One Year Later, Obama’s Cuba Policy Has Proven To Be A Sham and Cubans Are No Closer To Freedom and Democracy, Says Ros-Lehtinen

Dec 16, 2015

One Year Later, Obama’s Cuba Policy Has Proven To Be A Sham and Cubans Are No Closer To Freedom and Democracy, Says Ros-Lehtinen

“Simply put, the Obama administration’s Cuba policy has only enriched the Castro regime and its enablers. One year later, we are further away from democracy in Cuba and drifting ever closer to accepting oppressors as legitimate leaders.”

Miami, Florida – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement on the one year anniversary of President Obama’s change to many facets of U.S. policy toward the Castro regime. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“One year after President Obama’s unilateral concessions to communist Cuba, we have seen an increase in detentions on the island and more Cubans are seeking to flee Castro’s dictatorial rule. So, are the Cuban people any closer to a real democracy? Brave pro-democracy leaders like Las Damas de Blanco’s Berta Soler, El Sexto, Antonio Rodiles, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ‘Antunez,’ and others are still routinely harassed, beaten, and arrested, for denouncing the regime’s human rights abuses. The White House’s open hand has been met with a proverbial iron fist. Simply put, the Obama administration’s Cuba policy has only enriched the Castro regime and its enablers.

Notwithstanding Obama’s disastrous Cuba policy, a side deal was agreed to in secret and led President Obama to pardon three convicted Cuban spies who undermined our national security and one whose actions led to the Brothers to the Rescue shootdown, where three American citizens and one U.S. resident were murdered by Castro regime fighter jets. One year after these concessions, the Obama administration only has a few small-ball agreements that don't threaten the dictator's grip on power and won't change the sad status quo on the island. No progress has been made on human rights, confiscated American properties, or the return of U.S. fugitives because the Castro dictatorship will not change and only feels emboldened by Obama’s misguided policies.

President Obama is attempting to paint ‘progress’ in Cuba with a broad brush, so much so that seemingly any new round of talks that produce no change on the tyranny's part is hailed as a success. However, the reality is that there is no cause and effect relationship between Obama’s Cuba policies and any improvement in the quality of life for the Cuban people.

The White House’s policy is one of accommodation to dictators like the Castros and Iran’s Rouhani and of ignoring pro-democracy leaders who are attempting to promote fundamental American values in their own countries. My colleagues and I will continue to work arduously to ensure that the embargo is maintained and that we shine a light on the dark corners of regime repression. One year later, we are further away from democracy in Cuba and drifting ever closer to accepting oppressors as legitimate leaders.”

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