Sunday, October 2, 2016

The United States Senate Should Block the Confirmation of an American Ambassador to Communist Cuba

           A bipartisan group of three Cuban-American United States Senators are sponsoring a resolution declaring the Obama Administration’s diplomatic recognition of the Communist Cuban dictatorship a failure, noting the Castro regime’s continued violations of human rights, and expressing American solidarity with a prominent Cuban dissident. 

The two Republican Senators are also vowing to block senatorial confirmation of President Barack Obama’s recent nominee who would be the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba since relations were severed in 1961.  An American embassy was opened several months ago in Havana.

The Castro dictatorship has not liberalized in any significant way in exchange for winning American diplomatic recognition, which legitimizes the regime, thus providing it a propaganda victory, while lowering the morale of pro-democratic dissidents.  In fact, the Communists have since cracked down on dissent, with more frequent arrests and violent interrogations of anyone who criticizes the dictatorship.  The Cuban people lack most basic freedoms.  The Castro regime continues to harbor American fugitives, including terrorists, among other hostile actions against the U.S. and others and it refuses to return millions of dollars worth of property stolen from Americans. 

As I noted previously, the Obama Administration has made concessions to Communist Cuba, without gaining anything significant in return from the economically-weakened socialist state, either for the Cuban people, or American interests.  See my posts United States President Barack Obama Legitimatizes, Rewards and Props Up the Cuban Castro Communist Dictatorship, from December of 2012,, Foreign Updates: Cuba, Ukraine, Tunisia and France, from January of 2015,, United States President Barack Obama Legitimatizes the Iranian and Cuban Dictatorships, from June of 2015,, and Recent Communist Repression, Aggression and Anti-American Militancy, from September of 2015,

See also The United States Department of States’s Designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and Freedom House’s Listing of Cuba as “Not Free” in December of 2014,  

Although Obama removed Cuba from the list of terrorist-sponsoring states and was able to loosen some restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba, the Republican-led Congress has been successful in blocking his proposal to end the economic embargo.  Nevertheless, it is important to deprive the Castro Communist Cuban dictatorship of any further legitimacy that it would receive were a U.S. ambassador confirmed, unless the regime liberalizes and holds free elections.  A moral stand for liberty, instead of granting more unilateral concessions, is necessary to force the regime to free Cuba.  The Senate should reject the confirmation of any American ambassador to the Communist Castro dictatorship until Cubans are free.

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