A Washington Post editorial calls it “coddling Cuba” and asks, “why do the members of Congress rushing to befriend the Castros ignore the island’s pro-democracy movement?”:
Half a dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus spent hours huddling with Fidel and Raúl Castro in Havana this week as part of a swelling campaign to normalize relations with Cuba. “It is time to open dialogue and discussion,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) told a news conference in Washington after their return. “Cubans do want dialogue. They do want talks.” Funny, then, that in five days on the island the Congress members found no time for dialogue with Afro-Cuban dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez.
This is quintessential hypocrisy. These Democrats, who belong to a segregated, for-blacks-only Congressional club (your tax dollars pay for it), played toady to the Castro family – what the Economist calls Cuba’s “white gerontocracy” – while ignoring the serious plight of Cuba’s black population.
This is not only hypocritical, it’s downright immoral. These caucus members are part of the shrill Black Grievance Chorus that sings so incessantly in the public square. They are all about entitlements, growing governments with minority set-asides, affirmative action, and the usual sleazy tactics that have come to represent their adversarial approach to American culture.
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Yet they have the gall to play kissy-face with the infamous Castros, leaders of the most segregated country in this hemisphere. Cuba’s population is majority black and yet they are systematically excluded from the top levels of Cuba’s culture. The Castros are race snobs and always have been. Though that is the least of their sins – yes, there are worse things than racism – it is nonetheless a deeply disgusting crime against Cuba’s black people.
The US Congressional Black Caucus has just proved again its mendacity and foundational opportunism with this stunt of visiting Cuba and sucking up to the white Castros while ignoring the terrible condition blacks suffer in that miserable hell hole of a country.
The editorial goes on to explain the struggle of one Cuban black civil rights activist:
Mr. García, better known as “Antúnez,” is a renowned advocate of human rights who has often been singled out for harsh treatment because of his color. “The authorities in my country,” he has said, “have never tolerated that a black person [could dare to] oppose the regime.” His wife, Iris, is a founder of the Rosa Parks Women’s Civil Rights Movement, named after an American hero whom Afro-Cubans try to emulate. The couple have been on a hunger strike since Feb. 17, to demand justice for an imprisoned family member. They are part of a substantial and steadily growing civil movement advocating democratic change in Cuba — one that U.S. advocates of detente with the Castros appear determined to ignore.
This Congressional group is a blot on our nation. They segregate, they play the race card, and some of them have the worst reputations for dishing out pork and helping themselves to the national treasury. Charlie Rangel is a prime example of sleazy, unethical behavior. If he were a white Republican, he’d have long ago been booted out of Congress:
On September 24, 2008, the House Ethics Committee announced an investigation into Rangel’s alleged failure to report rental income or pay taxes on a beach rental property in the Dominican Republic, allegedly living in multiple rent-subsidized apartments in New York City while claiming his Washington, DC home as his primary residence for tax purposes, alleged use of congressional stationery to solicit donors for a public policy institute in his name at City College, and other alleged questionable activities.
But Charlie Rangel is powerful. He’s the chair of the Congressional Ways and Means Committee and he’s not going to be leaving that seat any time soon. Being black and Democrat in Congress means never having to say you’re sorry, not even when they catch you with $100,000.00 in bribes stashed in your home freezer.
Not every African American elected to Congress has joined the Caucus, but decliners are rare. J. C. Watts told them “no thanks” and so he was automatically an Uncle Tom. But then J.C. was a conservative Republican so he wouldn’t have fit in, anyway. He retired from Congress after several terms – I think Washington burned him out, not to mention the aimless drift of the Republican Party. Look for him to resurrect in Oklahoma when he takes a run at the governor’s race next time around.
The Congressional Black Caucus is morally repulsive. It ought to be disbanded on Constitutional grounds, but don’t hold your breath. Come to think of it, no wonder they gushed over the Castro brothers. They recognized them as kindred souls.
As for the Afro Cubans who wilt under the Regime? Well, too bad for them: the Black Caucus only takes on what it can use to its advantage.
So if they think a unilateral move to relax the restrictions on Cuba will serve their purposes – and they must, or they wouldn’t have made this gushing publicity tour – the Black Caucus must have figured out some advantage for themselves.
They sure didn’t serve Obama’s interests as he goes to the Fifth Summit of the Americas next week:
The congressional pressure, and that by leftist Latin American presidents who have been streaming to Cuba in recent months, is very likely to undermine President Obama, who has promised that “liberty” would be at the center of his Cuba policy. Mr. Obama is expected to announce a relaxation on travel and gifts to family members by Cuban Americans before next week’s Summit of the Americas, and he has said he is open to dialogue with the regime. But he has also said that the lifting of what remains of the U.S. trade embargo should be linked to steps by Cuba toward democratic change.
It sure makes you wonder what motivated the Black Caucus’ bowing and scraping to the Castros. Is Obama facing a House rebellion by the brothers and sisters?
Hat tip: Fausta’s Blog