A TEXT POST
Obama Rolls Out The Red Carpet For The Castro Family

THE STATE DEPARTMENT IS WELCOMING CUBAN FIRST DAUGHTER MARIELA CASTRO TO THE U.S. THIS WEEK

The State Department Issued A Visa To Mariela Castro, Niece Of Fidel Castro And Advocate For The Castro Regime. “Mariela Castro, a sexologist who heads the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana, is expected to participate in the four-day conference of the Latin American Studies Association, which begins Wednesday in San Francisco. Made up largely of U.S. academics, LASA generally invites 20-30 Cubans to its conferences, and a few are usually denied visas.” (Juan Tamayo, “U.S. Visa To Mariela Castro Sparks Angry Complaints,” The Miami Herald, 5/18/12)

Castro Is In The U.S. For Sexual Diversity Conference Of The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) From May 23 To May 26 In San Francisco And For A New York Public Library Event On International Gay Rights On May 29. “The trip, which kicks off next week when Castro is due to chair a panel on sexual diversity at a conference organized by the Latin American Studies Association, is among several to the United States by prominent Cubans, some with close links to the government. … The LASA International Congress, which includes hundreds of sessions on academic topics, takes place May 23-26 in San Francisco, a city closely associated with the history of the gay rights movement…. According to the website of the New York Public Library, Castro is also to take part in a May 29 talk with Rea Carey, director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, about international gay rights, as well as sexual identity and orientation in Cuba.” (“Cuban President’s Daughter Mariela Castro Gets U.S. Visa,” Associated Press, 5/20/12)

EVEN DEMOCRATS HAVE VOICED DISAPPROVAL OF THE DECISION

Senator Rob Menendez (D-NJ) Is “Disappointed” By The Administration’s Decision. “I am disappointed by the decision to issue a visa to Mariela Castro Epsin, the daughter of Cuban dictator Raul Castro.  Ms. Castro is a vociferous advocate of the regime and opponent of democracy, who has defended the regime’s brutal repression of democracy activists.” (Press Release, “Menendez Statement On Decision To Issue A Visa For Daughter Of Cuban Dictator Raul Castro,” Sen. Robert Menendez, Accessed 5/20/12)

Menendez: “Neither the United States Government nor the Latin American Studies Association should be in the business of providing a totalitarian regime, like the one in Cuba, with a platform from which to espouse its twisted rhetoric.” (Press Release, “Menendez Statement On Decision To Issue A Visa For Daughter Of Cuban Dictator Raul Castro,” Sen. Robert Menendez, Accessed 5/20/12)

Menendez:  “Lastly, she is a prominent member of Cuba’s Communist party and I don’t believe that the authority exists to provide Ms. Castro with a visa pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 5377, which prohibits providing nonimmigrant visas to Cuban nationals that are officers or employees of the Government or the Communist Party of Cuba.” (Press Release, “Menendez Statement On Decision To Issue A Visa For Daughter Of Cuban Dictator Raul Castro,” Sen. Robert Menendez, Accessed 5/20/12)

Former Governor And U.S. Ambassador To The United Nations Bill Richardson (D-NM) Noted In April 2012 That The Cuban Authorities Were Cracking Down On U.S. Diplomats. “Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, addressing the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies on April 27, said Cuban authorities had increased their harassment and tightened travel restrictions on U.S. diplomats.” (Juan Tamayo, “U.S. Visa To Mariela Castro Sparks Angry Complaints,” The Miami Herald, 5/18/12)

Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) And Other Florida Legislators Criticized Obama For Appeasing The Castro Regime “Once Again” And “Greeting High-Level Agents Of That Murderous Dictatorship With Open Arms.” “Four Cuban-American lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday protesting the move. ‘The administration’s appalling decision to allow regime agents into the U.S. directly contradicts congressional intent and longstanding U.S. foreign policy,’ wrote Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.) and David Rivera (R-Fla.). ‘While the Cuban people struggle for freedom against increasing brutality at the hands of Castro’s thugs, the Obama   administration is greeting high-level agents of that murderous dictatorship with open arms,’ they wrote.  ‘It is shameful that the Obama administration would waive the common-sense restrictions in place to appease the Castro dictatorship once again.’”(Justin Sink, “Romney Campaign Hits Obama Over Decision To Give Cuban President’s Daughter US Visa,” The Hill’s “Briefing Room” Blog, 5/18/12)

 “There Can Hardly Be A More Communist Party And Regime ‘Insider’ In Cuba Than Mariela Castro.” “Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of dictator Raul Castro, was appointed head of the regime’s National Center for Sex Education, (CENESEX). She is a devout member of Cuba’s Communist party who routinely rails against the ‘imperialist’ United States and vilifies Cuba’s courageous pro-democracy movement. She recently parroted regime propaganda by referring to pro-freedom activists as ‘despicable parasites’ and insinuating that the activists were paid mercenaries of the United States simply because they questioned her refusal to defend basic human rights of the Cuban people. Other than the dictators themselves, there can hardly be a more Communist Party and regime ‘insider’ in Cuba than Mariela Castro Espin.” (Press Release, “Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, Sires, And Rivera Outraged By Visas Provided To Cuban Communist Party Operatives,” Letter To Sec. Clinton, 5/17/12)

WHILE CASTRO VISITS, OBAMA IGNORES THE PLIGHT OF AN AMERICAN DETAINED IN CUBA

Alan Gross Was Arrested In December 2009 For Helping The Jewish Community In Cuba. “Alan Gross was jailed while working in Cuba as a subcontractor on a U.S. Agency for International Development project aimed at spreading democracy. Cuban authorities deemed his actions illegal. He was accused of trying set up illegal Internet connections, but Gross says he was trying to help connect the Jewish community to the Internet and was not a threat to the government.” (“A Look At Other Americans Who Were Jailed Abroad,” CNN, 9/21/11)

Cuba’s Top Court Has Rejected The Final Appeal Of A U.S. Government Contractor Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison, Despite Appeals From Top American Officials For His Release.” (Jennifer Rubin, “Alan Gross, Castro, And Obama,” The Washington Post, 8/7/11)

“The Administration Put Out A Lone Sentence, Devoid Of Any Warnings Or Threats.” “The administration put out a lone sentence, devoid of any warnings or threats: ‘We call on the government of Cuba to release Alan Gross immediately and unconditionally, to allow him to return to his family and bring to an end the long ordeal that began well over a year ago.’” (Jennifer Rubin, “Alan Gross, Castro, And Obama,” The Washington Post, 8/7/11)

OBAMA CONTINUES HIS FAILED POLICY OF ENGAGING THE CASTRO REGIME

During A July 2007 Debate, Obama Said He Would Meet With The Leaders Of State Sponsors Of Terror “Without Precondition.” QUESTION: “[W]ould you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?”… OBAMA: “I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration - is ridiculous.” (CNN/YouTube Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Charleston, SC, 7/23/07)

President Obama Has Taken Steps To Thaw Relations Between The U.S. And Cuba. “The thaw they advocate is well underway: Cuba’s suspension from the Organization of American States has been lifted, and the Obama administration has removed some restrictions on travel and remittances. A coalition in Congress is pressing for the elimination of remaining constraints on food exports and travel, while Spain, which holds the presidency of the European Union, has been advocating a new policy of cooperation with Havana.” (Editorial, “Is The Castro-Friendly Cuba Policy Working?” The Washington Post, 2/26/10)

The Washington Post: The Castro-Friendly Approach Has Not Led To More Respect For Human Rights On The Island.  “Is the new, Castro-friendly approach working? A good answer to that question came Tuesday, when Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a 42-year-old Afro-Cuban political prisoner, died after an 83-day hunger strike.”  (Editorial, “Is The Castro-Friendly Cuba Policy Working?” The Washington Post, 2/26/10)

The Washington Post: Totalitarianism On The Island Has Not Eased. “Human rights groups agree that Cuban totalitarianism has not eased since 79-year-old Raúl Castro replaced his 83-year-old brother, Fidel. ‘Rather than dismantle Cuba’s repressive machinery, Raúl Castro has kept it firmly in place and fully active,’ said Human Rights Watch in a report last November.”  (Editorial, “Is The Castro-Friendly Cuba Policy Working?” The Washington Post, 2/26/10)