From the American Enterprise Institute:
The Cuban regime’s decision to release American hostage Alan Gross to celebrate Hanukkah with his family is long overdue, welcome news. Gross is free today; 11 million Cubans are not. President Obama’s decision to move toward normalizing diplomatic relations with the Castro regime resuscitates a gasping dictatorship without even asking for anything in return.
The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996, signed by President Clinton after the downing of American rescue planes over international waters, codified the economic embargo on the totalitarian dictatorship of Fidel and Raúl Castro. (Incidentally, Gerardo Hernández, one of the Cuban spies to which Obama referred in his speech today, was found guilty of murder in US federal court for his complicity in the 1996 shoot-down.)
The LIBERTAD Act stipulates that the restoration of normal commercial ties should be used as leverage with a post-Castro transition to ensure that economic and political reforms will be deep, broad, and irreversible. The US law did not speak to the issue of diplomatic relations, which Congress recognized as wholly within the president’s authority. However, again, conferring such political recognition on the Castro regime gives it legitimacy for doing absolutely nothing but releasing a wrongly imprisoned American hostage.
In recent years, President Obama has found himself cornered by virtually every government in the region insisting that Cuba attend the Summit….(read more)