Cuba Sentences Four U.S. Residents to Coerce Obama Ahead of Trip

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
On the same day that North Korea releases a "confession" from an American student for "hostile acts" against the Kim regime, Cuba's regime sentences four U.S. residents (two of whom are American citizens) to prison terms of 10-15 years for "hostile acts."

The playbook and goal of both regimes is clear: To (once again) coerce the Obama Administration.

The four U.S. residents are Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Felix Monzon Alvarez.

They were arrested in May 2014 -- right in the midst of Obama's secret negotiations with the Castro regime -- and hadn't been heard from since.

One of them, Raibel Pacheco Santos, is the son of a former Castro regime official who defected in Mexico in 2012. The family believes his arrest was retaliatory.

Now, nearly two years later, as President Obama prepares to travel to Cuba (with a prior prep-trip by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry), it was announced that these four U.S. residents have been handed sentences of 10-15 years for “crimes against the internal security of the state.”

This is to fill the backpack of requests to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry [prior to Obama's visit],” a relative of one of the imprisoned U.S. residents told 14ymedio.

There are a lot of questions to be answered about this strange case, which both the Obama Administration and the Castro dictatorship have avoided for nearly two years.

But, as we've previously posted, here's the main lesson (warning) Obama failed to learn (heed) from Alan Gross' hostage-taking and prisoner exchange:

- Regimes that coerce concessions are never satisfied. As we've seen since December 17th, 2014, no matter how many unconditional concessions and impunity President Obama grants the Castro regime, it simply emboldens it to want more. Repression, refugees and rogue activities are on the rise. That is the result of Obama's coerced policy.

It's their one-and-only playbook.