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Tom Cotton: Cuba Detains Famous Dissident on Eve of Obama's Visit

Image: Tom Cotton: Cuba Detains Famous Dissident on Eve of Obama's Visit
 

By    |   Saturday, 19 Mar 2016 06:39 PM

 Sen. Tom Cotton ripped Cuban President Raul Castro Saturday on news reports that his regime had detained longtime human rights activist Elizardo Sanchez just before President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the island on Sunday.

"President Obama’s opening to Cuba has yielded little besides continued affronts, crackdowns, and oppression," the Arkansas Republican said. "Now, on the eve of the president’s misguided trip to Cuba, the Castro regime arrested Elizardo Sanchez, a leading and peaceful human-rights activist with whom President Obama was scheduled to meet during his trip.

"It's hard to imagine a more blatant, provocative, in-your-face humiliation of the United States," Cotton said.

Sanchez, 71, was detained and later released in Havana Saturday after returning from Miami with his wife, The Los Angeles Times reports. A former philosophy professor, he is president of the dissident group, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

He told the Times that the Castro regime is ordering dissidents who have been invited to meet with President Obama on Tuesday during his three-day visit have been told to stay home.

Sanchez said that he and most of the others who have been invited intended to defy the order.

"Everyone is pretty determined," he said.

In his comments, Cotton called the "irony" of Sanchez's detention "stark."
"While the Castros plan to welcome Obama with the pomp and circumstance fitting of a propaganda coup, their thugs welcomed a prominent dissident at the airport with arbitrary arrest and detention.

"President Obama ought to postpone his trip until the Castro regime explains the detention of Sanchez and lifts all restrictions on activities of other dissenters during the president’s trip," he added. "Anything less will invite more aggression not only from Cuba, but others adversaries as well, who will see once again there’s no price to pay under President Obama for humiliating the United States."

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Sen. Tom Cotton ripped Cuban President Raul Castro Saturday on news reports that his regime had detained longtime human rights activist Elizardo Sanchez just before President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the island on Sunday. President Obama's opening to Cuba has...
tom, cotton, obama, cuba, elizardo, sanchez
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2016-39-19
Saturday, 19 Mar 2016 06:39 PM
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