Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The State Dept. is shocked!...shocked!...

To discover that our new best friend, the Cuban government, is oppressing its citizens;
We are deeply concerned about the latest reports of detentions and arrests by Cuban authorities of peaceful civil society members and activists, including Luis Quintana Rodriguez, Antonio Rodiles, Danilo Maldonado, Reinaldo Escobar, Marcelino Abreu Bonora and Eliecer Avila. We strongly condemn the Cuban government’s continued harassment and repeated use of arbitrary detention, at times with violence [our bold], to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly and freedom expression, and intimidate citizens.
Freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are internationally recognized human rights, and the Cuban government’s lack of respect for these rights, as demonstrated by today’s detentions, is inconsistent with Hemispheric norms and commitments. We urge the Government of Cuba to end its practice of repressing these and other internationally protected freedoms and to respect the universal human rights of Cuban citizens.
We have always said we would continue to speak out about human rights, and as part of the process of normalization of diplomatic relations, the United States will continue to press the Cuban government to uphold its international obligations and to respect the rights of Cubans to peacefully assemble and express their ideas and opinions, just like their fellow members of civil society throughout the Americas are allowed to do.
Which speaking out will get the State Dept. exactly what it got the Eisenhower Administration in 1959, when they rushed to recognize (within a week of Castro's march into Havana) the revolution of Fidel Castro as the legitimate government of Cuba. Let's hope it doesn't get them what Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger got when they started discussing normalization of relations in 1974--50,000 Cubans sent to Angola.  Or Jimmy Carter (the Mariel Boatlift when hardened Cuban criminals were outsourced to Florida). Or Bill Clinton ....

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