N.Y. Post Editorial: Obama’s Cuba Trip Guarantees Another Crackdown

Saturday, February 20, 2016
From The New York Post's Editorial Board:

Obama’s Cuba trip guarantees another Castro crackdown

President Obama says he’s headed to Cuba next month to “advance our progress” and increase “efforts that can improve the lives of the Cuban people.” Let’s hope that “advance” is worth the brutal crackdown his visit guarantees.

In advance of Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit last August, the Castros arrested 90 dissidents wearing Obama masks, for protesting in Havana against the reopening of the US embassy.

“What is happening is [Obama’s] fault,” former political prisoner Angel Moya said before the protest. “The Cuban government has grown bolder. That’s why we have this mask on. Because it’s his fault.”

And what “progress” does Obama mean to “advance”? Yes, Havana released 53 political prisoners in the runup to Obama’s normalization of relations — but it has since rearrested them all.

“We still have differences with the Cuban government that I will raise directly,” Obama tweeted of his trip. “America will always stand for human rights around the world.”

But not stand up for them, if it endangers a chance to “make history” as the first sitting president to visit Cuba in 88 years.

Last year, Cuba saw more than 8,616 documented political arrests. November alone brought at least 1,447, the highest monthly total in decades, The World Post reports.

Obama & Co. insist the president’s trip will be fruitful, and that he will be meeting with dissidents.

Ones the Castros opt to leave free, anyway.