[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Obama: Be Like W

Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama: Be Like W

Maria Anastasia O'Grady's piece posted over at Babalu yesterday brought up many great points regarding President Obama at the recently-concluded Summit of the Americas.

Please allow me to briefly focus on something O'Grady touched on: vocal support for Cuban dissidents. Obama and his supporters constantly reminded us that his campaign - his mere existence even - was about CHANGE. CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN. I'm not going to get into the many ways this has been a lie, but there's one area where I wish he would have stood up and been like his predecessor: speak out directly and forcefully against the unjust and inhumane treatment of Cuban dissidents at the hand of the castro regime. In other words, a little more Cowboy W and a little less Obama Cool in front of leaders such as Lula and Bachelet and Ortega and Chavez who don't seem to understand the whole Cuban dissident concept. The difference is that Obama currently has the respect of his peers abroad, and can utilize this as a bully pulpit of sorts to aggressively advocate for Cuba's dissidents. Bush had the gumption and nerve but not the popularity to disseminate the message. Obama may be the exact opposite.

Obama could have mentioned people such as Oscar Elias Biscet and Antunez by name. He could have related their tragic stories for the world to understand, much like President Bush did on several occasions. Cuba considers "everything on the table"? OK, let's start with these two individuals and continue on.

Of course, that would have knocked Mr. Obama's precious halo off in the eyes of many of the Summit attendees. In the light of who the real leaders are, however, that wouldn't have been such a bad thing. And it would have garnered much respect from freedom-loving Americans. Obama had a great opportunity to place a huge chip on the negotiating table by using his popularity to get people on our side when it comes to Cuban dissidents. Too bad he didn't take advantage of this.


Blogger La Ventanita said...

I agree; that was a great missed opportunity.

I'm not going to knock him for greeting Chavez, as I am sure W never snuffed anyone, and as we say in Spanish lo cortes no quita lo valiente. In short, we always have to be the better person.

But man, he had such a great oppty to bring the dissidency front and center. Even using examples that they could all understand. Something like "Dr. Biscet, who like Bachelet's father during Pinochet dictatorship is a prisoner and mistreated for his ideology; for daring to stand up and voice his dissent; for wanting change for his own country"

That would've been something!

9:47 AM, April 20, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

That's correct, LV, I'm definitely not advocating that Obama dismiss Chavez. Based on body language alone, I get the feeling Obama was at least a little irked at Chavez when they had their good-bye chat.

And yes, a great opportunity was missed.

10:47 AM, April 20, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

snubbed, I meant to say snubbed.

1:57 PM, April 20, 2009  

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