Obama's Cuba Policy Met By Crackdown in Cuba

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The Obama administration is continuing to drop heavy hints that the president will go to Cuba, and that he believes his presence would make be a big, perhaps decisive factor, in getting the Castro regime to end its repression of the Cuban people. According to the New York Times, “Administration officials believe that, rather than waiting for the Castro government in Cuba to loosen its grip on power before making a presidential visit there, Mr. Obama can use his presence to help create momentum toward democracy that the Castros will be unable to stop.” The Times story echoes the interview the president gave on December 14th, in which he said that he hoped to visit Cuba in 2016. The purpose of his trip, the president said, would be “to shine a light on progress that’s been made, but also maybe [go] there to nudge the Cuban government in a new direction.” 

It needs more than nudging. Since the president’s launch of a new approach to the Castro regime one year ago, the human rights situation has deteriorated. One hundred protesters were arrested on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. Overall, arrests are on pace to exceed the 2014 total, which was a record.

- The remainder of this post can be read for free at Democracy Road, FPI Senior Fellow Ellen Bork's blog at World Affairs Journal

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