What ever happened to protecting US citizens abroad?

Don't look now, but a few US citizens are detained overseas.

In North Korea, a US citizen has been arrested, according to the BBC:

"The couple's son, Jeffrey Newman, said earlier that Mr Merrill, a Korean War veteran, was taken off a plane by uniformed officers on 26 October at the end of a trip to North Korea.

He was visiting the country with a friend, on a guided tour arranged with a travel agent "approved by the North Korean government for travel of foreigners", Jeffrey Newman said.

US officials have not specifically confirmed the case, but have called on North Korea to "resolve the issue."

Over in Iran, a pastor is also under arrest:

"Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, has been imprisoned in Iran for more than a year for practicing Christianity. The talks over Iran's nuclear program were seen by his family and those representing them as one of the most promising avenues yet for securing his release.  

But the White House confirmed over the weekend that Abedini's status was not on the table during those talks."

Down in Cuba,  Allan Gross has been detained for years:  

"Four years ago, Cuban security agents arrested an American subcontractor named Alan Gross, accused him of spying for the U.S., and sentenced him to 15 years in a Havana prison. Gross has been languishing there ever since, a victim of Obama administration inaction, Congressional meddling, and the difficulties of negotiating with a regime as mercurial and opaque as the government of Cuban strongman Raúl Castro."

What is the Obama administration doing about this?  We are not suggesting a military attack but it would be nice if we showed a little muscle from time to time.

We can not allow countries like Iran, North Korea and Cuba to arrest US citizens for bogus reasons. You get the feeling that no one fears the US anymore.

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

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