U.S.-Cuba talks: Looks like a one-way street
We keep hearing that the U.S. and Cuba are making progress on the so-called talks. I guess that it depends on what the meaning of "negotiations" or "progress" is.
So far, we've agreed to sit down with the Castro regime. This is huge, because every previous administration, from Kennedy to G.W. Bush, refused to meet unless certain conditions were met beforehand.
We've removed Cuba from the terrorist list. This is huge, especially since a couple of ships with illegal weapons have been discovered going to Cuba recently.
Which U.S. demands has Cuba agreed to? The answer is "nada," or nothing, as reported by Capitol Hill Cubans:
The road to establishing diplomatic relations has been a unilateral gift bag for the Castro regime.
Castro asks, Obama delivers.
- Ease sanctions -- check.
- Prisoner swap -- check.
- Remove Cuba from state-sponsors of terrorism list -- check.
- Find Castro a U.S. bank to process payments -- check.
- Seek to "change" U.S. democracy programs -- check.
- Skirt U.S. law in the process -- check.
And what has Castro done?
It's infuriating, and I don't mean it as a Cuban-American who had a family member in one of Castro's political prisons for 14 years without a trial.
I am angry because we had all of the cards, especially now that Venezuela can no longer subsidize the Castro regime with oil. Raúl Castro is on his knees, without the Caracas subsidy and no country willing to offer him credit anymore.
We didn't have to make a deal for Alan Gross or send back spies sitting in U.S. prisons. We could have said, Put Gross on a plane to Miami, and we'll call you later.
We could have demanded the unconditional delivery of Joanne Chesimard, the woman who killed a New Jersey state trooper. From President Reagan to President G.W. Bush, we stopped talking whenever Castro refused to release her. The Obama team keeps talking despite Cuba saying that this issue is off the table. Sorry, but why are we still at the table?
Unfortunately, we've allowed Raúl Castro to rant about the embargo and Guantánamo. In the past, U.S. presidents hung up the phone when Raúl or Fidel ranted like that. Today, we listen to them, as if these are legitimate grievances that we should be sensitive to.
We remind you that this is the same administration negotiating a deal with Iran, a country far more consequential to our national security than Cuba.
The Obama administration can't negotiate a tough deal with Cuba. What makes me confident that they can do it with Iran?
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