Cuba’s communist regime lashed out at the Obama Administration over the weekend following bilateral meetings in Havana.
A visit by a senior State Department official — Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Craig Kelly – marked the highest-level contact thus far. The chief aim of the visit: a discussion of migration issues.
Ambassador Kelly also tested the political waters by meeting with prominent Cuban dissidents and civil society figures.
The Cuban reaction was swift and predictable. The Castro regime fulminated:
from the very day he [Kelly] arrived in the country, [he] was warned that a visit with dissidents would not be tolerated. This meeting ”demonstrated anew that (U.S.) priorities are more related to supporting the counterrevolution and the promotion of subversion to destabilize the Cuban revolution than with the creation of a climate conducive to real solutions to bilateral problems.
To reinforce its message of repression, the regime prevented prominent dissident Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” from attending the Kelly meeting; roughed up demonstrators supporting the 76-day hunger strike of gravely-ill prisoner of conscience Oscar Zapata Tamayo, and continued to hold U.S. citizen and government contractor Alan Gross on trumped-up spying charges.
The Obama Administration’s attempt at better relations with Cuba flounders upon rocky shoals. Like its predecessors, the Administration is unable to make headway against a regime committed to defending the absolutism of its Marxist-Leninist system and preserving the unchecked rule of the Castro brothers.
Cuba’s broadside against Ambassador Kelly again demonstrates the real limits of engagement with the gaggle of anti-American tyrants stretching from Havana and Caracas to Damascus and Tehran.