YOUR OPINION: President Barack Obama’s Cuba Visit Exposes Liberal Hypocrisies
By Matt Shay // March 23, 2016
YOUR OPINION COUNTS
This week, I joined many fellow sensible Americans who voiced their disgust over President Barack Obama’s appeasement of Cuba. Our President’s penchant for supporting brutal regimes (Cuba, Iran) over traditional allies (Israel) was highlighted this week by his visit with Raul Castro in Cuba.
The very liberals who once espoused standing up for human rights at all costs now applaud the site of our commander in chief capitulating to a family that has murdered and imprisoned non-conformists and freedom-seeking individuals who were bold enough to vocalize their preference for personal liberty to compliance totalitarian regime.
As a lifelong conservative, I could take the familiar yet unsophisticated approach to the remainder of this piece by contrasting President Obama’s conduct in Cuba to President Ronald Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” speech in Berlin, but I would rather provoke serious thought among independents by offering JFK, another Democrat with a rapid rise to power and the U.S. Presidency in the midst of volatile international conflicts:
“The first thing we have to do is let the Cuban people know our determination that they will someday again be free. We did not make clear to the Cubans our devotion to freedom during the brutal regime of the Batista dictatorship-and we are not making our position any clearer under the Castro dictatorship.
“Secondly, we must end the harassment, which this government has carried on, of liberty-loving anti-Castro forces in Cuba and other lands. Third, we must let Mr. Castro know that we do not intend to be pushed around any longer and in particular do not intend to be pushed out of our naval base at Guantanamo.”
Today, Kennedy’s policy regarding Castro’s oppressive policies and human rights violations parallel the words of leading conservatives including U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants.
Advocates of Obama’s Castro appeasement defend their stance in two common ways:
1. Citing the age of the policy, as if a statute of limitations on tyranny exists.
2. They point to polls showing that the majority of Americans don’t support sanctions against Cuba.
I would love to see a follow-up poll, where that same sample is asked: Do you know what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis?; Who was Nikita Khrushchev?; and Where does Cuba rank for human rights violations?
I’m willing to bet the vast majority of those surveyed wouldn’t answer at least two of those questions correctly.
They certainly wouldn’t be able give you an accurate answer on human rights violations. Why? Because last year, shortly after President Obama announced his new policy with Cuba, Reuters revealed that the U.S. State Department watered-down human trafficking estimates for Cuba so it could upgrade Cuba’s standing among the top violators of human rights.
Trafficking experts were repeatedly overruled and pressured by senior State Department officials into inflating assessments of 14 strategically important countries in this year’s Trafficking in Persons report. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry failed to explain why Cuba wasn’t included among the leading nations for human trafficking. (Source Reuters)
One of the most remarkable double standards employed by Obama’s supporters on this issue is in the area of free trade versus human rights. Proponents of the new policy parrot President Obama’s talking points regarding cruise and airline tourism economic benefits.
I can’t help but recall the litany of lectures and reading assignments from my unabashed liberal college professors who frequently criticized capitalism and its alleged exploitations of the lower class.
Author Kevin Bales portrayed global free trade as a new form of slavery in his book, “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.”
Ironically, Bales’ work was widely praised among the same left-wing liberals who now conveniently turn a blind eye to Cuba’s human rights violations, all in the name of partisan politics and improving the sinking legacy of their party’s current leader.
They have sold their souls in the name of political expediency.
– Matt Shay, Merritt Island, Florida