WSJ Editorial: Obama's Castro Courtship

Sunday, October 4, 2015
From The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Board:

Obama’s Castro Courtship

The U.S. may stay silent while the U.N. condemns the U.S. trade embargo.

President Obama gave Raúl Castro the expected gift of a handshake photo-op this week, conferring legitimacy on the 56-year-old dictatorship with a bilateral meeting. But could Mr. Obama’s courtship of the Castros be so passionate that he’d even abstain from an anti-U.S. resolution at the United Nations?

That’s the recent scoop from the Associated Press, which reported that the Obama Administration is debating whether to let the U.N. condemn the U.S. trade embargo without a peep of protest. What a stunning turn that would be. Cuba and its pals roll out the condemnation every year in the General Assembly, and the U.S. routinely votes against it.

For the U.S. to abstain now would essentially endorse a denunciation of America by an assembly that includes some of the world’s most unsavory regimes. This goes well beyond Mr. Obama’s famous “apology” tours for alleged past U.S. sins. He would be apologizing for a law currently on the books that has been supported by members of both parties for years and that Mr. Obama has taken an oath to uphold and enforce.

Mr. Obama may feel he must slap America in the face in this fashion because Raúl has been playing hard to get. The U.S. President has given him diplomatic recognition, easier travel by Americans to the island, and returned some spies. But Mr. Castro now says he won’t make any concessions until the U.S. lifts the trade embargo and returns Guantanamo Bay to Cuba.

The current Congress won’t do either, which means Mr. Obama has to find other ways to please the Castros enough that they’ll grant him the Havana trip Mr. Obama covets before he leaves office. If refusing to oppose a denunciation of America at the U.N. doesn’t work, don’t be surprised if he does try to give Gitmo back without Congressional approval.