Tags: America's Forum | Barack Obama | Castro-Cuba | Otto Reich | cuba | obama | relations

Otto Reich: Cuba Won't Be Liberated By Tourists

By    |   Friday, 16 January 2015 12:45 PM

President Barack Obama's move to normalize relations with Cuba was a policy decision made "in the dark," says former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich.

"The measures announced by President Obama last month suffer from the same problems, a lot of the same problems, that this president's policy initiatives across-the-board suffer from ... they tend to be negotiated in the dark," Reich, who was born in Cuba, told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Friday.

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"The Congress of the United States was kept completely in the dark about these negotiations with Castro, the Cuban-American community was kept in the dark," he said.

"Imagine, for example, if President Obama were negotiating an agreement with Hezbollah and did not inform the Israeli government or the government of the U.S. representatives that are interested in the sovereignty and security of Israel," he said. "This is basically what the president did with relation to Cuba."

Reich contends that Obama is supporting a country that has been an enemy of the United States, has supported and been supported by America's enemies.

"For the president of the United States, President Obama, to throw a lifeline to this hostile regime headed by two octogenarians, the Castro brothers, that have killed Americans, that have undermined our interests all over the world, not just in Latin America, but in Africa, the Middle East, and that have sent Cuban torture experts to Vietnam to torture American pilots — and this is in John McCain's book, for example, I'm not just inventing this — for the president to do this at this time shows a very poor ... lack of judgment on the president's part," the former ambassador said.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday that travel restrictions are being eased for Americans traveling to Cuba starting Friday, which will "immediately enable the American people to provide more resources to empower the Cuban population to become less dependent upon the state-driven economy."

However, Reich said that he doesn't believe that the Cuban people will be helped by the move.

"How do tourists put pressure on any government? Name me one country that has been liberated by tourists," Reich said.

"The Cuban government receives today about two million tourists a year from Canada, Europe, Latin America — there's been no advancement in human rights and civil liberties," he added.

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President Barack Obama's move to normalize relations with Cuba was a policy decision made "in the dark," says former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich.
Otto Reich, cuba, obama, relations, tourists, freedom
Friday, 16 January 2015 12:45 PM
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