Obama embarrasses himself, US in Cuba

President Obama stood next to Raúl Castro at a press conference in Cuba yesterday and was browbeaten by the Communist dictator in a humiliating spectacle that no president – no American – should have taken so meekly.

Washington Examiner editor Aaron MaClean:

Before a televised press conference in Havana, Raul Castro harangued Obama about the continuing American “blockade” of Cuba, its “illegal” occupation of Guantanamo Bay, seemed to accuse the president of being friendly to “destabilization” in Venezuela, and implied that his own family’s corrupt ownership of an entire country was justified because, unlike in America, “We find it inconceivable that a government does not defend and ensure the right to health care, any patient, social security, food provision and development, equal pay, and the rights of children.”

Welcome to Cuba, Mr. President!

With the man who ought to command the title of “leader of the free world” standing right next to him, Castro flatly lied to an American reporter who asked him about political prisoners, saying that CNN’s Jim Acosta should give him a list when the press conference was over, because he was unaware of any such detainees. (A partial list is here, if you’d like to see it.) When another reporter followed up on human rights issues, Castro responded with a robust defense—you can’t make this stuff up—of Cuba’s commitment to a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work.

And the president of the United States just stood there and took it. Virtually the only resistance he offered came at the end, when Castro, a man whom we may presume is accustomed to getting what he wants, grabbed Obama’s wrist and tried to hoist it into the air for some sort of victory photo op. Obama responded by letting his wrist go limp as Castro weirdly waved his arm around in the air.

A real president – a real American – would have walked off that stage and left the country immediately.  But the president just stood there with a silly grin on his face, wallowing in the "historic" nature of the event.

To allow Castro to spout nonsense about his "workers' paradise" without defending America's record of progress – even going so far as to agree with the communist thug about our shortcomings – literally turned my stomach.  In each and every "human right" that Castro ticked off, Cuba comes up short.  Food is rationed, and the people are on a strict caloric intake that is the lowest in the hemisphere.  Shops are empty.  Pensions are pitiful.  Living in Cuba is a daily battle for survival.

And Obama allows Castro to castigate the U.S. while standing there meekly like a student taking a dressing down from a teacher.  He is cheered on the left for this, who love the way Obama never allows the chance for an American humiliation to escape.  As for the rest of us, all we can do is hang our heads in shame that anyone such as this achieved the highest office in the land.