Obama helps Cuba, but there's no reciprocation | Opinion
Guillermo I. Martinez Contact Reporter
United States has opened up Cuba, but Castro keeps it the same
Politics always plays a key role in any diplomatic negotiation.
No one doubts President Barack Obama has been the most lenient American
president in the last six decades in the way he sees relations with
Cuba. After decades, he resumed diplomatic relations with the Castro regime.
He has allowed Americans and Cuban Americans to travel to and from the
island unhindered. He has made sure the embargo that governs relations
between the two countries is set aside for his executive orders.
American tourists can now go to Cuba and back with a suitcase full of
Cuban cigars and rum. No limit. He has allowed several American airlines
to travel to airports all over the island. Southwest Airlines now
advertises a one-way ticket from Fort Lauderdale to the famed Varadero
beach for $59 one way.
Cuban Americans enter the United States under a privileged statute that
grants Cubans who set foot on this country legal residency. They, too,
can travel back and forth. It makes no difference that their status was
given to Cubans who were being persecuted.
¡No importa! (It is not important)
Now everyone can come and go as they please.
All this is part of Obama's efforts to make rapprochement to Cuba part
of his legacy as president. In his mind, this is one of the most
important accomplishments of his almost eight years in office.
The only problem is Cuba does not reciprocate.
They continue to repress dissidents and opponents in the island on a
regular basis. In fact, repression in Cuba has almost doubled in number
since the two countries re-established diplomatic relations in December
Raúl Castro has made it crystal clear Cuba will not change its form of
government, no matter what the United States does. At the same time it
keeps demanding the United States lift the embargo imposed in 1996.
Makes no difference that Obama has skirted around the embargo with his
Obama says he wants to help the Cuban people.
That is why, when Hurricane Matthew hit Cuba and other islands in the
Caribbean, Obama ordered $5 million in aid sent to all the countries
affected by the monster storm.
All other countries accepted the small symbolic American assistance.
Cuba rejected it. Castro doesn't care about the well-being of those who
lost almost everything they had in Baracoa and other cities and towns in
the easternmost part of the island.
A French queen one wondered why Frenchmen demanding bread to eat did not
eat cake. Castro would say: "Let Cubans eat dirt."
If anyone has any doubts about what Castro wants, all they need to know
is he would not even accept humanitarian aid from the United States. It
is not important people in the island have desperate needs.
Guillermo I. Martinez lives in South Florida. Email: Guimar123@gmail.com
Source: Obama helps Cuba, but there's no reciprocation | Opinion - Sun