Right on cue: 2 recently released Cuban dissidents re-arrested

President Obama has kept his word and issued new regulations easing travel restrictions to Cuba.  As for the Castro regime, they appear to have thumbed their noses at the president, as they have re-arrested two of the 53 dissidents released last week.

The Hill:

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.) criticized the arrests of Rolando Reyes Rabanal and Luis Enrique Labrador, who were among 53 political prisoners released by the Castro regime as part of an effort to improve ties with the United States.

The two were arrested while attempting to join a pro-democracy meeting of the Movement for a New Republic, Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said, citing news reports.

He argued that the arrests shows the United States cannot trust the Cuban government to stick with any reforms or to move toward Democracy.

“When the Castro regime re-arrests political prisoners after the president 'negotiated' their release, it makes a mockery of the entire bad deal,” Diaz-Balart said.

The president never seems to mind when his policies result in embarrassment to to the U.S.  His bluff on the "red line" regarding Assad's chemical weapons was called by the Syrian dictator, and only Vladimir Putin's intervention allowed Obama to salvage something from that incident.  (Assad is still using poison gas, by the way.)

He said Obama must demand the permanent release of all political prisoners.

The news comes as new regulations to relax trade and travel rules begin to take effect Friday.

The State Department said it was “deeply concerned” on reports of a crackdown on critics of the Cuban government last month after the U.S. had announced its controversial move to normalize relations.

Any previous president would have rescinded the new travel guidelines until the Castro regime lived up to its promise.  But as we've seen, nothing deflects this president from his mission to "make history" – a far more important motivation for policy in his mind than negotiating a fair agreement.

The nonsense the administration keeps spouting about this opening to Cuba bringing democracy to that country is a fantasy born of naieveté and muddled thinking.  When signing an agreement simply for the sake of the agreement itself – not advancing U.S. interests in any way – becomes a diplomatic goal, we should expect the other side to disrespect the agreement whenever it suits it.  With no fear of reprisal, it is a certainty that there will be more arrests in the future.

President Obama has kept his word and issued new regulations easing travel restrictions to Cuba.  As for the Castro regime, they appear to have thumbed their noses at the president, as they have re-arrested two of the 53 dissidents released last week.

The Hill:

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.) criticized the arrests of Rolando Reyes Rabanal and Luis Enrique Labrador, who were among 53 political prisoners released by the Castro regime as part of an effort to improve ties with the United States.

The two were arrested while attempting to join a pro-democracy meeting of the Movement for a New Republic, Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said, citing news reports.

He argued that the arrests shows the United States cannot trust the Cuban government to stick with any reforms or to move toward Democracy.

“When the Castro regime re-arrests political prisoners after the president 'negotiated' their release, it makes a mockery of the entire bad deal,” Diaz-Balart said.

The president never seems to mind when his policies result in embarrassment to to the U.S.  His bluff on the "red line" regarding Assad's chemical weapons was called by the Syrian dictator, and only Vladimir Putin's intervention allowed Obama to salvage something from that incident.  (Assad is still using poison gas, by the way.)

He said Obama must demand the permanent release of all political prisoners.

The news comes as new regulations to relax trade and travel rules begin to take effect Friday.

The State Department said it was “deeply concerned” on reports of a crackdown on critics of the Cuban government last month after the U.S. had announced its controversial move to normalize relations.

Any previous president would have rescinded the new travel guidelines until the Castro regime lived up to its promise.  But as we've seen, nothing deflects this president from his mission to "make history" – a far more important motivation for policy in his mind than negotiating a fair agreement.

The nonsense the administration keeps spouting about this opening to Cuba bringing democracy to that country is a fantasy born of naieveté and muddled thinking.  When signing an agreement simply for the sake of the agreement itself – not advancing U.S. interests in any way – becomes a diplomatic goal, we should expect the other side to disrespect the agreement whenever it suits it.  With no fear of reprisal, it is a certainty that there will be more arrests in the future.