The Babalu Blog reports that a group pro-regime Cuban-Americans were in DC recently lobbying in favor of easing U.S.-Cuba sanctions. The eclectic group with a quixotic mission even recorded a (propaganda) video of the visit. Raul Castro’s nephew was among the participants.
The Left-wing Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) had a representative tagging along with the group. Which leads me to think that this Congressional visit is likely part of a regime-sponsored series of events orchestrated the past few weeks that includes a strategy session at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, DC this morning.
Dubbed a First National Gathering of Cubans Residing in the U.S., regime envoys including high-ranking Cuban military officials will meet Cuban-Americans at the Cuban Interest Section. There were a few people the Obama Administration should have kept out of the country for this event, but they granted visas to a whole lot of questionable characters including formerly expelled spies exposed by Lt. Col. Chris Simmons. Simmons is a former Army Reserve counterintelligence officer as well as Defense Intelligence Agency counterintelligence analyst.
The Cuban government says that the central message of the Congressional visits, and no doubt today’s meeting, is that “Cuban-American community is not monolithic and that many voices exist within this community that favor a policy of more engagement with Cuba, including the end to the travel ban for all U.S. citizens.” Really? For starters, we live in a democracy and last we checked, you do not have one Cuban-American Member that supports that flawed statement.
These Congressional visits, along with the weekend political fête at the Cuban Interests Section, has nothing to do with democracy. It is propaganda. Eye scratching stuff and, at times, tough to believe that folks would do this in the 21st century. Lamentably, we have many political troglodytes throughout the Western Hemisphere with Cuba a leader among them.
Through the years the Cuban Communist Party has tried in vain to ease U.S. economic sanctions. This time will be no different. Party leaders are desperate and need to consolidate power because they see the end is close. In order to survive politically and consolidate power during a transition, they need the economic lifeline that easing the sanctions would afford them. As in the past, they will fail. Freedom will win.
On a related note, a piece of good news. The Miami Herald reports that Florida Governor Rick Scott will sign a bill that would prohibit all Florida governments from contracting with companies that have certain business connections to Cuba. Very good news indeed. Long overdue. This law can provide momentum that Florida political leaders should use to build an organization such as the divestment efforts advanced by United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI). A divest Cuba campaign should be easier than a divest Iran campaign. Less companies, no oil.