Yeonmi Park, Cuba and President Obama

I agree with Yeonmi Park (from a FB post):

Another disappointing fact from Obama’s approach with Cuba has been his unwillingness to call the Cuban dictatorship by its name: a dictatorship (at the same time Obama does not mind calling Pinochet a dictator and his government’s legacy a brutal dictatorship). Instead, throughout this policy, Obama and his spokespeople have used a number of euphemisms (“the American people getting closer to the Cuban people”) to obscure the fact that while President Obama rightfully represents the American people, the Castro brothers do not represent anybody in Cuba (have never been elected). Over the years and definitely the moment Cuba turns democratic, this unprincipled stance of President Obama in the face of the Cuban dictatorship’s evil will prove to be a hugely negative aspect of his presidential legacy.

In order to prevent his legacy from being so negative on Cuba, when he is in Havana this week, President Obama should NOT limit himself to saying a couple of shallow statements asking cryptic concessions from the regime and maybe even holding a couple of meetings with dissidents in Cuba. Instead, he should call for free and fair elections, for a multiparty democracy — for freedom of expression, and freedom of the press. How is it possible that there are no authentic trade unions in Cuba? President Obama should demand this, forcefully. He should stand up for American values, and not just U.S. values but the values all Latin American countries adhered to when they signed the Inter-American Democratic Charter in 2001.

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