Obama Does Not Have the Authority to Lift Embargo on Cuba
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The release of American hostage Alan Gross is to be welcome. Gross has vegetated in a Cuban jail for five years for the crime of bringing computers to Jews on the island.
But exchanging three hardened Cuban spies for him establishes a wrong moral and legal equivalency. Worse, extending recognition to Cuba’s dictatorial regime harms U.S. national interests and fails to advance freedom in Cuba.
The White House “Fact Sheet” on Cuba makes clear that the Obama administration received nothing in exchange for its many and substantial concessions to Havana’s Communist regime. In essence, after five years of “negotiations” the White House ended up where Raul Castro started: Gross would be exchanged for three Cuban spies whose activities led to the death of an American in the 1990s.
The administration’s announcement that “the president has instructed the secretary of state to immediately initiate discussions with Cuba on the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba,” also gives in on a long-standing Castro demand. Cubans will not gain freedom of expression, of association, of thought or of anything else as a result.
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