President Obama stated in his inaugural address, “to those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” The Cuban dictatorship has done nothing to unclench its fist.  In fact, it continues to repress peaceful pro-democracy activists, torture prisoners of conscience, and refuses to allow international human rights observers into the country.  Yet today’s announcement by the Administration will provide the Cuban dictatorship with hundreds of millions of dollars annually; the financial resources to further clench its totalitarian grip on the Cuban people.  These unilateral concessions are a serious mistake.

It is my hope that President Obama will not grant any further unilateral concessions to the Cuban dictatorship, and insist upon the three fundamental goals for Cuba enshrined in U.S. law which have long constituted a bipartisan U.S. policy of State:  The liberation of all political prisoners, the legalization of all political parties, independent labor unions and the press, and the scheduling of free internationally supervised elections.