Barack Obama has made recently a series of foreign policy gaffes. Undeterred by harsh criticism and stalling if not flagging poll numbers, Obama weighs in on the Cuban trade embargo.
MIAMI - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is leaping into the long-running Cuba debate by calling for the U.S. to ease restrictions for Cuban-Americans who want to visit the island or send money home.
Obama's campaign said Monday that, if elected, the Illinois senator would lift restrictions imposed by the Bush administration and allow Cuban-Americans to visit their relatives more frequently, as well as ease limits on the amount of money they can send to their families.
Take out your #2 pencils; it is time for a quiz.
By making this statement, Obama is:
(Please circle the correct answer below)
A) Cynically laying the groundwork for attacking Hillary in an attempt to win the Democratic nomination by reminding voters of the Elian Gonzales episode under Bill's presidency:
In May, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton said she opposed immediate changes in Cuba travel but added that there may be need for change in the next presidency if Castro is no longer in power.
Such a change would be contingent on commitments to human rights and more openness from the Cuban government, the New York senator said.
Clinton must contend with her husband's legacy on U.S.-Cuba relations, particularly when he authorized U.S. agents to return young Elian Gonzalez to his father in Cuba, alienating many exiles.
B) Cynically laying the groundwork for courting the key Cuban-American vote in the key battleground state of Florida in an attempt to win the presidency:
The Cuban-exile vote is considered key to winning Florida...
...sentiment in the Cuban-American community is changing. Unlike the early waves of immigrants who brought their entire families, often by plane, to the U.S., most Cubans now flee by boat and are forced to leave relatives behind. Fewer of these immigrants were overt political opponents of the government, and they want to be able to visit loved ones and to send money home.
Many Cuban exiles are also frustrated with the U.S. embargo, which has failed to yield fruit after nearly 45 years. And with the specter of an ailing Castro and a possible change in leadership, they are more open to changing U.S. policy.
C) Reinforcing the idea that he just can't quit repressive dictators, regardless of the harm it does to the cause of freedom for the citizens under their rule:
Mauricio Claver-Carone, a spokesman for the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Pact, which supports full sanctions, said Obama's statement could hurt U.S.-Cuban relations at a crucial time.
"I'm sure he's well intentioned," Claver-Carone said, but he added that with the death of Castro possibly approaching and the potential for change on the island, such a statement could send the wrong message.
"It entrenches the regime at this historic time," Claver-Carone said.
Although not mentioned in the article, perhaps there is one more possible, if half tongue-in-cheek answer:
E) Any of the above, all of the above, none of the above -- it doesn't matter -- he is not ready for prime time.