Congressional Black Caucus members praise Castro
Key members of the Congressional Black Caucus are calling for an end to U.S. prohibition on travel to Cuba, just hours after a meeting with former Cuban president Fidel Castro in Havana.
“The fifty-year embargo just hasn’t worked,” CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Ca.) told reporters this evening at a Capitol press conference after returning from a congressional delegation visit to Cuba. “The bottom line is that we believe its time to open dialogue with Cuba.”
Lee and others heaped praise on Castro, calling him warm and receptive during their discussion. But the lawmakers disputed Castro’s later statement that members of the congressional delegation said American society is still racist.
“It was quite a moment to behold,” Lee said, recalling her moments with Castro.
“It was almost like listening to an old friend,” said Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Il.), adding that he found Castro’s home to be modest and Castro’s wife to be particularly hospitable.
“In my household I told Castro he is known as the ultimate survivor,” Rush said.
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Ca.) said Castro was receptive to President Obama’s message of turning the page in American foreign policy.
“He listened. He said the exact same thing” about turning the page “as President Obama said,” said Richardson.
Richardson said Castro knew her name and district. “He looked right into my eyes and he said, ‘How can we help? How can we help President Obama?'”
President Obama vowed during the 2008 presidential campaign to loosen the longstanding travel embargo on Cuba, and Lee – who has been pushing for an end to travel and trade restrictions for some time – said now was as good a time as any to change the way the two countries did business.
There is now serious momentum in long-standing efforts to overturn the nearly five decade ban on travel and trade with Cuba. Previous efforts have been blocked by a vocal and influential Cuban American community, and former President Bush’s veto threats on legislation to overturn the prohibitions have kept such proposals at bay.
In a statement following the meeting today, Castro said that the delegation had expressed to him that a segment of American society “continues to be racist,” and is at least partly to blame for the travel restrictions.
But the delegation this evening said those remarks were not expressed in the meeting.
“That did not happen,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), told reporters.
From another article, the disgusting US bashing from our own Senators, continued.
“For the past 50 years, the United States has been swimming in the Caribbean Sea of delusion,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., who described the United States as “the isolated nation” compared to European countries which have diplomatic ties with Havana.
“This is the dawning of a new day,” Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., declared. “Fifty years of foolishness is over. It’s time for the children to sit in the corner and the adults to take over.”
Rush was one of three members of the delegation to meet with Fidel Castro. A meeting with his brother, Cuban leader Raul Castro, took place Monday.
Tuesday afternoon, the Cuban government released a statement that it indicated was Fidel Castro’s assessment of a session he had with the lawmakers. In the statement, Castro said that one of the Members of Congress told him that the United States should “apologize” to Cuba. And another lawmaker told the former leader that despite the victory by President Obama, U.S. society is still “racist.”
Senator, former Black Panther? Bashing the US, come now.
Rush indicated that it was time for Washington to remove Cuba from the list of terrorist nations. Rush dismissed Cuba as a security threat to the United States. He said that when he was a member of the Black Panthers in the 1960s, former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover warned that his organization as “the number one threat to national security.
“So I know foolhardy approaches and asinine labels when I see them, ” said Rush. “American people need to be told the truth and they have been lied to for too long about the threat from Cuba.”
Opening a dialogue is one thing, but as Obama’s foreign policy seems to include self-flagellation at the hands of Democratic Congressmen, this new policy serves only to weaken this nation in the face of it’s enemies. The Democrats seem to have an incredible gift for this, and it’s only becoming more evident every time a Democratic “delegation” ventures forth to unzip our fly in yet another enemies face.