VP Pence goes after Cuba

We are happy to see that Vice President Mike Pence went after Cuba's regime in a recent speech:

This year, citizens across the wider region will vote to choose their leaders and chart their future, from Colombia to Brazil to the United States and other nations.

Yet even as we celebrate this exercise in freedom, the dark cloud of tyranny still hangs heavy over too many of our neighbors in this hemisphere.

In Cuba, the longest-surviving dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere still clings to power.  For nearly 60 years, the Castro family systematically sapped the wealth of a great nation and of the Cuban people.

While the Castro name is now fading, the oppression and police state they imposed is as powerful as ever.

Today, the United States once again stands with the Cuban people in their stand for freedom. No longer will our dollars fund Cuba's military, security, and intelligence services – the core of that regime.

And in this administration, we will stand and we will always say, "Que Viva Cuba Libre."

But Cuba's leaders have never been content to stifle just their own people's freedom.

For generations, that communist regime has sought to export its failed ideology across the wider region.

And today, the seeds of Cuban tyranny are bearing fruit in Nicaragua and Venezuela.

In your face, and nice to see it.

Like President Reagan's famous "evil empire" line, V.P. Pence's statements will resonate with Cuba's dissidents.  They will hear that the U.S. cares about their freedom a lot more than the accolades of Latin American leftists who endorsed President Obama's Cuba opening.

It also makes another point.

More and more, Latin Americans are choosing their leaders in competitive elections.  We may not like the results in every case, such as in Ecuador, but people are voting.  We also see opposition parties and candidates growing, as is evident in Mexico.

Cubans do not have that option.  They had no say on the selection of Miguel Díaz-Canel, the man selected by the Communist Party following Raúl Castro's orders.

So it's important to remind Cubans that someone cares about them, especially when that someone speaks for U.S. policy.

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