Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama realizes the obvious

President Barack Obama, in his harshest censure of Cuba's repression of dissent, Wednesday said Havana had used "a clenched fist" against "those who dare to give voice to the desires of their fellow Cubans."

Obama also appeared to hint that his efforts to improve U.S. relations with the Raúl Castro government have lost steam in the face of the recent string of tough actions by Havana.

"During the course of the past year, I have taken steps to reach out to the Cuban people and to signal my desire to seek a new era in relations between the governments of the United States and Cuba," said a four-paragraph statement released by the White House.

"I remain committed to supporting the simple desire of the Cuban people to freely determine their future and to enjoy the rights and freedoms that define the Americas," he added, making no mention of a similar commitment to improved government-to-government relations.

The statement amounted to the president's harshest condemnation of Cuba since he was inaugurated. Last spring, he eased U.S. restrictions on Cuban-American travel and remittances to Cuba and launched bilateral talks on immigration and direct mail service.

Better late than never to realize that the Castros' Cuban communist dictatorship is brutal and evil and undemocratic.

Maybe one day he will realize that Palestinian rejectionism and terrorism is the cause of Mideast turmoil, not Israeli construction of 200 homes in the historically Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.

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