OPINION

Opinion: Obama and his tin pot dictator friend, lectured about human rights

Presidents Obama and Castro during a joint statement in Havana, Cuba, Monday, March 21, 2016.

Presidents Obama and Castro during a joint statement in Havana, Cuba, Monday, March 21, 2016.  (ap)

Who comes first as a phony: Donald Trump or Raul Castro? Trump is a wannabe president and Castro is a phony president who serves at the pleasure of an AK-47 rifle.

There is a haunting similarity between the two men in one recognizable case. They both simply refuse to answer critical questions.

When Trump announced his run for president, the Washington Post investigated his work force at a new Trump Washington D.C. hotel project and published the fact – as they saw it – that there were workers on Trump’s new hotel that had entered the United States illegally. When asked if that was true, Trump brazenly demanded that the Post produce and give him a list of names. What a joke.

[Obama] stood there lectured to by this dictator about U.S. American “shortcomings” –some Americans were in poverty, he said – while Cubans had “human rights” of a free education (which Americans have K-12) and “health.” He made no mention of human rights of freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom to vote for whomever.

- Raoul Lowery Contreras

Yesterday, the President of the United States stood next to tin pot dictator Raul Castro and did not burst into laughter or show disdain when Castro replied to an American reporter’s query about political prisoners held by Castro’s dictatorship with “Give me a list of political prisoners and I’ll see to it they are released.”

Obama just stood there. How embarrassing is that? The question didn’t come from a weekly shopping throw-away reporter, it came from a well-known American television reporter.

Ideally, if the U.S. president standing there had been concerned about human rights for all he would have turned to the Cuban President and said “Mr. President, we insist you agree to have the American Red Cross enter every prison you run and that they be allowed to interview every single prisoner to determine if they are or are not political prisoners. If they are, we will present you with a list of names and expect you will release them to the Red Cross.”

But he didn’t. He stood there lectured to by this dictator about U.S. American “shortcomings” –some Americans were in poverty, he said – while Cubans had “human rights” of a free education (which Americans have K-12) and “health.” He made no mention of human rights of freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom to vote for whomever. 

Obama just stood there.

Obama proud-fully declared that it was not the U.S. “goal … to dictate how Cubans govern themselves.” One should compare that to “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” On balance, which is the better “goal?”

Why didn’t President Obama refer to the weekend demonstrations by the courageous “Ladies in White” who march demanding freedom? Why didn’t President Obama diplomatically challenge Castro when the dictator declared that “human rights issues” should not be “politicized?”

Why didn’t President Obama tell the dictator that there would be no more negotiations until every convicted American criminal living in Cuba is repatriated?

President Obama declared we must “promote links that can benefit both countries.” The suggestion here is that the first beneficial link should be the release of all Cuban political prisoners from a list prepared by the American Red Cross. The second must be the repatriation of every convicted American criminal living in and being supported by Dictator Castro.

Until those two issues are resolved to “benefit both of our peoples,” there should be no further negotiations.  

Raoul Lowery Contreras is a political consultant. He was formerly with the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate. Contreras's books are available at Amazon.com

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