Raúl’s speech in 2014 sealed the deal when he mentioned that communist rule had paid off as America had given in and that communism was there to stay.
The White House decision to disinvite a Grammy-award winning jazz legend who is a strong defender of democracy in Cuba was nothing short of contemptible.
The fact that it has now embarrassingly backtracked and re-invited him proves it had acted like corporations that are only too happy to ignore human rights violations in exchange for future profits with Cuba until public pressure gets too intense.
In other words, engagement with the Castros is not changing them, as promised, it’s changing us—as many of us predicted. It bears repeating it: The Castros, like all dictators, are bacterial. You touch them and you become contaminated. We are diminishing ourselves, and for what? The Castros have rendered Cuba a pauperized state, with no money.
Paquito d’Rivera is National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master; holds honorary doctorates from the Berklee School of Music and University of Pennsylvania; is a Living Jazz Legend of the Kennedy Center and has won the Presidential Medal of the Arts. He’s already had the honor of playing at the White House, which belongs to all of us.
But suddenly this morning, Thursday, April 21, Telemundo is reporting that the White House has called d’Rivera and said it had all been an error, the invitation is back on.
D’Rivera did not take things lying down but penned a public letter to Obama that bears reading because of its clarity and its defense of American values. The letter was dated April 11, but the White House did nothing until it began to get attention yesterday, Wednesday, April 20.
As d’Rivera put it, “I fear that this ‘not passing the vetting process’ may have to do with my decades-long vocal position against the dictatorship that oppresses Cuba, my country of birth, and my support of human rights and democratic values that you defended so well a few weeks ago in Havana.”
This last point is important, because it puts a lie to the Obama administration’s contention that shunning the Castros had not worked, but its new policy of engaging the Western Hemisphere’s worst human rights offenders and only dictatorship would somehow magically produce results.
That it has. Just this week Carnival Cruise suddenly embarrassingly had to backtrack from its just announced launch of a cruise to Cuba that would comply with Castro regulations by excluding Cuban-born Americans. As happened to the White House, the “Hate Boat” proved a public relations nightmare.
The administration itself has already compromised democratic values because of Obama’s new “Man in Havana.” Secretary of State John Kerry shunned pro-democracy figures—not their tormentors, as principle should have dictated—at the ceremony opening our embassy in Havana last year. The State Department, too, meted out rough treatment to the daughter of a murdered Cuban dissident because Castro government goons had complained about her presence at a press conference.
In response for our abasement Raúl Castro and the communist gerontocracy he leads have extended a collective middle finger, laughed at us and called Obama—our president—the equivalent of the “N Word.”
Full article: The Castros Are Getting Everything They Want From Obama (The Daily Signal)