The bigger picture on Cuba: Why was it decided secretly, and is it now open season on American kidnappings for prisoner swaps?

Some say the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expect different results. So with that being said, some are applauding President Obama’s unilateral change in policy towards Cuba — by way of opening up diplomatic relations.

Now, we can debate the pros and cons, but the underlying problem I have with all of this is why was this not discussed openly?

Why was it that once again we surrendered three Cuban spies with blood on their hands? Yes, we’re all happy Alan Gross is home. But we’re seeing a repeat of the SGT Bowe Bergdahl swap for five senior Taliban leaders. We seem to be operating from a position of appeasement, acquiescence, and weakness — not of strength. And what message does this send? Shall we now fear that Americans will be regularly kidnapped in order to be used as negotiating chips for the release of nefarious criminals being held here in America?

And one thing I need to say up front. Folks keeps saying Pope Francis approved of the policy change. Well, U.S. foreign relations and national security are not subservient to the whims and desires of the Vatican and the Pontiff. I appreciate his perspective, but his input shouldn’t be considered a seal of approval or provide cover for the Obama administration. Anyway, where are those folks who always complain about the separation of church and state??

In case you missed it, here’s a quick summation of what happened, according to the Washington Post:

“President Obama announced the normalization of relations with Cuba Wednesday, stating that while the decades-old policy toward Cuba was “rooted in the best of intentions,” it has had little effect. In what Obama called the “most significant changes” in Cuba policy in more than 50 years, the president announced that the United States plans to reopen its embassy in Cuba and ease travel and trade restrictions. The changes end an “outdated approach,” Obama said. “Neither the American nor the Cuban people are served by a rigid policy that’s rooted in events that took place before most of us were born,” Obama said. While the policy was “rooted in the best of intentions,” Obama said, “…it has had little effect.”

Uh, I have to ask a simple question of President Obama. If we’re going to open up an embassy in Cuba, what keeps America from moving the embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? You know, just asking, since Cuba is hardly one of our best allies and such. Oh, and is the Obama administration really pondering sanctions against Israel? You know, we are after all, easing travel and trade restrictions with Cuba.

At what point did the Castro regime in Cuba evidence any move towards normalizing its relations with America? What did President Obama see in Cuba today that would make him believe there is a “smidgen” of hope for liberty and democracy to thrive? If those indicators don’t exist (and they don’t, at least from my vantage point) then Obama is doing nothing more than wishing — and that’s not an admirable quality in a leader.

Now, I understand the desire to do something different with Cuba, but a unilateral — and secretive — decision is just not how it’s supposed to work in our Constitutional Republic, particularly on such a major policy change.

The Obama modus operandi since the November 2014 midterm elections shows a defiant president who seems intent on showing our country just who’s the boss. Of course the devil is in the details, and I hope we’ll learn more during Senate and House hearings on the matter next year.

I would have preferred to develop a phased incremental plan which tied advancing relations to the attainment of certain quantifiable conditions — not a blanket “get out of jail free card.” Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has been seeking a state sponsor. Recently, they’ve found a willing partner in the country of Venezuela — but with the collapse of oil prices, the adverse effect on Venezuela’s economy is causing collateral damage in Cuba.

So just who will be the individuals or corporations allowed into Cuba? And the major question has to be, how will this increased flow of cash revenues assist in improving the standard of living and quality of life for the average Cuban? Or will these increased revenues only serve to enable and prop up the Castro regime and set the conditions for subsequent communist dictators?

Some say, look at China — yep, a country that learned from the collapse of the Soviet Union how to adopt free market economic principles in order to sustain a communist machine — and a military expansion.

The president also said he looks forward to an “honest and serious debate” with Congress about lifting the embargo on Cuba. “To the Cuban people, America extends a hand of friendship,” Obama said. Obama also acknowledged criticism of the policy shift. “To those who oppose the steps I’m announcing today, let me say that I respect your passion and share your commitment to liberty and democracy,” he said. “The question is how we uphold that commitment. I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result.”

No, I don’t believe there will be an honest or serious debate on this matter — if that were the case, President Obama would have announced one of his foreign policy initiatives for 2015 was to engage Congress on shifting American-Cuban relations. That’s not what was announced yesterday. Obama has made his decision, but if there’s one thing Congress can do it’s limit the amount of funding for this venture.

“Change is hard,” Obama said, “but today America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past.”

No Mr. President, only your change is hard because you chose to cut loose the shackles of spies — not the American people, and certainly not average Cubans.

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83 Comments on "The bigger picture on Cuba: Why was it decided secretly, and is it now open season on American kidnappings for prisoner swaps?"

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Vonda Prater
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Anything and everything to cause chaos , discord, and to tear down the “American standard”. This president is lawless and corrupt. Arrest Obama!

halevi
Guest

The US is like a big punching bag and Obama and Feinstein and other American leftists are the enablers.

4theLord
Guest

LOL. This shot is perfect! Radicals from the 60’s and 70’s and their wannabe followers, like Barry, are orchestrating their last hurrah. They can’t do anything effective on their own, because their brains are fried, or deranged, so they will align with anyone at all that has an interest in bringing America down. And that’s the truth.

Charley
Guest

Don’t forget what happened to the last president that pissed off the anti-Castro Cubans…

halevi
Guest

The fact is that Obama hates the US and we essentially have an enemy of the nation in the most powerful position in the land for two more years.

Emily Phillips
Guest

This is Obango’s first step in closing Guantanamo. He will use it as a sell that the Cuban people need their land back. He will not approve the prisoners be moved to U.S. soil so he will release them.

judy
Guest

More refugees?

Brigadier
Guest

Benito Obama’s foreign policy – drop pants, bend over, grab ankles.

Same way Michael Obama gives it to him every night.

lambda5555m
Guest

Brigadier – It’s part of an Army word – BOHICA – which means, bend over, here it comes again…..Just thought I would let you know this is a good way to say it as well….

Brigadier
Guest

Except Benito looks forward to it.

Veda Miller
Guest

I think it has to do with Gitmo I think Obama has made a deal with Castro to take Gitmo

lambda5555m
Guest
That damn mooslim dictator n the white house strikes again. Geez, what is next? Kissy, kissy with the royal jerk of a dictator in North Korea? Geez, we gotta get this guy out of the white house and sooner rather than later. I wish they would just impeach him and get him out, but that would mean biden would be the president and that is pretty scary.in it’s own right. I can’t believe that we had obama, biden, pelose and reid in the highest leadership positions in the country. That was a pretty scary thing have pelosi third in line… Read more »
Fed Up in Missouri
Guest

I really believe if they would arrest Obama for treason all the other Obama stooges , including Biden, would run for cover! It would scare the hell out of those idiots so they wouldn’t make much trouble. They would be afraid they would be next!

Lynn Guss
Guest

Please at least learn how to spell.

Veda Miller
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Guantanamo prize for Cuba!

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

50+ years of failed policy….no…lets continue that….geez!!

Andy Martin
Guest

I agree. LIEberalism has killed us.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

I ignore racist

Andy Martin
Guest

You are racist

Andy Martin
Guest
James Lisek
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DEM vs. REP vs. LIB vs. CON vs. Santa Clause are losing mindsets (and We the People lose every time). We need to focus less on the SYMPTOMS of Washington’s incompetence and focus more on the CAUSES of their incompetence. Fix the foundation and the rest will right itself. The foundation of our gov’t has been broken since 1913. And this faulty foundation has resulted in laws for every conceivable thing and an enormous debt to boot. Here are the cracks in our foundation: 1) The Federal Gov’t is in charge 2) The Federal Gov’t taxes individuals (therefore, companies) Here’s… Read more »
Andy Martin
Guest
There is nothing wrong with our Constitution. What’s wrong with the 17th? Senators elected like HOR members. So? As far as the 16th goes, the USA used to get it’s tax money via land sales. As soon as the land dried up, the govt went to the 16th for revenue. Your point about the govt not listening to us is spot on. That is a flaw with the PEOPLE in DC. Not the system. And like it or not, it IS a result of right v left insofar as conservative v liberal. There was a time, for the most part,… Read more »
gjsmith_62
Guest

The people are represented by the house, the states interests were to be represented in the Senate.

What’s the point of the Senate today, when it’s just another representation of the house?

“The system is fine, the pols are broke.”

Pols have been “broke” from the start, what’s changed is the loss of checks and balances. Each branch now provides the other with more power over the people and have wholly dismissed the idea of a limited gov’t.

Each senator should be “chosen by the Legislature thereof” as was originally intended.

Andy Martin
Guest

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say on one hand, the Senate is just another representation of the house and then say we don’t have checks and balances. The Senate is a far more deliberative body and does not necessarily parrot what the house does. And I disagree that pols have been broken ‘from the start’ if you mean that the start was over 200 years ago.

Tell me how going back to “chosen by the Legislature thereof” would fix anything if the pols are broken?

gjsmith_62
Guest

I am saying the senate SHOULDN’T be a representation of the house, but as it was originally purposed, a representation of the states.

“Tell me how going back to”

Well, for one, a senator ignoring his state’s wished would immediately have to worry about being called back and replaced.

Andy Martin
Guest

???? The Senators are from the states they represent.

[[ Well, for one, a senator ignoring his state’s wished would immediately have to worry about being called back and replaced.]]

So what’s to say that isn’t going on now? And they have six year terms. Also, elected reps weren’t supposed to be career pols anyway. It still boils down to the character or lack thereof irrespective of what system is employed. We now have politicians instead of statesmen. THAT is the problem.

gjsmith_62
Guest

“The Senators are from the states they represent”

From doesn’t mean represent, the state’s interests are represented by the legislators of said states. What’s the point of two sets of representatives from each state?

So what’s to say that isn’t going on now?”

Name one, just one.

“We now have politicians instead of statesmen.”

LOL, yes until (whenever) there had always been “statesmen”. Too funny. Ever hear of Boss Tweed? Credit Mobilier? Oh, hades, Aaron Burr? Alexander Hamilton??

Andy Martin
Guest
Yes. The states legislators are responsible for the laws of the state as well as it’s fiduciary responsibility to that state. Why would you assume that a DC Senator from that state doesn’t represent his state? And if he doesn’t, vote him/her out. Name one what? Senator that isn’t representing their state? Obviously many of them didn’t last November as they lost their jobs. Not sure about the ‘LOL’. Do you disagree that there was a better brand of reps before the con/lib dynamic took off on the mid 1960’s? There was a time when you couldn’t tell a Reagan… Read more »
gjsmith_62
Guest
You said, “So what’s to say that isn’t going on now?” Name one, just one senator that’s been recalled. The purpose of the Senate was to represent the interests of that state’s legislators. Get it? Now the senate is a glorified House or Representatives, senators no longer represent states’ interests, they represent a larger (state sized) congressional district. You seem to believe some huge transformation has occurred in the last thirty or so years. IMHO, pols have changed very little since the founding. “There was a time when you couldn’t tell a Reagan from a JFK.” Comical. As though LBJ… Read more »
Andy Martin
Guest
I didn’t know you can recall a Senator. You CAN vote for someone else though. Hey screw your snide quips pal. I know what the reps responsibilities are. Now YOU PROVE that Senators aren’t representing their constituents. Give it a shot instead of whining. I said the transformation started around LBJ. That would be 50 years ago, not 30. Get a calculator. And your opinion means nothing absent proof. Got any? [[“There was a time when you couldn’t tell a Reagan from a JFK.” Comical. As though LBJ isn’t the epitome of democrats of today or yesteryear.]] Who mentioned LBJ?… Read more »
gjsmith_62
Guest

Stuff it jackass.

Andy Martin
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Phuk you bb!tch.

gjsmith_62
Guest

” Now YOU PROVE that Senators aren’t ”

Proving a negative is impossible, moron.

Andy Martin
Guest

Good [email protected] That means you’re a whining POS who has no proof. Now phuk off.

gjsmith_62
Guest

LOL … what an idiot. Go prove you’re not a moron.

Andy Martin
Guest

Go prove your mother wasn’t a wild dog.

gjsmith_62
Guest

Comical, come up with something original, moron.

Andy Martin
Guest

So you’ve heard the same thing about you mom before. Understood.

James Lisek
Guest
“What’s wrong with the 17th?” Even though that was spelled out in the article here are some points that should make it crystal clear to even the most die-hard supporter of the 17th: 1) The 17th Amd. displays an elitist attitude, effectively saying “I know what you need better than you know what you need, so you don’t even need to be here.” 2) This is what it looks like in a practical exchange: Andy: “I’d like to buy a car.” Dealer: “Great! I have one right here for you.” Andy: “I’d like to look at my options, do you… Read more »
Andy Martin
Guest

[[ And with this exchange, because you already support this principle, you will be perfectly fine with accepting whatever the dealer delivers.]]

Hey look, don’t tell me what I accept. Senators are duly elected like the HOR is. You don’t like our representative system of govt? Then you dislike democracy. Would you prefer a mob or a plebiscite for everything? I’ll pass. And the states still retain the 10th.

James Lisek
Guest

I recognize the principles you ARE accepting, not telling you WHAT to accept. Recognize the difference.

The Republic our Founders gave us is much better than a Democracy (which is, in effect, mob rule). All it takes in a democracy is 51% of the people to vote to take your property and they legally get to seize your property.

A Republic, like our Founders designed, ensures all primary stakeholders (People, States, Fed Gov’t) have a say in all laws passed. This is far superior to the mob rule of a democracy.

Andy Martin
Guest

You ran right over my underlying yet all important point. The system is not the problem. The people IN the system are the problem and I’ve proven that. Now if you want to have an eminent domain discussion, fine. But that is not what we are talking about at present.

James Lisek
Guest

The current system IS part of the problem. I clearly defined how and why. If people don’t see this, or don’t understand it immediately that’s fine. All anyone can ask of anyone else is to keep thinking about it. Eventually, as is the case with most, the reality will sink in and the light bulb will turn on.

There is no way possible for any law to be well thought out without all primary stakeholders at the negotiating table for that law.

Andy Martin
Guest

The current system is Constitutional. And my light bulb is fine. Thanks.

James Lisek
Guest

The former system was constitutional from 1789 – 1913 (124 years). But it changed, and that error is reversible.

Andy Martin
Guest

Wrong. amendments are Constitutional.

James Lisek
Guest

“Wrong”? You’re reaching really, really hard for something to say I’m wrong about, even to the point – again – of attributing something to me that I didn’t say. Desperate.

Andy Martin
Guest

Huh? You said the 17th was not Constitutional. So tell me how amendments are not Constitutional. Reach for that whiner.

James Lisek
Guest

Quote me. Where do you believe I said the 17th Amd. was unconstitutional?

Andy Martin
Guest

James Lisek Andy Martin• 4 hours ago
The former system was constitutional from 1789 – 1913 (124 years). But it changed, and that error is reversible.

James Lisek
Guest
If you read that to mean that I am saying the 17th Amd. is unconstitutional you are mistaken. That states very clearly that your argument about the 17th being constitutional ALSO APPLIES to the Constitution PRIOR to the 17th. That argument cancels out the non-argument that you made that the 17th is constitutional. “But it changed” refers to the fact that the 17th Amd. passed, changing the Constitution. “…and that error…” refers to my original position, that hasn’t changed, that the 17th Amd. was a mistake since it effectively removed a primary stakeholder from the negotiating table (the same as… Read more »
Andy Martin
Guest

Cut the crap already. You gave the timeline and called the 17th an ‘error’ that needed to be fixed. I read EXACTLY what you meant. THEREFORE quit stop BS’ing me. Man up if possible.

James Lisek
Guest

Error doesn’t equal unconstitutional. If I had made a mistake I would tell you so. I made no such error.

Is it THAT hard for you to admit that you read something wrong? It’s OK to read things wrong every now and then – we’re all human.

Andy Martin
Guest

LOL! Of course you didn’t make a mistake! Bloviating, self absorbed humps like YOU NEVER make a mistake IYO. You said the 17th was an Unconstitutional error that needed to be fixed. You were idiotically wrong.

James Lisek
Guest
I know exactly what I said and exactly what I meant by each word of it. Yet, you would have me believe that I made a mistake and YOUR interpretation of MY words is the right one. Now THAT’S worth a LOL! 🙂 I said it, but your interpretation of my words MUST be the correct one…do you have a clue how entirely ridiculous that is? So, by the same principle, MY interpretation of YOUR words is the right one… OK then, when you said “The current system is Constitutional” I interpret that to mean you believe the current system… Read more »
Andy Martin
Guest

I know what you said too. And I called you on it. You hate the Constitution. Thanks for playing lefty.

James Lisek
Guest

Enjoy the Emerald City, Dorothy.

Andy Martin
Guest

Enjoy your new pilates position……….

Fed Up in Missouri
Guest

Thank you James…….. very, very well stated!

CheetoBuster
Guest

Obama only works with terrorist’s and communists…..look how he did nothing for our Marine in Mexico.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Tee hee…look how he did that man that was locked up in CUBA for 5 years

CheetoBuster
Guest

While giving Cuba 3 of their murderous spies back and not demanding a damn thing! LoL….you are a slow one, he helped the communist dictators…like he always does.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Not to mention the spy was returned also, the spy that help with the capture of 2 american’s that were spying for cuba! But once again…why should we continue a policy that hasn’t worked in 50 years?

CheetoBuster
Guest

Cuba get’s everything out of his deal, we get what? A chance to visit runned down island for a cigar? LOL….Ya, these brutal dictators destroyed millions of lives but why does that matter? Who cares about the spread of communism that oppresses it’s people, democrats say, let’s reward them. Sick, evil and twisted!

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Oh thats right…we don’t deal with brutal dictators!! Wait…we deal with china…wait…we deal with russia….wait….we deal with viet nam…..wait…we deal with Saudi arabia! GET OUTTA HERE WITH THAT!!!

jstarusa
Guest

We deal with them because of greed, pure and simple. And who wants to bet greed is in this deal too somehow! Lets face it, America is not like it used to be, wasn’t perfect but was the best available, now not so much.

CheetoBuster
Guest
Thanks for bringing that up…..look how big China has become because of our dealings. Their communist regime has gotten bigger and yet the people are still not free. Exactly what will happen with Cuba. How have we benefited from China? We now are below them with our economy, everything here is made in China, jobs lost because of it. Russia, lol…Putin is walking all over Obama and the communist are no longer in control. Vietnam has open free elections. Why do we deal with Saudi Arabia? I certainly don’t agree with it, they are one of our biggest enemies that… Read more »
Uncle Ruckus
Guest

As long as the castro brothers can BLAME america for its economic issues the people will never rise up…plus…I thought you right wing loons believed in capitalism…..send that to CUBA and watch them rise up

CheetoBuster
Guest

I thought you left wing extremist’s believed socialism worked? Why the need for capitalism in a communist country??

Andy Martin
Guest
Why didn’t the Ape In Chief address this? http://www.therealcuba.com/Page11.htm This is a list of fugitives that the FBI believes are currently living in Cuba under the protection of the Castro regime. Some of them have been accused of murder, others of terrorism, air piracy and financial crimes: Victor Gerena (New York) one of the FBI’s Top Ten, is wanted for the 1983 robbery of a Wells Fargo armored truck depot in West Hartford, Connecticut. The FBI says on September 12, 1983, Gerena took hostage two of his fellow Wells Fargo employees escaped with $7 million dollars. Joanne Chesimard is wanted… Read more »
CheetoBuster
Guest

but, but, but…..the cigars!

Andy Martin
Guest

Yep! Just like when JFK stocked up just before he shut the door 😉

Republic
Guest

Urge voters to make decision in 2016 … AmericaIdea for the only GOP 2016 Dream Candidate.

Think of what will be left if you don’t. However, second place being far, far behind, voters have no business going with a Bush, Christie, or even Cruz. Make the right decision. The consequences of not doing so may be beyond what can be imagined by many.

bebe_zilla
Guest

Allen, not too hard to see who is behind this, The president said, at 6:58 of his prees briefing. “Now it will be easier for Americans to go there and buy things and pay for them with their credit and debit cards…………”

gjsmith_62
Guest

Just another example of Obama kowtowing to yet another despot.

What’s changed in Cuba to warrant a change in status? They’re still imprisoning dissidents, run by a despot and hostile to the interests of America.

Then again, what’s Obama ever done that is in the interests of the USA?

Karen Hall
Guest

Between Obama, the Pope and the Castro brothers, I’m thinking “communist birds of a feather…” As a Catholic, I am horrified that the Pope would give his seal of approval to a country that will not allow Christians to practice their religion. As an American citizen, I’d like to know why I no longer have any voice in anything that happens in this country.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Like U Ever HAD A voice

William Haburne
Guest

Thank the Senate and the House of Representatives for shirking their constitutional duty.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

I agree with Rand Paul and the POPE on this one

jaswim
Guest

I can only imagine what other surprises this President has for our country over the next 2 years! If my father were still alive I sure wouldn’t find him asleep in his recliner while watching the news anymore. Just one day I would like to experience a slow news day again.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

I’m looking forward to what he is going to do over the next 2 years!! I enjoy watching you LOONS lose your minds then believe that the REPUBLICANS will do something about it!

jaswim
Guest

I’m not a Republican, just an Independent that will never vote Democratic again, period.

Mac OntheRock
Guest

Look into an alternative plan for dealing with Cuba . Redevelop the GTMObase. Enforce Article IV in the Treaty Of Relations 1934. read more at http://www.gitmofreezone.com