Saturday, October 29, 2011

Has Obama Heard of Freedom House?

   Recently, President Obama said to the press that " we've got to see significant changes from the Cuban government and we just have not seen that yet.”.  At the time that he said that, the Sixth Party Congress in Cuba had already announced the most drastic alterations to the country's structure since the 1960's.  President Obama was being willfully ignorant of that fact.

   Now, just a few days ago Freedom House, the "independent" group which receives funding from the U.S. government that Obama supports and signs off on, released a new report on findings of a survey it conducted in Cuba.  Freedom House found that 79% of the respondents have indeed noticed changes in the country over the last six months and 63% have favorable views of the reforms. 

   Now I;m not a supporter of the U.S. government spending millions of dollars every year on ways to subvert Cuba's sovereignty.  Nor do I believe that the United States has any right to determine how Cuba decides to do things, or any other country for that matter.  What I do find curious is that how can the president be taken seriously about not noticing any changes when the reports he decides to sponsor with our tax dollars clearly show a disconnect between what he sees and what is really happening?  He shouldn't be taken seriously at all. 

   Could it be that Freedom House is just unable to conduct a thorough survey?  If that is the case then surely they won't be expected to continue their work on behalf of the U.S. government.  Maybe the busy president is aware of Freedom House.  Maybe he hasn't heard of the surveys they conduct in Cuba!

   Freedom House summarized the general sense among Cubans as having adopted a more favorable perception of the situation on the island and as having a stronger sense of progress, and a positive feeling about what the new reforms may bring.  All of this positivity and Cuba still suffers from the most far reaching economic embargo imposed on it by the United States.  Imagine the positivity that they would feel if the United States would end it's embargo, stop trying to undermine its society, and treat Cuba with respect. 

   What is amazing about Obama's strange ability to see things is his ability to  distinguish differences between certain countries in the world.  He sees differences that escape the average person's sight.  For example, he's able to see positive steps by the leader of Yemen, whose people are demanding his resignation.  He even saw that an arms sale to that country at a time when protesters were being killed in the streets with military equipment similar, if not the same, as the kind that was to be sold to that government.  He somehow was able to see that the death of a Libyan protester was more offensive to humanity that a protester in Yemen.  He is able to see what the average person can't when he looks at the repression of the protesters in Chile but complains about the "Ladies in White" are booed and yelled at by fellow Cubans who don't particularly care for them working with the officials at the U.S. Interests Section. 

   President Obama, isn't it time to start looking at things in a genuine way?  Isn't it time to admit that the policy, the embargo against Cuba is wrong?  Isn't it time for a president to lead in a way that demands respect by respecting reality?  All of this nonsense is sickening.  Really.  Ask yourself why you feel that it is OK to let dozens of Cuban children who would benefit from a cardiac plug manufactured in the U.S. called an Amplatzer septal occluder that they can't have it because you believe that you should be the judge of Cuba.  Your stance is disgraceful.  You can see it, if you care to try.

   President Obama, after enduring eight years of a president who lacked the ability to speak clearly, you were a breath of fresh air.  I have no criticisms for your ability to give speeches.  In a bubble, they would be uplifting even.  But unfortunately, most people aren't living in a bubble.  Your eloquence is meaningless without your willingness to actually support the things that so many politicians pretend to stand for. 


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