Patterico's Pontifications


Obama’s First Year: U.S.-Cuban Foreign Relations (Updated: Losing Lebanon)

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 6:53 pm

[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.

17 Responses to “Obama’s First Year: U.S.-Cuban Foreign Relations (Updated: Losing Lebanon)”

  1. The most serious consequence of Obama’s feckless foreign policy thus far, is the loss of democratic Lebanon. The Prime Minister, and son of martyred Rafik Harari, went to Syria to pay his respects to his father’s murderers because Obama has changed US policy.

    The Green Revolution is over. And it will not be the last domino to fall from Obama’s actions.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  2. Hugo Chavez did not have very kind words to say about Obama in Copenhagen either. I thought the dirty socialists had melded minds, what with Bill Ayers helping Hugo out with his revolucion and everything. Funny how Hugo’s speech didn’t get much coverage here in the states.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  3. The real question is, did Obama call Castro and tell him, “don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother”?

    chaos (9c54c6)

  4. Mike K,

    Thank you. I hadn’t seen that link and I’ve updated the post to add it. It’s an excellent article about a tragic development.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  5. Just more evidence that Obama does not understand that foreign policy is not about vapid and superficial rhetoric but about national interests.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. Even the one true success during the Obama administration- the victory of those who love liberty in Honduras- was a “failure” of Obama’s foreign policy.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  7. If Bush was all cowboy, then Obama is all. . . well. . . cow.

    JVW (0fe413)

  8. And it seems that he is content for the rest of the world to be the bull.

    JVW (0fe413)

  9. Heh. Or in keeping with your theme, maybe I should say Hay.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  10. if you accept the fact that the purpose of his foreign policy is similar to that of his domestic policy, economic policy, etc, then it all makes sense.

    he hates America, and all it stands for, and is diligently w*rking to do as much damage to it as fast as he can.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  11. Our school had a lot of kids whose parents had come here from Lebanon (Danny Thomas was a big favorite in our neighborhood) and that article about Lebanon makes me sick. Obama can’t even see the damage he does to the United States around the world because he has delusions that people just love, love, love him.

    MU789 (af0809)

  12. Hey JVW, finish your statement.
    “If Bush was all cowboy, then Obama is all. . . well. . . cowshit.”

    Jim (582155)

  13. “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.”

    First time I’ve ever agreed with Castro.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  14. The Cubans will be happier when Obama hands back Guantanamo after the detainees have left.

    davod (bce08f)

  15. As someone who works with Lebanon policy, I just wanted to point out that you have no idea what you are talking about. Hariri’s visit to Damascus has zero to do with the US or Obama. That’s just your American arrogance talking.

    But then again, you wingnuts never know what you’re talking about.

    U. R. Losers (24ddba)

  16. But then again,

    Aw…ain’t that cute. Another anonymous voice from the peanut gallery heard.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  17. I think that the only “Lebanon Policy” this person works with is whether or not to eat a whole package of ma’amoul by himself.

    Crumbs get in the keyboard, U.R.

    Speaking of losers.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

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