Obama has the nerve 2 criticize Castro on human rights – perhaps a visit 2 Guantanamo would clear this up for POTUS? https://t.co/EoGOtW2zrI
— Patricia Moon (@nobledreamer16) March 22, 2016
I received a call from a friend this evening, who was extremely agitated by news that Obama had criticized Cuba for its record on human rights. I asked that it be repeated because I was certain I had not heard correctly. But, it was true and as this information was comprehended I was outraged; how could anyone who knew what had gone on at Guantanamo have the audacity to criticize anyone? I guess it is just too much to expect Mr. Obama (who promised to close Guantanamo in the first year of his presidency) to actually GO AND SEE that hellhole. He is not planning to visit the troops stationed there either. Trump complains that no officials were at the airport to greet Obama. Obama’s omission is much greater IMHO. If he did go, no amount of sanitized editing could erase the damage already done. Not going suggests an admission of guilt. What ashtonishes me is that no one inside the U.S. seems to care. They are indifferent to it now, all they hear is that this is needed for their protection so they turn a blind eye.
From The Toronto Star:
“We continue, as President Castro indicated, to have some very serious differences, including on democracy and human rights,” said Obama, who planned to meet with Cuban dissidents Tuesday. Still, Obama heralded a “new day” in the U.S.-Cuba relationship and said “part of normalizing relations means we discuss these differences directly.”
Castro was blistering in his criticism of the American embargo, which he called “the most important obstacle” to his country’s economic development. He also pressed Obama to return the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, which is on the island of Cuba, to his government.
But when an American reporter asked about political prisoners in Cuba, he pushed back aggressively, saying if the journalist could offer names of anyone improperly imprisoned, “they will be released before tonight ends.”
“What political prisoners? Give me a name or names,” Castro said.
Cuba has been criticized for briefly detaining demonstrators thousands of times a year but has drastically reduced its practice of handing down long prison sentences for crimes human rights groups consider to be political. Cuba released dozens of prisoners as part of its deal to normalize relations with the U.S., and in a recent report, Amnesty International did not name any current prisoners of conscience in Cuba. Lists compiled by Cuban and Cuban-American groups list between 47 and 80 political prisoners, although Cuban officials describe many as common criminals.