Cuba

Raul Castro Denies Cuba Holds Political Prisoners at Press Conference with President Obama

Dictator makes incredible claim a day after scores of dissidents were arrested.

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At a joint press conference with Presiden

Ladies in White in Cuba
Youtube

t Obama in Havana this afternoon, Cuban President Raul Castro denied that Cuba holds any political prisoners

When asked by CNN if the "new direction" of his country would include the release of dissidents, Castro replied, "Give me a list and I'll release them," adding, "If we have those political prisoners they will be released before tonight ends." 

In case you're keeping score at home, Freedom House, which describes itself as "an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world," gave Cuba a 1 out of a possible 40 score on its index of political rights.

And though Western journalists seem to be tripping over themselves to praise Cuba's alleged recent attempts at reform, or fret that the island will be destroyed by McDonald's and tourismFreedom House paints a less rosy picture:

In 2014, the Cuban government increased its systematic use of short-term "preventive" detentions—along with harassment, beatings, and "acts of repudiation"—to intimidate the political opposition, isolate dissidents from the rest of the population, and maintain political control of all public spaces. A record number of politically motivated detentions were recorded in 2014, and crackdowns on activists continued. 

Amnesty International summarizes the "new Cuba" here:

Government critics continue to be imprisoned; many report that they were beaten during arrest. Restrictions on freedom of expression is widespread. The government curtails freedom of association and assembly. 

President Obama is scheduled to meet with a number of dissidents on Tuesday, including Elizardo Sánchez of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation. Sanchez told the New York Times that just this month alone, 526 people have been detained for criticizing Castro's government:

"It's the climate of intimidation the government is creating for Obama's visit," said Mr. Sanchez, a graying, steady critic of President Raúl Castro's government. "Right now what you see is preventive repression, so it does not occur to anyone to say anything to Obama while he is here."

Over 50 members of the "Ladies in White," a group founded by the wives of former and current political prisoners, were arrested in a demonstration timed for the beginning of Obama's visit yesterday. One of the group's founders, Berta Soler, told USA Today:

"For us, it's very important that we do this so President Obama knows that there are women here fighting for the liberty of political prisoners," Soler said before being arrested. "And he needs to know that we are here being repressed simply for exercising our right to express ourselves and manifest in a non-violent way."

Also arrested yesterday was Danilo "El Sexto" Maldonado, a dissident artist who spent 10 months in a Cuban prison from 2014-2015 for creating a work of performance art where he painted the names of Fidel and Raul Castro on the bodies of two pigs and attempted to release them in public. 

Over the weekend, 18 Cubans were rescued after spending over three weeks adrift in the ocean after fleeing the socialist Caribbean island en route to the US. Nine of their fellow passengers died during the ill-fated escape. 

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209 responses to “Raul Castro Denies Cuba Holds Political Prisoners at Press Conference with President Obama

  1. So… Obama has a list ready, right?

    1. Or at least a name or two.

    2. He will, once he’s read about it in the newspaper.

    3. Hey–have faith, Matt said that everything was fine–that stinky ted Cruz was all wrong about appeasement.

      1. Well, he is wrong. That doesn’t mean that Obama isn’t an asshole helping to make Castro look better. But that’s not appeasement. Appeasement is when you make concessions to someone who is actually a threat to you in order to avoid war. Cuba is not a threat to the US at the moment. Sorry, but WWII metaphors are not always apt.

        1. Appeasement is when you make concessions to someone who is actually a threat to you in order to avoid war.

          That’s a little too narrow, but Obama licking Castro’s boots is probably at the fringes of appeasement, at best.

          1. Maybe a little. But appeasement requires that you are giving concessions to another party intending to keep them from doing something you don’t want them to do. What is Obama getting from Cuba for playing all nice on his trip?

            This was a unilateral ending of a long time policy about Cuba. Obama is a piece of shit and I’m disgusted that he has anything to say to Castro except “let Cubans be free, asshole”. But “appeasement” isn’t the word.

            1. We’ve been wanting them to change and treat their people to a little freedom and respect.

              Then Obama goes and tells them he loves them just the way they are.

            2. Appeasement isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind.

            3. How about “enabling”?

      2. When you praise Cuban “advances” in medical care and ignore the deaths caused by Cuba’s policies you are engaged in appeasement. Thousands of people have died attempting to leave the Caribbean socialist paradise. Establishing relationships with Cuba doesn’t mean that you stop criticizing the monsters who run Cuba. Castro had no problem criticizing the US in front of Obama. Obama’s lack of critical response absolutely is appeasement.

        Obama accepted the claim that the US is racist? How many blacks do you see among Cuba’s ruling class? Che Guevara was a notorious racist and to this day blacks are considered “useful” for baseball and boxing but nothing else. Every one of Cuba’s leaders looks as if he arrived from Madrid yesterday. I surprised that David Duke doesn’t want to live in Cuba.

    4. “So… Obama has a list ready, right?

      Raul doesn’t have a list of Obama’s political prisoners, but he knows they’re all being held down the street.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QO4aegj-jA

      That might be one way to close the damn hell hole. Give it back to the Cubans like we did with Subic Bay in the Philippines. Then they’ll have to either move them or release them.

  2. “We don’t hold them, we shoot them! Why, what would you crazy Americans do with them? Put them in a Hilton?”

    1. If by “Hilton” you mean “Guantanamo” you’d be correct.

      1. So there are political prisoners in Cuba.

      2. How many American’s are currently in Guantanamo I wonder…

    2. “Put them in a Hilton?”

      Ooh, it’s all gooey / Butters

      1. Not THAT Hilton…even Castro isn’t that evil!

  3. “…Raul Castro Denies Cuba Holds Political Prisoners…”

    Hard act to follow, right there. He’s got ’em rolling in the aisles!

    1. He knows who he’s speaking to, and it ain’t us.

  4. I might have a slight shred of respect for Obama if he had had the balls to order his staff to make that list and then handed it to Raul.

    1. I mean, its not like Cuba is Saudi Arabia – who gives a fuck if they get pissed at us for calling out their bad behavior. And it might . . . *might*, give some of these other arseholes a second’s pause if they thought for a moment that other countries might not be willing to smile and pretend for the camera.

      1. This raises a couple of questions: Is Obama going to bow before Castro like he did to KSA King Abdullah? Or, is he going to address him as comrade? Will they sing The Internationale together?

  5. “Over the weekend, 18 Cubans were rescued after spending over three weeks adrift in the ocean after fleeing the socialist Caribbean island en route to the US. Nine of their fellow passengers died during the ill-fated escape. ”

    If only they knew they were fleeing to a society with worse healthcare and where corporations have destroyed our civil liberties.

    1. And where the quality of life is squalid misery.

  6. So is Anthony Fisher “addicted to his own cheap anti-Obama demagoguery”?

    1. Here we have a 2015 vintage with the slightest hints of rosemary and urine.

      1. Best paired with liquor store cheddar and endless bitching.

      2. The very first post was by you and was also referring to Welch’s post…

  7. Just tell me Obama laid a wreath or visited a grave of a Castro supporter, and I’m good with the whole trip.

  8. The embargo should’ve been done away with decades ago. But this chummy-chummy attitude towards the Castros and the Cuban government is just awful. I don’t get it.

    1. It will lead to liberty like how diplomatic recognition, Lend-Lease, pro-Soviet WWII Hollywood propaganda and Yalta lead to Stalin liberalizing his behavior.

      1. hey now you’re not suggesting that free trade isn’t a panacea for all the world’s problems are you? Everyone knows evil dictators change their evil ways when you trade them some blue jeans and rock & roll.

        1. Trade is working wonders for the quality of life in China, even if the progress is slow and improvements in civil liberties are lagging. It isn’t a panacea, but it does do some good and at no cost to us. Slow progress is better than none at all.

          1. However all that owes little to Nixon or Mao…

            1. I seem to recall something something Mao something something shift of economy something millions of dead Chinese people.

              Are you saying we had nothing to do with that? What will make us great again?!

              1. You think that Mao improved the quality of life in China?

                Anyway the point is that China’s advances are due to internal political forces after Mao’s death rather than Nixon visit.

                1. No, I foolishly forgot the /sarc tag. My fault!

    2. They’re just misunderstood, that’s all. Once Americans realize that, we can see just how wonderful their form of government really is.

      1. I hear they have free healthcare and that it’s exceptionally good. I’m sure that’s why Fidel went to Spain when he got sick.

    3. But this chummy-chummy attitude towards the Castros and the Cuban government is just awful. I don’t get it.

      Pandering to the base. Or perhaps you missed the mainstream popularity of a socialist candidate?

  9. Wreckers and saboteurs are not political prisoners, they’re criminals. So there.

    1. Kulaks? What about Kulaks?

      1. A bullet to the head, at the family’s expense.

        1. I figured that 3 generations of the family would be sent to a work camp. All hail the glorious Juche ideal and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un!

    2. Phew. Glad we took care of that.

  10. I sincerely hope President Obama takes the opportunity of his big Havana speech to acknowledge Cuban political prisoners by name

    Is there still time?

  11. the island will be destroyed by McDonald’s and tourism

    I CANNOT tell you how many times I’ve heard this sentiment from people around me. Lost track of it.

    1. What do Yanquis tourists have that Canuck ones don’t?

      1. Freedom of speech?

        But seriously. Yeah, no one noticed pretty much what, 99% of the rest of the world wasn’t embargoing Cuba?

        I guess the test of all of it will be to show how much of an influence did America’s embargo have on the rest of the world.

      2. Howard Johnsons isn’t as imperalisitic as MacDonalds’.

        1. No self-respecting Canadian would try to set up a Tim Horton’s in Cuba.

      3. Warm beaches in their own country?

    2. If by destroyed they mean unimaginable improvements in quality of life and exercise of liberty over time.

    3. Destroyed by tourism. That’s.. wow.

      People show up, empty their wallets, and leave. OH THE HUMANITY

      1. Yes, dirtying it with filthy lucre. You see when you wave a dollar in someone’s face, they lose their moral compass.

        1. Cuba will be a veritable titty bar.

          1. Ironically, these people don’t realize *that it already is* and that bringing in more trade – including McDonald’s – will increase these people’s wealth enough to change that.

      2. People living in squalor are authentic, don’t you know.

        1. In most contexts, saying you visited a plantation and were pleased with how well behaved the slaves were would be taken poorly.

          When discussing socialist countries, the same observation magically becomes praiseworthy and insightful.

          1. That’s because they wish like hell we behaved the same way over here.

      3. When it comes to the “Cuba debate,” nothing makes me want to violate the NAP more than when someone laments the inevitable loss of “authenticity” that would accompany a liberalized Cuba.

    4. Olympic National Park was almost destroyed by tourism (not mountain goats)…

    5. Ask them how abject poverty and lack of basic amnities was working out for them before…

      Oh wait, I forgot, that just means they’re keeping their carbon footprint low.

      1. Truly they are the ideal citizen of the world.

  12. “Castro, in a lengthy statement, worked to turn the tables on Obama by saying Cuba found it “inconceivable” for a government to fail to ensure health care, education, food and social security for its people – a clear reference to the U.S. Aiming to show the issue needn’t be one-sided, Obama said he was open to hearing Cuba’s concerns.

    “I actually welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels that we’re falling short,” Obama said. “Because I think we should not be immune or afraid of criticism or discussion as well.””

    http://www.kait8.com/story/315…..th-forward

    So like when he sent Michael Brown’s parents to the U.N., Obama tells all the countries where people are imprisoned for decades for political dissent or stoned to death for apostasy: “Hey, America’s just as bad as you are!”

    1. They’re just having the socialist equivalent of a dance off to see who can pull the wool further down over their people’s eyes. Needless to say, Obama was winning until Castro had the low performing outliers shot.

    2. Yeah, I don’t think Obama is really helping the Cuban regime the way conservatives worry, but it sure is unseemly watching him suck so much authoritarian cock.

      “””I actually welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels that we’re falling short,” Obama said. “Because I think we should not be immune or afraid of criticism or discussion as well.”””

      Hey, dipshit – see, Castro doesn’t actually care about how we’re ‘falling short,’ because like Chavez all he really cares about is making the US look bad for propaganda purposes.

      And you’re helping him because you’re a moron who never met a dictatorship you didn’t think you could end with hugs, kisses, and zoobers on its belly.

      1. ^^This^^

        In the end Obama’s visit isn’t really going to help the Castro regime, but to watch him suck so much dictator cock like this is disgraceful, and embarrassing for the entire country. Conservatives are right to criticize him on that, even though I doubt it’s actually going to help prop up their little dictatorship.

        1. A country that’s embarrassed by the actions of one guy should really be embarrassed by its lack of a better foundation for its self-esteem.

          1. When that one guy was elected by a majority of said country’s voters, I think it represents more than just ‘one guy’s’ actions.

            1. When that one guy was elected by a majority of said country’s voters, I think it represents more than just ‘one guy’s’ actions.

              Wow. Believing in the legitimacy of the state must really blow.

              1. Wait, so I’m not supposed to be reflexively embarrassed by slimy pols? The fuck kind of libertarian comment section is this??

          2. I suppose the US shouldn’t be embarrassed by Trump then? He is just one guy…

            And so was Bush…

            1. Nope, America should definitely be embarrassed by those guys BECAUSE I AM SUCH A PARTISAN HYPOCRITE HOW COULD YOU SEE THROUGH MY CHARADE WINSTON YOU MASTERMIND

            2. If Trump becomes president and goes overseas and sucks some dictator cock then I will be embarrassing.

              Honestly though we hear so much about Trump being a clown etc, but who is the bigger clown who is more embarrassing? Him or Obama who hasn’t found a dictator’s cock yet that he doesn’t enjoy sucking?

              1. If I were going to be embarrassed by US politicians, it would be by pretty much all of them. Fortunately, I don’t consider any of them my representatives in any way, so I don’t give a shit.

                1. At least you’re consistent in not giving a shit rather than those libertarians who alternate attitudes depending on what is convenient at the time.

      2. Agreed. I 100% agree with the end of the embargo and opening of relations, but it’s not because I love Cuba. It’s simply because we deal with so many countries that are so much worse than Cuba on every level. Obama once again took a good thing and made it shitty.

    3. “I actually welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels that we’re falling short,” Obama said. “Because I think we should not be immune or afraid of criticism or discussion as well.””

      Tell me again how “Thank you, comrade, for helping me engage in self-criticism. I will try to purge my unmutual thoughts and work for the glory of the collective.” coming from our President is going to help liberalize Cuba.

      1. And Matt was thinking Obama was going to call out the Cuban regime for its abuses.

        That level of naivete is painful, I wonder if it isn’t really intentional.

  13. And Obama denies the US holds political prisoners. What else is new?

    1. Who is the U.S. holding?

      1. Some people say this guy but it’s not technically correct (he was returned to prison on a parole violation, although that violation has nothing to do with the crime he was originally convicted of).

        1. Well, he was released later, so it’s more of a “was” than “is”.

        2. Yeah that guy comes close, and as usual Obama response after Benghazi was disgraceful.

      2. All of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, anybody convicted of drug crimes or prostitution-related offenses, Chelsea Manning and anyone else being prosecuted for unauthorized leaks, etc etc etc

        1. I think putting drug dealers and prostitutes in the same category as political prisoners is a bit of a stretch.

          1. In what way are they anything other than political prisoners?

            1. Political prisoner is usual defined as someone imprisoned for speaking out against a political regime, or policy. So no those people are not political prisoners.

              Unless they’re being thrown in jail for speaking out against the drug war, or prostitution laws then they are not political prisoners.

            2. “In what way are they anything other than political prisoners?”

              Because a political prisoner is someone who is in jail specifically for opposing the political leaders, which is not the case with drug dealers and prostitutes.

              They’re both hideously immoral, but they’re not the same thing.

              1. Thank you, you explained it better then I was able to.

              2. Because a political prisoner is someone who is in jail specifically for opposing the political leaders, which is not the case with drug dealers and prostitutes.

                That seems to be exactly the case.

                1. No, they’re in jail because they broke the law not because they spoke out in favor of changing the law.

                  1. “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

                    1. It’s one of the great injustices of all time that Tricky Dick wasn’t beaten to death.

                      -jcr

              3. They’re both hideously immoral, but they’re not the same thing.

                ugh, dis-allowance of convenient equivocation is racist, Irish

                1. Drug users are specifically punished because they reject the societal consensus. There’s nothing more political than that.

                  Except, maybe, people who are locked up because they’ve rejected the societal consensus on suicide.

                  1. You’ve really watered down the meaning of the term “political prisoner” and in doing so you’ve done actual political prisoners a disservice.

                    Labeling every single person in prison for a victimless crime really makes the term “political prisoner” completely meaningless.

                    1. Hell you could even add murderers to your list “because they’ve rejected the societal consensus” on murder.

                    2. Not to me. But it’s good to know who doesn’t think freedom is actually a big deal around here.

                    3. And there it is Nikki’s smug virtue signaling. I was wondering when we would hear that.

                    4. But it’s good to know who doesn’t think freedom is actually a big deal around here.

                      This coming from the individualist anarchist who thinks it is good and proper for the state to make her neighbors get up at 7 AM and shovel their sidewalks whenever it snows overnight on pain of fines and imprisonment.

                      You really are the most stupid cunt I’ve ever encountered in my entire life.

                    5. in doing so you’ve done actual political prisoners a disservice.

                      But if you don’t include the victims of drug laws, etc. you are doing them a disservice by acting as if it is any less of an injustice to lock them up. It is completely and utterly immoral to punish anyone for either political speech or drug use/possession/sales. Whether or not “political prisoner” is the right word, punishing either is equally morally reprehensible.

                    6. So what would you call the people who have been imprisoned/shot in Cuba for importing communications equipment, offering a ride/place bed to foreign tourists, or watching HBO? Or people who practice unapproved religions? They’re not doing anything specifically to oppose or criticize the regime (or anyone, for that matter), but they are punished regardless because they are doing something the regime has determined to be dangerous or subversive.

                    7. The key word there is “subversive”

                    8. Ah, so if the state uses the rhetoric of state security to feed you into the prison machine then it’s a totally different act than feeding you into the prison machine under the rhetoric of reducing social harm. Words really are magic!

                  2. No, they are in jail for taking and/or selling drugs. You can be against drug laws all day long; you just can’t act on it.

                    1. You can be against the Cuban regime all day long as a Cuban citizen. You just can’t act on it.

                      What’s the difference? In either case people are getting locked up for simply exercising their rights as free individuals.

                    2. So in your view, talking about a thing is literally the same as doing it?

                    3. When did I say that?

                      Doing whatever you want with your own body is just as fundamental a right as free speech.

                      “Political prisoners” may not be the right term for people in prison for drugs. But it is just as great of an injustice.

                    4. I only ask because you seem to have problems in understanding the difference between being locked up for saying something versus being locked up for doing something.

                      Do you not understand the difference, or are you trying a very particular piece of mental gymnastics that requires a certain underlying point here?

                      “‘Political prisoners’ may not be the right term for people in prison for drugs” This was the only point I was discussing, that being what a political prisoner is. I don’t give a shit about the injustice of it as an argument. Apparently Nikki needed clarification. Words have meanings.

                    5. Saying something is doing something. It is a fine and appropriate thing that free speech is singled out as a special right. But in terms of natural rights, the right to speak is just a part of the general right to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.

                      But you are right as far as it goes, I guess. There is a fine distinction to be made between saying things that the government has declared forbidden and doing things that the government has declared forbidden.

                    6. Let me put it this way. If I walked into a store and start shooting a bunch of people it’s would be a really horrible thing, and it wouldn’t matter to the victims why I did it, but unless I did it for political reasons I wouldn’t be a terrorist.

                      Likewise it doesn’t matter for whatever bullshit reason they throw someone in jail, if it wasn’t done for political reasons then they are not a political prisoner.

                  3. What about the societal consensus against insider trading?

                  4. Not everyone convicted of a victimless crime is a political prisoner, unless you want to dilute the latter term to having no real meaning.

          2. What about Irwin Shiff? How about the eastern Oregon or Nevada guys? The Branch Davidians who didn’t get barbecued?

        2. Chelsea Manning is being held for violations of the UCMJ, a code of conduct that she (at the time, he) voluntarily entered into.

          1. And is being punished for violating it without some wink-wink from her friends at the Pentagon. If only she had “leaked” information about how the awesome flying killer robots killed a bunch of evil terrorists and zero civilians and how the Commander-in-Chief is a stone cold badass and smells like warm oatmeal cookies.

            1. Manning leaked info to a foreign national. He could have given it to the Inspector General’s office, a JAG, a senator or representative, a journolist, and he would have been protected under UCMJ. instead, he gave it to a foreign national. We were constantly told ways in which we could and could not handle and disseminate classified information, so he knowingly violated an oath he willingly took. He and Bergdahl are traitors.

              1. I hope he dies in prison.

        3. It’s like people forget what “political” means.

            1. “It’s like people want to change what ‘political’ means.”

        4. You really believe there is ANY moral equivalence between political prisoners in Cuba, and Fitmo detainees (murdering terrorists)? If so, you are truly lost.

      3. I don’t have names for all the thousands of nonviolent drug offenders in prison right now. But there’s always Ross Ulbrecht as an example.

        1. I would have given you more credit if you’d named the Malheur protesters

          1. Ross Ulbrecht is a much better example than them, considering he specifically got life in prison for being uppity.

            1. Ross Ulbrecht is a much better example than them,

              Yes, he was making millions in secret, and they were openly protesting government misuse of authority. He’s clearly the more ‘political’.

              Where can i find his manifesto?

  14. “Right now what you see is preventive repression, so it does not occur to anyone to say anything to Obama while he is here.”

    Streets were swept.

  15. Thank the Maker that Obama’s excursion provided no opportunity for Cuba to try to make political points.

  16. Just stand in front of the Che mural and smile – shithead.

    1. Why wouldn’t anyone want to be photgraphed in front of their personal icon?

      This is probably the moment he’s been dreaming of his entire life.

  17. Raul Castro Denies Cuba Holds Political Prisoners at Press Conference with President Obama
    Dictator makes incredible claim a day after scores of dissidents were arrested.

    We must all believe Raul Castro because he is a socialist slaver and would never do anything horrible as lie.
    But don’t take my word for it.
    Just ask any useful idiot who pines for socialism in this country.

  18. Where’s that dipshit American Socialist?!?

    He loves to masturbate all over the Cuba threads.

    1. American socialists tend to run away from actual examples of their own end game.

      1. HE’s running away from paying his mortgage too. Fucking deadbeat progtard.

    2. It running a different sock in this thread.

    3. If he does show up, expect him to blame US/capitalism/right-wingers for every single death that occurred during the timeframe of some conflict the US military was involved in.

      It will be wrong, and it will be irrelevant, but it’s all he has.

    4. He was around early this morning, complaining about all the spam email he gets. It seems that the existence of private sector spam email invalidates any concerns that more reasonable people might have about governmental abuses of power, because unwanted emails are just as bad as a dude getting choked to death for selling loosies.

      He strongly hinted that he was too dumb to figure out how spam filters worked, and that this had resulted in him overlooking a plane ticket and missing a flight at some point.

      1. “He strongly hinted that he was too dumb to figure out how spam filters worked”

        Or just not giving out your email address to anyone and everyone. I can’t remember the last time I got an unsolicited message. Most of them are emails from websites from which I have purchased products and forgotten to uncheck the little box that says, “Please send me information about promotional offers”. And it’s as easy as clicking the unsubscribe link (which is mandated by law, by the way, so why is AmSoc acting like spam email is some horrible consequence of free markets and small government?)

    5. scroll down

    6. “He loves to masturbate all over the Cuba threads.”

      Worst euphemism ever.

  19. Well Obama’s trip to Cuba is going just about the way I would expect it to. He gets to praise a totalitarian dictatorship while at the same to using it as an opportunity to condemn the U.S. and score a few cheap politician points. Obama you are a colossal piece of shit.

    1. I hope he squeezed out a few tears too.

      1. C+ squeezed and tears are pretty elementary euphemisms.

    2. I legitimately think Obama believes the Republicans are worse people than Fidel Castro.

      1. I believe you are correct. In his mind the Castros at least have good intentions right?, and America is not perfect so who are we to judge? Besides all of Cuba’s problems were probably caused by Western imperialism or something.

    3. He gets to praise a totalitarian dictatorship

      Citation?

      1. He didn’t “drop trou” and leave a stinking turd on the runway the instant he stepped off the plane?

        He was too kind…

    4. “opportunity to condemn the U.S.”

      It doesn’t deserve condemnation? We tried to invade that country a few decades back and to kill Raul Castro’s brother–according to declassified CIA documentation about 30 times.

      Don’t you think the Castro brothers are being wonderfully magnanimous?

      1. Its horrible – only Cuban leaders should be allowed to kill Cubans.

      2. If the CIA had succeeded in killing Fidel, it would have been a very rare example of them doing something good for humanity. I’ll give them credit for trying, at least.

        -jcr

      3. They’re lucky to be alive at all. I hope they die as soon as possible. writhing in agony. You unpatriotic piece of shit.

  20. He loves to masturbate all over the Cuba threads.

    D: insufficiently abstract. Try harder.

  21. Some of the points in this article seem somehow familiar

    The Fisher Article: “”It’s the climate of intimidation the government is creating for Obama’s visit,” said Mr. Sanchez, a graying, steady critic of President Ra?l Castro’s government. “Right now what you see is preventive repression, so it does not occur to anyone to say anything to Obama while he is here.””

    The Ted Cruz Politico article: “Just two months ago, the president told Yahoo News that he would only travel to Cuba “if, in fact, I with confidence can say that we’re seeing some progress in the liberty and freedom and possibilities of ordinary Cubans. … If we’re going backwards, then there’s not much reason for me to be there.”

    “I have news, Mr. President: No progress has taken place. Cuba is going backward.”

    Fisher article: “Over the weekend, 18 Cubans were rescued after spending over three weeks adrift in the ocean after fleeing the socialist Caribbean island en route to the US. Nine of their fellow passengers died during the ill-fated escape.”

    Cruz article: “Over the weekend a makeshift boat was rescued off Marco Island carrying 18 desperate refugees who were willing to risk their lives rather than endure the “progress” in Cuba. Nine had perished on the journey.”

    So…I’m guessing Fisher can say these things because he isn’t an icky SoCon like Cruz?

  22. I honestly don’t know. What’s the per capita prison population in free-market utopia, u.s.a., vs. socialist hellhole, Cuba.

    1. I honestly don’t know care

      Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet, right?

      1. Personally i don’t favor the Bay of Pigs omelet, myself. It tastes of swamp muck and Cuban mafia.

        1. But putting people in cages for reading unapproved books or being gay, you’re fine with?

        2. Cuban mafia

          Next to the Castro family, even the Cosa Nostra is a small-time outfit.

    2. Oh, there you are. Folks were wondering when you’d show up to lick those jackboots clean.

      1. My point has always been that you guys shouldn’t get too cocky– not to praise communist dictatorships.

        1. not to praise communist dictatorships

          Why not? What’s different about today and/or this thread?

        2. Except that what you’re doing here, and do everytime you you come around, *is* praise communist dictatorships.

          1. Well, he *does* claim to be an American Socialist and that is mostly what they do (That is, praise murderous dictators). At least he didn’t name himself “I Hate Socialism”, that might confuse people.

          2. He looks at the Castro brothers with reverence and fondness. i’m sure his other heroes are Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, etc..

        3. It’s a bit ironic that “cocky” came out of your mouth instead of in this time. Socialism = repeatedly failed ideology

    3. free-market cronyist utopia, u.s.a.

      FTFY

    4. Yeah, if only Enron and Wal-Mart would release all those prisoners from their jails.

    5. Uhm, versus *Cuba* – the country that you have to have permission to leave on pain of death? I’d say that the US’s incarceration rate, though high, is significantly below the 100% that Cuba ‘enjoys’.

      1. I know, right. Cubans can’t sell artisan, locally-crafted mayonnaise to Google employees. Ergo, prison. That sucks.

        1. Slavery is just part of their culture, a peculiar institution that shouldn’t be questioned by outsiders, right amsoc?

        2. You know where else people aren’t allowed to conduct peaceful trade? Prison.

        1. So it’s 1865 in Cuba?

    6. What’s the per capita prison population in free-market utopia, u.s.a., vs. socialist hellhole, Cuba

      In your really top-tier socialist hellholes (Cuba, North Korea), I think you need to start from the other direction:

      What’s the population that isn’t imprisoned in what is essentially a giant prison camp/nation-state?

    7. The U.S. is a free market utopia?

      You put the “sock” in “Amsoc.”

    8. It’s way too fucking high, due to your “progressive” friends in the Ruling Party believing they can stop people from using drugs just by outlawing them.

      Go die in a fire, you commie prick.

      -jcr

    9. Well, there are about 11.5 million people living in Cuba, so that’s 100% vs around 0.9% in the US.

  23. Raul Castro Denies Cuba Holds Political Prisoners at Press Conference with President Obama
    Dictator makes incredible claim a day after scores of dissidents were arrested.

    See, Obozo should understand this sort of thing perfectly. After all, isn’t he the one who pisses on your shoes, looks you in the eye, and tells you it’s raining?

  24. I hope Matt Welch reads this article.

    1. He’s probably too busy practicing sucking up to the MSNBC hosts for his next appearance. So he can hang with the cool kids.

    2. He’s probably too busy practicing sucking up to the MSNBC hosts for his next appearance. So he can hang with the cool kids.

    3. He’s probably too busy practicing sucking up to the MSNBC hosts for his next appearance. So he can hang with the cool kids.

    4. He’s probably too busy practicing sucking up to the MSNBC hosts for his next appearance. So he can hang with the cool kids.

  25. “Give me a list and I’ll release them,” adding, “If we have those political prisoners they will be released before tonight ends.”

    Go fuck yourself and then go fuck your brother you asshole.

    1. That’s what Obama should have said in his speech.

      1. The arrogance and penchant to lie to our faces is breathtaking.

        Commies are degenerates.

        1. Yeah, the Castros are pretty bad, too.

        2. All communists should be executed. Al communist sympathizers, (PB, AmSoc, etc.) should be imprisoned for their treason and sedition.

  26. Has anyone on the left compared the percentage of blacks in the Cuban government (something very close to or equal to ZERO) with the percentage of blacks in organizations such as the Ladies in White, who tend to get thrown in jail?

    Institutional racism, anybody?

  27. Are people locked up for victimless crimes political prisoners? How about we let a guy from the Nixon administration explain it:

    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

  28. So, what I learned today is that Castro has even less respect for Obama than I do.

    -jcr

  29. gave Cuba a 1 out of a possible 40 score

    That’s, like, 2.5%.

  30. Whatever else you say about Cuba, this much is absolutely certain:

    Sealing Cuba off from USA has not worked. It has not brought freedom to Cubans. It is a manifestly failed policy.

    How long do the anti-Cuba folks think we should go on doing the same thing in the face of the obvious fact that it has not worked?

    1. We can open up trade without showing up and kissing their asses.

      1. Exactly. As usual, Obama makes a good decision but executes it in the worst possible way.

    2. So doing business with them will be better? How has that worked out with China? Maybe we should have waited for the octogenarian Castro brothers to die before opening up relations with them. Do you actually think those old bastards are somehow not set in their marxist ways at this point?

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  32. And yet Reason celebrates normalizing relations with these criminals and is going to hold an event there.

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