Cuba’s Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca was in Washington, DC this week for meetings with Obama administration officials as well as supporters in Congress. He also spent time with lobbyists and other special interests on K Street such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
As I wrote a few days ago, Malmierca is part of the Cuban police state and while I do not know for certain, based on his professional profile he is likely a member of Cuba’s intelligence service, the DGI. Malmierca is managed and controlled by the Communist Party; and the agency he oversees, extremely corrupt. In my book, he is a human rights abuser who has helped prop up the Cuban tourism slave industry.
You can read more about his Washington, DC visit at the Capitol Hill Cubans blog (always a good source of reliable information on the antics of this bizarre lobbying effort). I realize that, sometimes, the United States for security and other reasons, needs to make difficult choices about who we engage on the international stage. However, in the case of Cuba, the engagement by the Obama administration and those that support the new approach is purely ideological and, at best, political voyeurism.
By engaging as they have with Communist Cuba, the Obama administration is telegraphing to the world that human rights, private property, and the rule of law do not matter. While true that the United States engages with nations such as China that violate these principles, Cuba is not China. The interests are different. In fact, the U.S. approach to these issues in the Western Hemisphere should be different than how we deal with these matters in places such as China, the Middle East, or just about anywhere else in the world.
I joined Radio Marti hosts Tomas Cardosa and Cari Roque to discuss property rights as well as the political significance of Malmierca’s visit (see embedded audio below). To our English-speaking friends, this time the interview is in Spanish. If they post a transcript, I’ll upload a translation. Yes, despite efforts by Cuban regime supporters in Congress to close Radio and TV Martí, the voice of freedom remains on the air. Thank you President Reagan for having the vision to support the cause of liberty in the Americas through this important tool.