During Cuban dictator Raul Castro's visit to New York City this week, he received the red-carpet treatment from the Obama Administration, some Members of the U.S. Congress, corporate CEOs and the United Nations.
The Members of Congress that visited Castro were the usual suspects from the "Castro Caucus" with the new addition of U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota; the corporate CEOs are looking for a profit no matter how unpalatable their business partner; and the United Nations loves anti-American dictators, even giving them slots in their Human Rights Council.
But even in the best case scenario -- despite (or due to) the flurry of unilateral concessions the Obama Administration has already given the Castro regime -- the President should have been more stern with Raul Castro.
Instead, President Obama and the First Lady couldn't seem happier to welcome the Cuban dictator (see image below).
This takes place as Amnesty International names a new Cuban prisoner of conscience, artist Danilo Maldonado "El Sexto," who is in critical condition on the 24th day of a hunger strike; as the three dissidents who personally pleaded for Pope Francis' help remain imprisoned at the infamous torture facility of "Aldabo y 100" and face charges of "contempt"; and as the tally of political arrests since the December 17th deal approaches 4,000, with increased force and violence.
It also comes as senior Obama Administration officials are themselves admitting that they are frustrated by Castro's unwillingness to reciprocate U.S. concessions.
"There’s been no real give at all from Havana," a senior Obama official told The Washington Post .
Moreover, that the Castro caucus in Congress “are desperate for gestures” from Cuba, “and they aren’t getting those gestures,” added the official.
So why the broad smiles and banter with Raul Castro?
Is the Obama Administration unaware of how that picture will be used to demoralize Cuba's courageous democracy activists?
President Obama must have gotten dozens of requests from foreign leaders for bilateral meetings during the U.N. General Assembly meeting. Yet, only a handful were granted.
Did Raul Castro deserve one of those few meetings?
Since the beginning of the Castro family's totalitarian dictatorship, Raul has served as the regime's chief executioner -- responsible for thousands of deaths (including those of Americans).
Raul was nearly indicted in U.S. federal courts (politically scrapped at the last minute by President Clinton) for trafficking seven and a half tons of cocaine into Florida.
Raul has stolen and hoarded nearly all of the island's wealth under the control of his military cronies and phantom corporations.
And since Raul's "promotion" to dictator-in-chief, Cuban pro-democracy activists are suffering the highest number of political arrests in 30 years.
Is this how Obama wants to "win-over" the Cuban people -- by embracing their oppressor?
It's a mockery.
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