University (FIU), where she doubled-down on President Obama's Cuba policy.

In her remarks, Clinton wished, "every Cuban back in Cuba could spend a day walking around Miami and see what you have built here, how you have turned this city into a dynamic global city."

Of course, like with so many other issues, she was being disingenuous.

(She was also being insensitive, as Cubans know quite well what Cuban-Americans have built in Miami, which is why they risk their lives to get there.)

As one of her recently-released emails reveals, just a few years back, Hillary was poking fun at the Cuban-American community and belittling Little Havana.

The email exchange was from her tenure as Secretary of State, when she was using a private home server to discuss official business with then-Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Richard Verma.

The email exchange (pictured below) is about a "hold" placed by then-U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) on President Obama’s nominee to be Ambassador to Brazil, Tom Shannon.

(Shannon today is responsible for the Obama Administration's "normalization" efforts with Venezuela's government.)

What took them so long [to lift the hold]? Did you promise your first born?” Clinton writes.

Verma's reply: "Yes, I sold my soul to George Lemieux today. I am not proud of it."

Clinton: “Does this mean you have to go to Cuba and arrest Castro or just shovel more $ into Little Havana?

What a comedian, that Hillary.

Yet, here's what the State Department actually promised (according to Senator Lemieux's own statement at the time), in return for lifting his hold:

"In Cuba, the U.S. will reopen the process for non-profit organizations to apply for pro-democracy grants, the practice of including members of the Cuban pro-democracy movement in events at the U.S. Interests Section will be restored, Title IV of the Helms Burton Act will be enforced, and the awarding of Cuba Democracy Assistance grants will be done in a fair and transparent manner."

During that time, the Pelosi-controlled Congress, along with the Obama Administration, had decided to cut funding for democracy programs that supported Cuba's independent civil society. Never mind that these programs provided support to the families of Cuban political prisoners, their loved ones fired from their jobs and their children expelled from school. The programs also provided cell phones, laptops and other basic items that Cuba's bloggers needed to break through the regime's censorship and information monopoly in their efforts to build a civil society; and that they provided books to independent libraries, paper and pencils to labor unions and journalists to allow them to exercise their fundamental human right of free expression.

Nothing to take lightly -- let alone poke fun of.

Moreover, these programs were not administered in Little Havana, as Hillary facetiously writes, but by internationally-renowned NGOs based in Washington, D.C. and throughout the world. Instead, the Obama Administration had wanted to begin channeling democracy funds through the Castro regime and its fictitious NGOs, which would have gone squarely against the Congressional mandate for these programs -- not to mention against the best interests of the Cuban people.

Also, at the time, the Obama Administration had begun shunning Cuba's courageous pro-democracy activists from events at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. Sadly, this is a policy Obama is once again (shamefully) revisiting during the fourth quarter of his presidency, as we saw during the flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy.

To his credit, Senator Lemieux objected against a then-popular President and Secretary of State.

Finally, as for the commitment to enforce Tittle IV of Helms-Burton, which requires the State Department to deny U.S. visas to foreign businessmen that traffic in property stolen from Americans?

Well, Hillary just lied.