Thursday, January 20, 2022

White House Letter and Reply

 


January 4, 2022

 

 

Dear Mr. McAuliff,

Thank you for writing. Advancing human rights is at the core of my Administration’s foreign policy, and I am committed to holding the Cuban government accountable.  I unequivocally condemned the mass detentions and sham trials of those brave Cubans who continue to stand up and speak out, and I will continue to do so.

The Cuban people have the same right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as all people, and the United States stands with the brave Cubans who took to the streets to oppose decades of repression under a communist regime.   These values are shared across the international community, and my Administration will work to ensure the Cuban regime knows that the world stands in solidarity with the people of Cuba.  Furthermore, my Administration has imposed sanctions targeting elements of the Cuban regime responsible for this crackdown, and we will continue to hold accountable individuals responsible for the oppression of the Cuban people.

As we hold the regime accountable, we are also making sure that Cuban Americans are vital partners in our efforts to provide relief to those suffering on the island.  We are exploring ways to provide internet access, reviewing our remittance policy, and are committed to staffing our embassy in Havana so that we are better able to engage with civil society and the Cuban people.  Additionally, the United States continues to offer doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Cuban people provided that an international organization will administer vaccinations in an equitable fashion.

Communism is a failed system of government, and our Nation will continue to provide unwavering support to Cubans opposing the repressive communist regime.  I promise to work closely with our partners around the region to raise the pressure on the Cuban regime to release wrongfully imprisoned citizens and allow the Cuban people to enjoy their fundamental rights.

Sincerely,

January 20, 2022

 

Dear Mr. President,

Thank you for the reply of January 4th to my message to the White House contact system. 

 Regrettably the content is not appropriate for your Administration.  You are badly informed and served by your staff to let such an embarrassing document go out over your signature.  An identical letter could have been sent by the Trump or Bush Administration. 

 As you celebrate the substantial accomplishments of your first year in office, and reconsider mistaken approaches to enduring problems, please honor your campaign promises and restore the policies you helped to create in the Obama Administration. 

 Responses to your letter:


 1)         “Advancing human rights is at the core of my Administration’s foreign policy, and I am committed to holding the Cuban government accountable.”

 That is a political gloss if not universally applied.  Egypt, Columbia, China, Vietnam?


 2)         “I unequivocally condemned the mass detentions and sham trials of those brave Cubans who continue to stand up and speak out”.

 Your characterizations are correct, but please recognize how prolonging Trump policies on remittances and travel contributed to the protests, detentions and trials.


 3)         “The Cuban people have the same right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as all people, and the United States stands with the brave Cubans who took to the streets to oppose decades of repression under a communist regime.”

 You and the Cuban government accept the over politicized interpretation of the protests that comes from self-promoting dissidents and exile organizations, often funded by our government.  The total failure of protests on November 15th should lead you to question biased views of July.


4)         "my Administration will work to ensure … that the world stands in solidarity with the people of Cuba.”

Many countries that criticized Cuba rejected our statement on the protests.  The world is far more outspoken against our embargo, a deliberate factor in Cuba’s economic distress.


5)         “We are … reviewing our remittance policy”

You could have ended Trump’s bar on humanitarian remittances immediately instead of yielding to a phony narrative from exiles and Sen. Menendez.


6)         “Additionally, the United States continues to offer doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Cuban people”

Cuba is the second most vaccinated country in the world, uniquely from age 2.  Its ability to develop and produce vaccines was slowed by our embargo on equipment and raw materials. 


7)         “Communism is a failed system of government, and our Nation will continue to provide unwavering support to Cubans opposing the repressive communist regime.”

Tell that to China and our legitimately good friends in Vietnam.  I also thought you were against regime change as US policy.


8)         “I promise to work closely with our partners around the region to raise the pressure on the Cuban regime to release wrongfully imprisoned citizens...”

Listen to our partners when they tell you that the sixty year US effort to isolate and force our preferred change on Cuba plays a role in the defensive conservatism of its leaders.  Just as Ukraine resists Russian pressure to conform to its interests, Cuba resists ours. 

If you truly care about release of prisoners, stop righteous rhetoric and negotiate their freedom as took place after the Bay of Pigs, the Black Spring and with Alan Gross.

For that matter do a deal with Russia.  It makes peace with and honors the sovereignty of Ukraine and we do the same with Cuba and both our powerful countries forswear actions that create strategic instability through the smaller neighbor.

Sincerely,

John McAuliff

Fund for Reconciliation and Development

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