Is anyone really surprised? We have enemies everywhere that Obama is trying to embrace and they are ready to strike instead…..
Any expectation that the Obama administration’s historic outreach to Cuba would bring a different tone from President Raul Castro was quickly dispelled when, in his first-ever speech at the United Nations, the communist leader criticized U.S. and Western policies from Latin America to Eastern Europe to the Middle East.
When he eventually got around to the restoration of relations with the United States – more than halfway through his 17-minute speech – Castro expressed no goodwill, but simply underlined Cuba’s conditions for normalization, including an end to the 55-year-old embargo.
“After 56 years in which the Cuban people put up a heroic and selfless resistance, diplomatic relations have been re-established between Cuba and the United States of America,” he said. “Now a long and complex process begins towards the normalization of relations.”
“But this will only be achieved with the end of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba; the return to our country of the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo naval base; the cessation of radio and TV broadcasts and of subversive and destabilizing programs against the island; and when our people are compensation for the human and economic damages they still endure.”
As long as the embargo endures, Castro added, Cuba will continue to present an annual draft resolution at the U.N. condemning it.
(The resolution each year passes by an overwhelming margin – last year’s vote was 188-2, with only the U.S. and Israel voting no. Obama has called on Congress to lift the embargo, and the Associated Press reported last week that the administration was considering an unprecedented abstention rather than voting against the measure this year.)
Earlier in the speech Castro did a tour around the region, voicing “solidarity” with the leftist leaders in Venezuela and Ecuador in the face of “destabilization” efforts (he did not accuse the U.S. by name, but the implication was clear); calling for Puerto Rico’s independence from the U.S. “after more than a century of colonial domination”; supporting slavery reparation for Caribbean nations; and backing Argentina in its sovereignty dispute with Britain over the Falkland (Malvinas) islands.
Looking further afield, he slammed NATO for its eastward expansion in Europe and for Western sanctions against Russia. The measures were imposed after Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, which went unmentioned by Castro.
He also “demand[ed] the end of external interference” in Syria – although without saying whether that demand extended to the involvement of Russia and Iran, both allies of Cuba.