Sunday, June 28, 2015

Let’s liberate Cuban citizens, not enrich Castro brothers

Let's liberate Cuban citizens, not enrich Castro brothers

For far too long, the citizens of Cuba have known only suffering under
an oppressive Castro regime. As a firm believer in the power of liberty
and an open society, I feel strongly that any decision to shift U.S.
policy toward Cuba must focus on liberating Cuban citizens, not
enriching the Castro brothers.

Cubans have gained absolutely nothing from the Obama administration's
secret negotiations to "normalize" relations with the Castros. Rather,
the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations will benefit Fidel and
Raúl Castro, who are responsible for the oppression.

Over the past 50 years, the conditions of the Cuban people haven't
improved despite U.S. efforts. Because of Castro's brutal seizing of
power and the shameless stealing of American property, the United States
chose to impose sanctions in order to urge the establishment of
democracy, allowance of freedom, and justice for people whose property
was taken. The Castros have simply refused. The Obama administration's
decision to loosen economic restrictions and reestablish relations only
rewards that obstinate behavior and has allowed Castro to drive the agenda.

The regime has asked for the return of the U.S. naval station at
Guantánamo Bay, which would equip Havana with a broad array of security
options, including leasing the area to a third party state such as
Russia or China, which would endanger our own national security.
Similarly, allowing them access to U.S. banks could create
money-laundering nightmares.

Perhaps most insulting, Havana has demanded so-called "just
compensation" for the "economic damage" inflicted by U.S. sanctions. The
Cuban regime deprived U.S. and Cuban citizens of billions of dollars in
property and still denies those citizens any form of justice, including

In a Congressional hearing I chaired earlier this month on the future of
property rights in Cuba, we heard from witnesses who shared stories of
how their property was stolen by the Castro regime, and the plight of
churches whose properties had been confiscated and then have had to pay
rent for buildings they own. Inexplicably, Castro confidently asks for
compensation without even hinting at a solution to the claims issue. In
yet another show of weakness, the State Department has failed to
prioritize the claims issue in the current talks involving possible
embassies, thereby allowing the Cuban regime to effectively evade the
matter indefinitely.

These changes being negotiated by the Obama administration only stand to
benefit Castro. Each of the demands stands as a threat to the already
perilous position of freedom in Cuba. Should we fail to make demands of
our own, we will see no substantive, lasting change for the Cuban people.



Source: Let's liberate Cuban citizens, not enrich Castro brothers |
Miami Herald Miami Herald -

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