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Clinton And Obama Are In Lockstep On Cuba

- April 14, 2016

Clinton Supported President Obama's Presidential Trip To Cuba. CHUCK TODD: "Would a President Clinton be going this quickly? Rewarding Cuba with a Presidential visit this quickly?" CLINTON: "Well I know that the President intends to raise human rights issues. He will be very open about that I am sure. Talking about the ongoing abuses within Cuba that are visited upon people who are seeking freedom, standing up speaking out. I think having the President on Cuban soil delivering that message is very powerful." (Hillary Clinton, Clinton-Sanders Townhall, MSNBC, 2/18/16)

Clinton Praised Obama's Normalization Of Relations With Cuba In 2014

In December 2014, Clinton "Praised" Obama's Decision To Normalize Relations With Cuba. "Hillary Clinton praised the Obama administration's move to normalize relations with Cuba on Wednesday, saying 'isolation has only strengthened the Castro regime's grip on power.'"(Tarini Parti, "Hillary Clinton Backs President Obama On Cuba," Politico, 12/17/14)

  • Clinton: "I Support President Obama's Decision To Change Course On Cuba Policy, While Keeping The Focus On Our Principal Objective - Supporting The Aspirations Of The Cuban People For Freedom." "Hillary Clinton on Wednesday backed President Obama's move to normalize relations with Cuba. 'I support President Obama's decision to change course on Cuba policy, while keeping the focus on our principal objective - supporting the aspirations of the Cuban people for freedom,' Clinton said in a statement Wednesday night." (Peter Sullivan, "Hillary Backs Obama On Cuba Change," The Hill, 12/17/14)

As Secretary, Clinton Urged Obama To Re-Examine The Embargo Policy And Later Called It A "Failure"

In Hard Choices, Clinton Said She Encouraged Obama To Reexamine The Embargo Against Cuba. "Near the end of my tenure, I recommended to President Obama that he take another look at our embargo. It wasn't achieving its goals, and it was holding back our broader agenda across Latin America. After twenty years of observing and dealing with the U.S.-Cuba relationship, I thought we should shift the onus onto the Castros to explain why they remained undemocratic and abusive." (Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hard Choices, 2014)

  • Clinton: The Embargo "Wasn't Achieving Its Goals, And It Was Holding Back Our Broader Agenda Across Latin America." "Near the end of my tenure, I recommended to President Obama that he take another look at our embargo. It wasn't achieving its goals, and it was holding back our broader agenda across Latin America. After twenty years of observing and dealing with the U.S.-Cuba relationship, I thought we should shift the onus onto the Castros to explain why they remained undemocratic and abusive." (Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hard Choices, 2014)

In June 2014, Clinton Argued For A Lift Of The Embargo On Cuba, Calling It "Castro's Best Friend." "Hillary Clinton made a case Thursday for lifting the embargo on Cuba, describing it as 'Castro's best friend' and signaling she does not fear any potential political backlash in Florida by suggesting the U.S. normalize relations with the island nation." (Peter Nicholas, "Hillary Clinton On Cuba: 'We Should Advocate For End Of Embargo," The Wall Street Journal, 6/12/14)

  • Clinton: "I Think We Should Advocate For The End Of The Embargo. We Should Advocate For Normalizing Relations." "In an appearance in New York hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, the former secretary of state said, 'I think we should advocate for the end of the embargo. We should advocate for normalizing relations and see what they (Cuban officials) do.'" (Peter Nicholas, "Hillary Clinton On Cuba: 'We Should Advocate For End Of Embargo," The Wall Street Journal, 6/12/14)

Despite Normalization "Cuba Is Going Backwards"

The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby Says "Cuba Is Going Backwards," As The Regime's Repression Has Gotten Worse Since The Renewal Of Diplomatic Ties. "Cuba is going backwards. By all accounts, the Castro regime's repression has grown worse, not better, since the renewal of diplomatic ties with the United States in 2014. Beatings and arrests of dissidents have soared. There has been a crackdown on churches and religious groups." (Jeff Jacoby, Op-Ed, "Human Rights Are On The Ropes In Cuba, But Obama Is Eager To Visit," The Boston Globe , 2/24/16)

2015 Was Marked By A High Number Of Arrests And Increased Violence Towards Peaceful Political Dissidents And Activists. "Cuban human rights activists say this year has been marked not only by a high number of arrests, but also increased violence from state authorities towards peaceful political dissidents and activists." ("Cuba: Human Rights Day Crackdown On Dissidents Likely After Month Of Mass Arrests," Amnesty International , 12/10/15)

Amnesty International: There Were At Least 1,477 Politically Motivated Detentions In November 2015 Alone. "Yesterday, police in the capital Havana arbitrarily restricted the movement of members of the prominent Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco) group of activists as they prepared for today's demonstrations. This came after at least 1,477 politically motivated detentions in November 2015, the highest monthly total in many years, according to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN)."("Cuba: Human Rights Day Crackdown On Dissidents Likely After Month Of Mass Arrests," Amnesty International , 12/10/15)

126 Cuban Political Prisoners Have Called The Clinton-Obama Policy A "Regrettable Mistake"

126 Former Cuban Political Prisoners Who Have Collectively Served 1,945 Years In Castro's Prisons Called The Policy A "Regrettable Mistake" That "Will Prolong The Life Of The Dictatorship, Is Worsening The Human Rights Situation There, Marginalizing The Democratic Opposition And Compromising U.S. National Security." "The following letter, signed by 126 former Cuban political prisoners, who served a combined total of 1,945 years in Castro's political prisons and labor camps, was delivered this morning to The White House…Based on our history and experience as political prisoners under Castro's totalitarian regime, the new Cuba policy established by your Administration has been a regrettable mistake. This will prolong the life of the dictatorship, is worsening the human rights situation there, marginalizing the democratic opposition and compromising U.S. national security." ("Cuban Political Prisoners Ask Obama To Revisit His Policy," Capitol Hill Cubans, 12/17/15)

Former Prisoners: Normalization And Debt Forgiveness Provides "The Regime Hard Currency Which It Funnels Into Its Most Repressive Institutions: The Military And Intelligence Services Giving New Life To What Were Dying Institutions." "The normalization of relations is creating false expectations and granting benefits to the tyrannical regime in Cuba; it is also allowing the Paris Club to forgive billions in debt providing the regime hard currency which it funnels into its most repressive institutions: the military and intelligence services giving new life to what we're dying institutions. Human rights violations in Cuba have a terrible history, but the current policy has taken a bad situation and made it worse. Violent beatings against activists peacefully assembling have escalated and worsened over 2015." ("Cuban Political Prisoners Ask Obama To Revisit His Policy," Capitol Hill Cubans, 12/17/15)


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