Accuracy in Media

Announcing that “I have come to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas,” President Obama wrapped up his two day trip to Cuba by attending a baseball game and calling for an end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba. But most of the world, and the news media, were focused on the latest act of Islamic terrorism, in the heart of Europe. Three bombs in Brussels, Belgium have resulted in at least 34 dead and more than 250 injured.

While the mainstream media continue to praise another one of President Obama’s signature “achievements” in further expanding relations with Cuba, in reality his visit there legitimizes the oppression and corruption of that regime. Although the Cuban government has done little to reform itself from within, Obama has honored the island with a visit that constitutes little more than an American blessing upon Raul Castro’s continued repression.

“[Deputy National Security Advisor Ben] Rhodes and Obama have cited Cuba—along with a brokered deal with Iran to end its nuclear program—as successful evidence of the President’s 2009 inaugural vow to ‘extend a hand’ to traditional U.S. foes,” reports CNN, pointing to Congress for its refusal to open trade with Cuba.

“No one has changed the law that imposes the tourism ban,” wrote the editorial board of the New York Sun. “But, as the New York Times gleefully explains in an editorial this week, proving that a trip has ‘educational purposes’ will now ‘rest with the travelers.’”

“The incredible thing is that in the 1990s, Congress passed a historic law setting the conditions under which America could begin normalizing relations with Cuba,” wrote the Sun. “The measure is called the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act. It’s also known as Libertad, or the Helms-Burton.”

This law requires that a number of criteria be met before opening trade with the regime, including, according to the Sun, that Castro has “legalized all political activity,” “released all political prisoners”… “‘free and fair elections for a new government’ with the participation of ‘multiple independent political parties.’”

None of these criteria have yet been met. But why would that stop President Obama?

Amazingly, one member of the press described Cuba as making everyone equal and lifting the population up. CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who was in Cuba, noted, in response to a question, that the shirt he was wearing was his father’s, and that it was given to his father by Fidel Castro himself: “What is the point of this communist regime if it is not to truly make everyone equal, not at the lowest level, not by demoralizing everyone…but lifting everyone up,” he said. “My father, generations of politicians have been fighting this.” Hearing that remark, his father would be turning over in his grave.

When people talk about how far right the Republicans have moved politically, they should remember this moment. Not only is a socialist (yes, yes, a democratic socialist) running a very strong race against Hillary Clinton, the heir apparent to the throne, but she keeps tacking left to keep the far-left element of the party intact for her general election. And Chris Cuomo has inadvertently revealed what many leftist Democrats think of communism: “What is the point of this communist regime…? but lifting everyone up.” Incredible. In fact, it’s a totalitarian ideology that has enslaved billions and murdered more than a hundred million people over the last century. This, at a time when President Obama was in Cuba trying to blur the distinctions between a relatively free country like ours, and a communist tyranny that has lasted more than 55 years.

“There are 61 international instruments to recognize how many countries in the world comply with all the human rights and civil rights,” said Raul Castro during a joint press conference with President Obama. “What country complies with them all? Do you know? I know. None. Not a single country.”

Obama was fine with suggestions from Castro that the U.S. has its own legacy of shortcomings. Who are we to suggest that our form of government is somehow morally superior to communism?

Castro then went on to say that Cubans have healthcare, education, and equal wages as human rights. When asked about freeing political prisoners in his country, Castro said, “Well, give me a list of the political prisoners and I will release them immediately. …What political prisoners?”

CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said that it was progress that the question about political prisoners was asked at all. Real progress would be freeing them from Castro’s jails, and from the dictatorial regime.

But what none of the media were talking about is the desperation of the Cuban people. As this Associated Press article points out, just last Friday a cruise ship picked up 18 Cuban migrants who had fled Cuba on a 30-foot “rustic” boat that had been at sea for 22 days. Nine others had died and were placed overboard. Do these people count as former political prisoners? The article says that last month, “269 Cuban migrants attempted to reach U.S. shores and about 2,420 have tried to reach the United States by sea since last October.”

It added that “On the same day Royal Caribbean rescued the group it found, the Coast Guard returned 42 other migrants to Cuba after they were picked up in the Florida Straits in two separate incidents earlier in the week.” So I guess it depends on what the definition of “political prisoner” is.

Secretary of State John Kerry has further lowered the bar for Cuba, signaling that Cuban human rights abuses are no problem. “As in other parts of the world, we are really trying to also say, ‘Let’s find out how we can work together and not always say that human rights are the first things that we have to fix before anything else,’” he said.

“Well, as I think we both indicated, we had a very fruitful conversation around issues of democracy and human rights,” said President Obama in a Havana appearance with Castro on March 21. “Our starting point is that we have two different systems. Two different systems of government, two different economies. And we have decades of profound differences, both bilaterally and internationally.”

While President Obama extended Cuban leader Raul Castro a hand, this effort at diplomacy, much like that with Iran, seems once again peculiarly one-sided. As Jay Nordlinger writes for National Review, the Castros need President Obama more than Obama needs them.

Yet Castro did not even meet President Obama at the airport, deliberately snubbing him as if Cuba had little to gain from his diplomacy. On CBS, one co-anchor argued that the opening with Cuba would involve interactions that would “force change eventually.” This seems to be the same rationale given for appeasement to the hardliners in Iran.

The unsigned farce of a deal between the P5+1 and Iran will do little to stop that totalitarian regime from building nuclear weapons. Similarly, President Obama’s visit has only intensified Castro’s repressive efforts to silence, and jail, many of those who oppose the communist regime.

The Cuban authorities stage-managed each aspect of President Obama’s visit in a way that turned his trip into a propaganda victory for Castro.

Media descriptions of President Obama’s Cuban trip have emphasized how he dined at a “paladar,” a private Cuban restaurant. Such examples are supposed to offer further hope of Cuban moves toward capitalism.

Yet the Castro strong arm is overshadowing what is supposed to herald a strategic opening between the U.S. and Cuba. “Obama arrives in Cuba; hopes visit will usher in change” states a CNN headline.

What is happening is more of the same. According to The New York Times, “Some of the Old Havana shops near where Mr. Obama strolled on Sunday evening had been ordered to stay closed.” Also, it reports, “The police have been sweeping up prostitutes from nightclubs and beggars from the streets.”

The Cuban government even paved the streets to improve its image.

“Crowds had gathered in the faded colonial streets of Old Havana to glimpse Obama and his family as they passed through on foot,” reports CNN. However, at the same time, according to The UK Telegraph, “dissidents were being visited by the police and told to stay indoors until after Mr. Obama had left the country.”

Papers such as The New York Times cast opposition to President Obama’s visit as coming from Republicans. However, it is Democratic Senator Bob Menendez (NJ) who noted that in the first two months of this year Castro’s government has made “2,588 political arrests…represent[ing] the highest tally to begin a year in decades.”

“Que bolá Cuba?” tweeted President Obama. “Just touched down here, looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people.”

President Obama heard directly from some Cuban people during his visit—but only those citizens that Castro permitted him to meet. The baseball game Obama attended was “an invitation-only event, with most seats going to government loyalists,” according to the Times. Obama did meet with some handpicked dissidents on his final day, including Berta Soler, the leader of the Ladies in White movement, some of whose members were arrested on Sunday.

“Once upon a time, there was linkage,” wrote Nordlinger for National Review. “The deal was, we would bend toward the Castros if they bent on their own island: that is, if they liberalized,” he continues. “The Castros typically opted not to liberalize.”

“Then came Obama: who gave them what they wanted. For free.”

Nordlinger wrote that Berta Soler told him, “The European Union, the USA, Pope Francis—they have turned their backs on us.” She said that Obama promised that his new policy would empower civil society in Cuba. “But we are seeing that what he has done is give a green light to the Cuban government to crush civil society.”

President Obama had insisted, just three months ago, that “If I go on a visit [to Cuba], then part of the deal is that I get to talk to everybody.” That clearly didn’t happen, but Obama caved, instead of holding out for a better deal, and accepted the dictator’s terms. Cuba continues to harbor the American cop-killer fugitive Joanne Chesimard, among others. The former rogue CIA agent, Frank Terpil, who wound up doing business with some of the world’s worst tyrants, also found refuge in Cuba, but died earlier this month.

While Obama continues giving Castro everything he wants, and more, for free, the media continue to cast his continued appeasement as a new form of diplomacy. And though the baseball game clearly had an emotional impact on many of those involved, the media continue to ignore the plight of an oppressed people in an attempt to hand Obama another signature foreign policy achievement.

But The Washington Post deserves credit for publishing a column by perhaps Cuba’s best known former prisoner of conscience, Armando Valladares. “Dictators dream about friendly visits from heads of state; such a favor from the president of the United States is the ultimate fantasy,” wrote Valladares. “It provides an endless trove of propaganda material that helps lend legitimacy to the Castro regime, whose agenda of late consists of courting big corporations desperately needed to boost a failed experiment in socialism on the one hand, and bulldozing house churches on the other.”




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Comments

  • newsel

    Is returning the 4 fugitives from US justice part of the deal? Heck no!

    Then there is this:

    “But US businesses are not allowed to hire Cuban workers directly. If US businesses invest in Cuba, they have to partner with the Castro brothers. It works like this:

    Foreign investors have to pay the Castro regime $10,000 or more per worker.

    The regime then gives the worker a few hundred worthless Cuban pesos – and pockets the rest.

    This means that, rather than helping ordinary Cubans become independent of the regime, US businesses are actually directly subsidizing the Castro police state.

    And the Cuban workers those US investment will purportedly help? They become what effectively amounts to slave labor.

    That is why US investment in Cuba will do absolutely nothing to help promote entrepreneurship or independence from the state. Quite the opposite, US investment will directly subsidize the oppression of the Cuban people — by funding the ruthless police state that keeps the Castro brothers in power and ordinary Cubans in chains.”

    https://www.aei dot org/publication/why-us-investment-wont-bring-change-to-cuba/

  • Ted

    Given the world’s real problems … who the hell would actually care about all this Cuba frou-frou?

    And even if the U.S. took over Cuba … look at all the good that’s done for Puerto Rico … where ‘democratic values’ and ‘the capitalist economy’ are also going down the tubes.

  • larry

    ACCOMPLISHMENT… REALLY ? GOING TO CUBA, BENDING OVER AND GRABBING HIS ANKLES IS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT ? ONLY IN THE SPINELESS WORLD OF “obama-metrics” WOULD CAVING TO THE DEMANDS OF A FASCIST EUNUCH WANNABE BE CONSIDERED AN ACCOMPLISHMENT…
    STILL LOOKING FORWARD TO PISSING ON HIS GRAVE…

  • J. Glenn

    If our military doesn’t act very soon on their oaths to protect our country and her citizens, then, when the Islamist barbarians come for us, there will be no one left to speak up. After the mass murders in Belgium and this moron’s trip to Cuba (which
    should have been made after he left office), it is time for our military
    to remove this traitor, sadist and narcissist Marxist from the White
    House and charge him with so many crimes against this country and
    humanity that he’ll never see the light of day again. Keep him in Cuba,
    in fact, in Guantanamo Bay, with his “brothers in arms.”

    Obama is a sociopath, he is a hybrid of Caligula and Hitler. Nevertheless, he got a second chance with his reelection but continued to serve as a CPUSA operative (a proxy for Bill Ayers et al.) and as a sort of netherworld conduit for Saul Alinsky (if not Mao, Lenin and Stalin, too). We need to save Americans quickly now from Arab-aligned terrorists. This is a crucial time for real hope and real change in America, not the death of innocent citizens as Obama will have it.

  • Jerry

    Obama is a Traitor to America, But then again he is a Kenyan

  • biilyjoe

    There’s the DEVIL OBAMA PLEDGING THE REGIME THAT ATTEMPTED TO START WORLD WAR III AGAINST OUR NATION WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONRY IN 1962. Compare this bas-turd pledging the flag of another enemy of America to the famous youtube of him and Moochelle denigrating our U S Flag at that ceremony where it has been proven by expert lipreaders that the words these traitors exchanged about our own flag were; “All this for a piece of cloth”.

  • biilyjoe

    Your caliph in the white mosque has placated islamic terrorism both overseas and here in our nation. HE HAS CAUSED THE WORLD’S REAL PROBLEMS BY ENABLING ISIS and Hillary IS HIS ACCOMPLICE–Benghazi, Syria, making enemies with Saudis and Israel , failing to show up in Paris for The March Against Islamic Terrorism as well as even failing to name it Islamic Terrorism when it struck in our own nation multiple times including San bernardino.
    Puerto Rico is ” going down the tubes”-as you put it—– because your mullah obongo is tearing our economy up– 8 years now !! He is in charge of Puerto Rico, also, you GOON. Which terroristic desert did u arrive here from ??

  • jsa

    maybe obama needs to move there, or iran. he does nothing for the usa. put it in a hole.

  • Richard Hellstrom

    One of the first things the Cubans noticed in America was that their was no law ! They’d say things like – Castro wouldn’t never allow that – lol – I don’t blame Cuba for not wanting to be controlled by the US or the MOB – After looking at Operation Northwoods — it doesn’t take long to figure out that the U.S. wanted to use Cuba for the purpose of military racketeering – It’s probably really hard to figure out what was political propaganda and what was culturally real during this period ! Cuba shouldn’t of ever been allowed to fall to this kind of control but America is very responsible – The Cuban families should be allowed to join and visit each other – It was a sad separation for them –

  • reggie

    He got re-elected because Soros’ company counted the vote. If you don’t want killery this next go, find out who owns the voting machines in your district. That’s why 0b0’s open mike gaffe that he would be reelected was true. Soros has already declared her the first female president. The repukes don’t care because she’ll continue the gravy train, expand it, and Trump may not.

  • Steven Barrett

    GWH Bush was in no hurry to visit the dustbowl Eric Honecker left behind in East Berlin when the wall finally crumbled from within. What’s Barry’s big itch?

  • reggie

    Do you really think that the elite gives a rats azz? If they can put an extra penny into their billion dollar portfolio, they will do it. Take that punk Zuckerberg. He’s made his billions, now he’s all for flooding the US into oblivion with foreign workers. Bill gates wants to kill off the majority of the world’s population, down to 500,000.

  • newsel

    Reggie, not to sure I follow you as I agree, the elites do not give a FF. My vote goes to Trump as he is NOT one of the elites.

  • RMThoughts

    While Obama gives his stamp of approval on Castro’s island prison, the US neocon foreign policy destory, kill and displace millions creating chaos and destruction wherever American hegemony places its foot.

    The reality that the In the Straussian-neoconservative mindset that controls large swaths of our foreign policy is the greatest threat to the constitutional order, identity, and way of life of the United States, in existence today. Its adherents have only modified the paradigm of dialectical materialism in order to continue pursuing the same dream of a New World Order devoid of God. They are in pursuit of Power for its own sake and the end of that insane quest will be the same as the end of the Soviet empire and of the Thousand-Year Reich.

    Our neoconservatives, by contrast, are statists par excellence. Their core belief — that society can be managed by the state in both its political and economic life — is equally at odds with the traditional conservative outlook and with the non-Stalinist Left. In this important respect the neoconservatives are much closer to Stalinism and National Socialism.

  • D. G. Williams

    Obama is truly an enemy of the state. I am now convinced.

  • reggie

    Sorry, been a really busy week, brain and typing fingers not necessarily connected. Every last one of the billionaires, including Zuckerberg is for flooding this country with illegals, immigrants and any one they can, to completely bring us down. They are no better than klinton, who wants to expand aca to legally include everyone in the US regardless of legal status (per Chelsea). They’re the ones funding the anti-Trump propaganda.

  • Ted

    Who the hell really cares about Cuba? A piddling little country about the size of Tennessee or Kentucky with about the population of Georgia! Once the Russian missiles were gone … Cuba became totally meaningless in the normal course of things.

  • Ted

    You’re one sicko idiot!

    (Be careful not to piss on your own shoes … if you actually wear shoes.)

  • Ted

    So … ALL kenyans are traitors to America?

    (Check out Larry above. You and he would seem to make a blissful pair!)

  • Cliff

    If that began! The Military, civilian police and local Patriots would pour the wrath of God on them! Semper Fi????????!!

  • John Cunningham

    Great article! After eight years of Barack Obama, I am sure the World will forever look at America differently. No longer will America be the super power that keeps Communism in check and Dictators from running a muck. Of course we have had Dictators but nothing like the last Century where Communism and Fascism was responsible for well over a 100 million deaths.

    Even on this latest trip abroad, Barack Obama apologized to the Argentinians for America’s non involvement into Argentinian Dictators. Who is he kidding, he would have done nothing just like anywhere else in the World. When he makes speeches, you can almost imagine him standing up their naked. Not that I want to imagine that, I am sure it would be a pretty gruesome site.

  • Ted

    You make a significant point!

  • M J

    Once again, a Ruthless Communist Dictator, just off our southeastern shores, exposed our weak and worthless Traitor-Dictator-In-Chief for what he really is: a facilitator to the evil ones of the world and one who is already destined to be a fading, smoldering ember on the rubbish-heap of history – an ash everyone would rather forget ever existed! Much like the Original Traitor, Himself – JUDAS!

  • john robel

    LARRY FOR PRESIDENT, DEAD IN THE HEAD IS TED.

  • john robel

    TED IS BRAIN DEAD RED

  • john robel

    LOL, HELL YES !!

  • john robel

    OUTSTANDING VERBOSITY = POINTLESS PRATTLE.

  • jug

    Raul asked for the list of political prisioners?
    Doesnt he have access to the islands census records?

    Should be at least 99 percent of them on there!
    And I do mean that those 99 percent ARE political prisioners!

  • biilyjoe

    Castro and obongo will be floating Jihadis across to the keys– u won’t be able to tell the difference between the cuban criminals and the syrian rapefugees which will get dumped off in cuba to be quickly transported to Florida. And they’ll join all of obama’s little trayvons there.

  • A_Cole

    don’t bet on any transparency as trump and soros have already worked on shady deals in the past – GM bldg. for example.

  • reggie

    So, what are the choices? Cruz, who met his wife at the Bush WH and a wife who is on leave from Goldman Sachs? The ohio clown who’s saying that Trump wants Putin for VP? Killery, who was fired from the Watergate commission for lying and unethical behavior, just for starters? Sorry, I’d still stick with Trump, nobody, is going to lead him around by the nose.

  • Jerry

    Think about it Ted, I’m referring to he is not an American. There you go with your Liberal Political Correctness.

  • reggie

    0b0 had a list and did not give it to him.

  • reggie

    That’s precisely the point. His birth father was deported, ditched him, was a drunk who killed himself in an auto accident. Yet he clings to the idea that he needs to atone for the sins of the US for deporting his ‘perfect’ father.

  • John Cunningham

    He used his Father as a symbol to grow his Marxist views. It was actually his Mother that formulated all his warped and twisted ideals. Her Father & Mother were Communists who introduced little Barry to (his name escapes me) and then she took him to Indonesia for more education.

    I believe someone with radical ties took him under his or her wing and the rest is History. Of course, you know there will be more books about Obama than Hitler and, that in itself scares the Hell out of me. Barack Obama is only getting started.

  • alex

    another huge faux pas by the obama admin. can we count them all??!! this one alone was a debacle. playing with a dictator like they’re best friends while peaceful protesters were dragged off the street (many imprisoned), while cuban patriots still sit in prison being guilty of nothing more than disagreeing with the corrupt regime, while an american cop killer fugitive is being given sanctuary, while isis again lead a horrific attack on one of our allies (he took less than a minute to make a half ass speech about that that before going to a baseball game & make the wave with his new chum)…while rome burns…nero plays the fiddle. what an abysmal failure.

  • reggie

    Yup! Frank Marshall Davis. Take a look at his picture…….

  • John Cunningham

    A big resemblance?

  • reggie

    Bingo!

  • Lancaster

    Oboy can’t wait to wear his new Che T-shirt on his next golf outing.