[Guest post by DRJ]
Barack Obama promised a new foreign policy that would be more diplomatic and modest. He rejected the cowboy approach of George Bush for a “new era of cooperation.” Foreign leaders like Fidel Castro responded by endorsing Obama as the better candidate because he “far surpasses McCain in intelligence and serenity.”
Less than a year later, the rhetoric from Cuba sounds more like the Bush years than the dreams of his successor:
“Cuba’s foreign minister called President Barack Obama an “imperial and arrogant” liar Monday for his conduct at the U.N. climate conference, a reflection of the communist island’s increasingly fiery verbal attacks on the U.S. government.
Bruno Rodriguez spent an hour and a half lambasting Obama’s behavior in Copenhagen, telling a news conference, “at this summit, there was only imperial, arrogant Obama, who does not listen, who imposes his positions and even threatens developing countries.”
Rodriguez wasn’t the only Cuban voice attacking Obama. Fidel Castro also had harsh words for Obama in recent days:
“Rodriguez’s comments Monday echoed remarks by former President Fidel Castro, who in a weekend opinion column called Obama’s speech in Copenhagen “deceitful, demagogic and full of ambiguities.”
Last week, the elder Castro, who stepped down as head of state in February 2008, wrote that Washington is looking to solidify its control over Latin America and that Obama’s “friendly smile and African-American face” hide his government’s sinister true intentions for the region.”
Think words don’t matter? Consider Cuba’s recent actions that appear to be deliberate provocations:
“Rodriguez would not answer questions about the status of an American citizen who was detained in Cuba on Dec. 5 while working as a U.S. government contractor.
Castro first publicly mentioned the detention Sunday, when he told the Cuban Parliament that the American was arrested for distributing illegal satellite communications equipment.
“The United States won’t quit trying to destroy the revolution,” Castro said, referring to the armed rebellion that brought his brother Fidel to power on New Year’s Day 1959.
“In the past few weeks we have witnessed the stepping up of the new administration’s efforts in this area,” he said, adding that the arrest “demonstrates that the enemy is as active as ever.”
American diplomats in Cuba have requested — but not yet received — Cuba’s permission for consular access to the detainee, whose name has not been released. Rodriguez refused to say whether his office would grant the request.”
Gird your loins, Obama supporters and Americans.
The world Cuba is testing Obama “like they did John Kennedy.”
UPDATE: Don’t miss the first comment by Mike K that links an article about the tragic consequences of Obama’s personal engagement strategy on the emerging democracy in Lebanon.