It took a new president and three years for the U.S. government publicly designate Cuban strongman Raul Castro and his family, banning them from ever entering the U.S. for “his involvement in corruption and gross violation of human rights.”
How was this even an issue?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement this week, prompting Senator Marco Rubio (R), a political nemesis of the Castros, to remark about the Trump administration’s decision.
Rubio pointed out that Castro has aligned himself, and backed terrorist organizations such as the Colombian groups, ELN and FARC, not to mention his and his government close tie with Venezuelan Dictator Nicholas Maduro.
“Entrance to the United States is a privilege that should be denied to any murderous dictator. Raúl Castro’s involvement in grotesque human rights violations and his complicity with terrorist organizations including the ELN, the FARC, and his link to the Maduro regime evidence the threat he poses to the United States. I welcome the Administration’s decision to revoke the admission of Castro and his immediate family members.”
Pompeo’s letter directly implicates Castro with Maduro’s human rights violations in Venezuela, including being the root cause for that country’s humanitarian crisis.
“As First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, Raul Castro oversees a system that arbitrarily detains thousands of Cubans and currently holds more than 100 political prisoners. As General of Cuba’s Armed Forces, Castro is responsible for Cuba’s actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela through violence, intimidation, and repression. In concert with Maduro’s military and intelligence officers, members of the Cuban security forces have been involved in gross human rights violations and abuses in Venezuela, including torture.
Castro is complicit in undermining Venezuela’s democracy and triggering the hemisphere’s largest humanitarian crisis, forcing 15 percent of the Venezuelan population to flee the country and precipitating a food shortage and health crisis of unprecedented scale in this region.”