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Senior US Officials Coddling Police State Officials

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Funk was tried for war crimes at Nuremberg and found guilty. Rather than coddling the Cuban regime, the United States should be seriously studying transitional justice issues that will arise with respect to Cuba. Issues will include, but are not limited to, uncompensated property confiscations (worth about $7 billion and owed to American citizens); other property confiscations worth billions more; human rights as well as ongoing labor abuses; and in some cases, war crimes.

Imagine what would’ve happened during World War II if FDR had dispatched Secretary of Commerce Harry Hopkins to sit down for talks with Adolf Hitler’s Reich Minister for Economics Walther Funk, and other ministers, to address how Germany could find ways to avoid U.S. sanctions?

If it sounds ludicrous, it is. It never happened. However, that thought came to mind as I read U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s prepared statement to officials for Communist Cuba’s police state, including the Party’s Economic Minister, Rodrigo Malmierca.

Can the Obama Administration be that naive to think they can effectuate political and economic change in a country whose leaders are committed to Communist regime consolidation? Look at the Iran nuclear deal disaster. Just as that agreement will destabilize the greater Middle East, this dancing with the enemy will have negative consequence in Cuba, and possibly elsewhere in the Americas.

In her prepared remarks, Pritzker said:

Our team is here to answer specific questions about the regulatory changes that the United States has made in recent months and to share some of the feedback and observations we have heard from U.S. companies about the challenges and opportunities for doing business in Cuba. My delegation includes senior regulatory experts from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security; the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control; and officials from the Department of State – all of whom will talk in depth about the revised regulations.

Since when do senior U.S. officials, much less a cabinet secretary, travel to embargoed countries to, in essence, coach a police state on how to avoid U.S. sanctions? In addition, she appears to have dragged along with her career government officials that, based on sources that have talked to me about the matter, were not real keen on making this trip. That makes sense. The enforcers of U.S. sanctions do not need, or want, to get caught in the political crosshairs of Congress. It also not, rightly so, part of their job description.

U.S. law toward Cuba is supposed to be a balancing process between economic isolation of the police state, while at the same time doing things to support the people of Cuba. It is easier said than done. Few administrations have managed to tweak the scales in just the right way; however, the Obama Administration is not even trying to balance a thing. They are trying to rewrite the law and, unfortunately, Congress is giving them a free pass. Meanwhile Communist regime officials are smiling all the way to the bank. Literally.

But, Jason, you may be wondering, why make such a fuss? It is an island just 90 miles away with rum, cigars, and beautiful people! Besides, as Ben Shapiro penned earlier this week, Democrats seem to like Cuba more than they like Israel.

More to come …

 

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