Watching the thaw from a Cuban prison cell

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
 | 
Chad Groening, Billy Davis (OneNewsNow.com)

Obama, Castro in Cuba - March 2016A Cuban-born, anti-communist activist says President Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba has failed to help the Cuban people or the United States.

Humberto Fontova, who fled Cuba in 1961, says the situation has certainly changed over the last year since Obama sought to improve relations.

"For the worse if you can imagine such a thing," says Humberto, who writes and lectures about Cuba and its ruthless dictators. 

President Obama's visit to Cuba is the first by a U.S. president since 1928, making it a historic trip by any measure. But the repressive Cuban government was arresting and beating pro-democracy activists just hours before Obama arrived over the weekend.  

Cuban President Raul CastroThose dissents were being rounded up "even as Air Force One was headed to the island," complained Project 21 spokesman Council Nedd II. "Some of these 'dissidents' have done nothing more than attend church."

"Repression of Cubans by the Castro police is at a 15-year high," Fontova tells OneNewsNow. "Cubans have been beaten and jailed at rates unseen in decades."

'Kissy-face' with the Castros

"What President Obama has singularly done is revive the Castro regime and those who believe in far left-wing authoritarianism that crushes civil liberties, crushes dissent, does not allow for a free and open press, and obviously does not allow for a free market economic system.

"Puerto Rico is on its economic last leg; the Puerto Rican people who are born American citizens [and] it's a U.S. territory. And nevertheless he is allowing Puerto Rico to die on the vine while he is single-handedly reviving and keeping alive the Castro regime."

Niger Innis
Project 21

While the Obama administration is boasting about its outreach to Cuba, Cubans have been fleeing the country for the United States in recent months.

"A rising number of Cubans are fleeing for the United States as relations thaw between the two countries," an NBC story explained last month, "not because they think it's easier, but because they're afraid that it will soon get a lot harder."

The country is currently led by Raul Castro (pictured above), brother of the country's longtime dictator Fidel, who is in bad health. The two brothers led a guerilla war that overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista, himself a dictator, before he was deposed in 1959 and replaced by a Communist regime that took over private properties, including churches and businesses, and the press.

Raul Castro joined Obama for a joint press conference Tuesday, where Castro claimed the Cuban government does not have political prisoners.

Fidel victory paradeIf he could be provided a list of their names, Castro told reporters, the prisoners would be released by the end of the day, Politico reported.

Obama's national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, told reporters after the press conference that he had personally shared "many such lists" with the Cuban government.

Council Nedd complained that Obama allowed himself to be humiliated by the Cuban government, since Raul Castro did not meet Obama when he landed Sunday.

The Washington Post reported that Obama was met at the airport by "senior Cuban officials." 

Fontova, who also noticed the snub by the Castros, says the United States has not gotten a single concession from the Castro regime.

"They are still harboring dozens of fugitives, terrorists, on the FBI's 'Most Wanted List; living in Cuba as celebrities, laughing and snickering at U.S. law," he says.

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