The confusing rhetoric of Donald Trump
SUSAN K. SMITH | 6/27/2017, 10:53 a.m.
Crazy Faith Ministries
In a speech on Friday in the Little Havana section of Miami, Florida, the president declared that he was reversing some of the work President Obama did in easing the tense relationship between the United States and Cuba.
The president is apparently concerned about human rights violations in Cuba, and is also concerned about too much money flowing from tourist activities to Cuba’s military government. Under President Obama’s Cuba-travel policy, individuals could visit the nation under the so-called “people to people” category. Under the current president, this type of visit would be curtailed, and people wanting to visit Cuba would have to travel in groups.
As the president has done much in this country to attack basic rights of American citizens in such a way that critics have said he is moving the United States toward an authoritarian regime, he said that he is interested in making sure the Cuban people are free and that the Cuban government moves away from its Communist foundation toward becoming a democracy.
In a statement in the Washington Post, an official stated that “the aging Cuban government, in which Castro is due to be replaced next year by a designated successor, can return to favor with the United States by improving its human rights record, including lifting restrictions on dissent, releasing political prisoners and moving toward democracy.”
“A free Cuba is what we will soon achieve,” the president told CNBC.
The president’s concern with human rights violations in Cuba is puzzling, as he has been forming close relationships with leaders of countries where human rights violations are rampant, including Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. And then there is, of course, his apparent affection for and respect for Russia.
It is confusing as to why this administration is so against Cuba even while he is embracing other nations with oppressive human rights records – except that in the case of Cuba, he is attacking a policy that his predecessor put into place. He calls what Obama did with Cuba a “bad deal,” unfair to the United States, and rails against it as much as he does the work the Obama administration did in creating the deal with Iran which would have kept that nation from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
In other words, in this administration’s estimation, anything that Obama did needs to be undone.
If this president and his administration were not doing things and working toward policies that will have an adverse on the human rights of American citizens – from health care, to voter suppression, to civil rights – then his cry for human rights in Cuba would not sound so hypocritical. And if he had reviled and rejected other nations with horrid human rights violation records, like Saudi Arabia and Turkey and Russia and the Philippines, then this “concern” about the Cuban people voiced today would not sound so hollow and phony.
The president bowed to Saudi King Abdullah, no protector of human rights in any sense of the word.
It is said that one should not try to be logical with someone who is irrational. Perhaps that is why what is going on is so confusing to one who is seeking to make sense out of nonsense. But it needs to be noted that this president, who is compromising the very most basic tenets of democracy in this country has a lot of nerve in saying that he wants democracy for Cubans.
This, even while Russia works to undo democracy here, with wide support from this administration.
Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries and a communications consultant for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference Inc. She is available for speaking. She can be contacted through email@example.com.