From Latinos for Tennessee - In the middle of this Christmas season, Latinos for Tennessee is shocked and saddened by yesterday's news that President Obama has decided to fundamentally change the nature of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. Once again, our president has chosen to entirely bypass the nation's legislature and proceed with his own agenda that undermines our country's strength in the global marketplace.
While we celebrate the release of the American prisoner Alan Gross from Cuban prison, we are dismayed that the president would open the door to negotiations with a terrorist regime. This dramatic change in stance sends a message to rogue governments around the world that the US will not stand in strong opposition to lawlessness and oppression, but rather that we have become weak and lax in our fight to preserve and promote democracy. Indeed, this is a sad day in the history of our nation.
Furthermore, while some may argue that the US has been too harsh on Cuba by not allowing diplomatic relations since 1961, in fact, the opportunity to re-establish those relations has always existed; however, the Castro regime has been unwilling to change and allow basic democratic liberties to its citizens. There are no free and fair elections, there are no independent political parties, and there is no free speech. Opponents of the Castro regime live with the fear of being imprisoned, or worse, if they participate in any activities that run counter to the ruling party. It has been the Cuban regime's unwillingness to change that has prevented economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries.