Cuba Arrests Protesters in Honor of Obama’s Visit

 

Hours before President Obama landed in Cuba yesterday, reports USA Today,

Cuban authorities arrested more than 50 dissidents who were marching to demand improved human rights.

Members of the group, known as the Ladies in White, are used to the routine. They march each Sunday after Mass at a church in a suburb of Havana called Miramar and usually get arrested and detained for hours or days.

Some in the group thought Cuban authorities would back off this Sunday out of respect for Obama’s visit. Berta Soler, one of the founding members who has been marching since 2003, said while walking to the church Sunday morning that maybe they would be allowed to protest without getting arrested.

“Everything looks good so far,” she said.

Despite dozens of international reporters in town for Obama’s trip, the group was quickly rounded up in buses and police cars.

Your thoughts?

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    “Shut up and die like Iranians.”

    • #1
  2. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Spring break for the Obamas. Don’t harsh their mellow.

    • #2
  3. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    The only positive thing I can say is that at least the opening of relations with Cuba has enticed the media to look at the situation in Cuba, because it’s true that the Ladies in White are used to this routine — but usually it doesn’t make headline news. The awareness of the level of routine oppression in Cuba may help Americans to understand why our Cuba policy was what it was, and perhaps suggest to them that there’s something a bit shameful about our new policy.

    Or it may not.

    • #3
  4. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Claire, would you categorize Obama’s relations with Cuba as a net good?

    • #4
  5. Chris Campion Coolidge
    Chris Campion
    @ChrisCampion

    The good news is that this never happens in America.  We just use the IRS to audit and thereby constrain political groups that organized to protest Barry.

    Buses might be construed as “bad optics”, and so, y’know, there ya go.  Instead, we give the person responsible $129,000 dollars as part of a golden parachute, and insist that there was no wrongdoing.

    On May 22, 2013, Ms. Lerner professed her innocence, then took the Fifth. Next day, she was placed on administrative leave. On September 24, 2013, Ms. Lerner’s retirement was announced with full pension. President Obama said there is “not a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS, but the Committee on House Oversight and Reform issues a report on Lois Lerner.

    It’s kind of easy to see Cuba’s appeal to President Barry.

    • #5
  6. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Ball Diamond Ball:Claire, would you categorize Obama’s relations with Cuba as a net good?

    Too soon to say, but my gut says, “no.”

    • #6
  7. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Ricochet Editor's Desk: Your thoughts?

    This trip just seems to be another self-aggrandizing stunt from this little man. I was shocked to read that Kerry, who was to travel to Cuba ahead of Obama, cancelled his trip because of disagreements over whom he could meet with. Even Kerry has more sense than Obama – and that is a low, low bar.

    • #7
  8. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Wish fulfillment for Obama. He watches this and thinks, “if only I could do that with those who disagree with me.”

    Seawriter

    • #8
  9. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    What are the chances that Obama will call them to task for the arrests while he’s there?  My guess: 0%

    • #9
  10. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Scott Wilmot:

    Ricochet Editor’s Desk: Your thoughts?

    This trip just seems to be another self-aggrandizing stunt from this little man. I was shocked to read that Kerry, who was to travel to Cuba ahead of Obama, cancelled his trip because of disagreements over whom he could meet with. Even Kerry has more sense than Obama – and that is a low, low bar.

    A headline on my “news” homepage says that Obama is pledging to listen to the Cuban people or something. Just not the ones who should be heard. Just the ones the regime picks.

    • #10
  11. Pelayo Inactive
    Pelayo
    @Pelayo

    Maybe if Congress held a session in Cuba they could get Obama to meet with them too.

    • #11
  12. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Scott Wilmot:

    Ricochet Editor’s Desk: Your thoughts?

    This trip just seems to be another self-aggrandizing stunt from this little man. I was shocked to read that Kerry, who was to travel to Cuba ahead of Obama, cancelled his trip because of disagreements over whom he could meet with. Even Kerry has more sense than Obama – and that is a low, low bar.

    Do you have more information about this – about who Kerry was trying to meet with, for example?

    • #12
  13. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    Who will kowtow to the Cuban dictatorship more, Obama or Pope Francis? Will Obama try to secretly meet with Fidel? Places your bets…

    Good overview and review of recent events regarding Cuba:

    http://ricochet.com/podcasts/obama-in-cuba-the-meaning-of-it-all/

    • #13
  14. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Reticulator: I do not have any further information, that fact about Kerry came from the USA Today article.

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    It used to be that dictators would release a few political prisoners in honor of a U.S. president’s visit.  Now we have a fundamental transformation of that pattern.

    • #15
  16. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    From our friends at powerlineblog.com:

    Obama appears to be among friends.

    • #16
  17. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    Ricochet Editor's Desk: Your thoughts?

    The president has a nicely-creased pant leg and is properly coiffed. His friendly visit with our Caribbean neighbors provides a pleasant diversion from Americans’ uncivil political discourse.

    • #17
  18. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    Perhaps the president can propose that the Ladies in White be transferred to Guantanamo where they would be treated humanely.

    • #18
  19. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    rico:Perhaps the president can propose that the Ladies in White be transferred to Guantanamo where they would be treated humanely.

    Ah, but Raul has demanded that we return Guantanamo.

    • #19
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    So what has this Donald person had to say about the Raul Obama press conference?

    • #20
  21. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    MLH:

    rico:Perhaps the president can propose that the Ladies in White be transferred to Guantanamo where they would be treated humanely.

    Ah, but Raul has demanded that we return Guantanamo.

    But, do you really believe that President Obama would facilitate the persecution of innocent women who are on the right side of history?

    ???

    yeah… me too.

    • #21
  22. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Any comment from Senator Jeff Flake (R-Az) on this?  He’s there somewhere.

    • #22
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