Raul Castro setting the agenda at Latin America summit
We opposed the U.S.-Cuba talks because nothing was demanded from the Castro regime. Unlike previous presidents, who demanded something tangible from the regime, the Obama administration spent 18 months and agreed to nothing.
We just consented to talk about the issues that have separated the two countries since the early 1960s.
In reality, our approach persuaded the thugs running Cuba that we wanted a deal more than they did! They must have been ecstatic when they heard that the U.S. was willing to talk unconditionally.
Our unwillingness to stand up for freedom and democracy has rehabilitated the Castro brothers, as Mary Anastasia O'Grady wrote a few days ago:
In the White House’s lack of moral clarity, the region’s bullies smell weakness. One result is that a Caribbean backwater run by gangster brothers now has the upper hand in setting the regional agenda.
If the U.S. president is humiliated in Panama City like he was in Port of Spain in 2009, no one should be surprised. That’s when Mr. Obama tried to be one of the boys with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, who thanked him by presenting him a copy of the famous anti-American diatribe “The Open Veins of Latin America.”
Raúl Castro is now setting the agenda in Panama. Incredibly, Castro was on his knees just a few months ago because Venezuela could no longer subsidize the island. He was in no position to demand anything from the U.S. Nevertheless, President Obama threw him a lifeline, and now the communist thug is back on his feet.
My guess is that President Obama thought that he'd be treated like a hero at this summit. Instead, he will once again get a taste of what happens when the big wolf shows weakness.
Castro will probably deliver a speech criticizing the U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and make re-establishment of diplomatic relations conditional on the return of Guantánamo. He's already said that!
He will then demand reparations for the damage that the U.S. embargo did to the island. All of this will be greeted with applause!
As in 2009, President Obama will be in the audience when a dictator bashes and blames the U.S. for all the problems in the world.
The Latin American left will cheer. The serious leaders of Latin America will look around and ask: where is America when we really need her?