Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Showing posts for "Democracy and Human Rights"

Castro 200, Obama 0: While Talks Continue, Beatings Continue

by Elliott Abrams

When President Obama junked 60 years of U.S. foreign policy to seek a rapprochement with the Castro regime in Cuba, he was aware that he would be accused of ignoring human rights. After all, the Obama administration got next to nothing for the concessions it made to Cuba, and from all accounts did not bargain hard for more. So the administration took the line, right from the start, that its actions would help human rights in Cuba almost automatically. Read more »

A Sad Anniversary as Iran’s Brutalization of the Baha’i Continues

by Elliott Abrams

This week marks a landmark in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s crimes against that country’s small Baha’i community: Seven years ago this week the regime imprisoned seven peaceful Baha’i leaders. What is the true nature of Iran’s clerical regime? The answer is visible in its continuing brutal treatment of this religious minority, just 300,000 people in a nation of 70 million—less than one half of one percent of the population. Read more »

The Morsi Death Sentence

by Elliott Abrams

An Egyptian court has sentenced Mohammed Morsi and about 100 others, including other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, to death. Carrying out those sentences would be a huge mistake.

The sentences have been denounced widely because Egyptian courts these days are not independent, nor do they follow what we would call due process. Those are good enough reasons for eschewing the death penalty. So is the fact that he was the democratically elected president of Egypt. Read more »

Leopoldo Lopez, Democracy, and the 2016 Presidential Race

by Elliott Abrams

Today at the Council on Foreign Relations we hosted Lilian Tintori, the wife of the Venezuelan political leader—and political prisoner—Leopoldo Lopez. With her were Lopez’s father and mother, and his five year old daughter. They are in Washington campaigning for his freedom, and for the freedom of all Venezuelans. For fifteen months Lopez has been jailed by the Maduro regime on ludicrous, trumped-up charges after a phony, fixed trial. He remains in a military prison. His true crime was be an elected mayor and a leader of the opposition, and far more popular than Maduro. Read more »

Reminders About Iran

by Elliott Abrams

During the three-month period between April 2 and June 30, Iran and the P5+1 are supposed to negotiate a comprehensive agreement about Iran’s nuclear program. The United States has been careful not to exacerbate relations with Iran, with the Obama administration trying hard not to upset any apple carts. The theory seems to be that there are hardliners in Iran (who are just like our own hardliners, the administration appears to believe) and we mustn’t annoy them. Read more »

Gov. Cuomo Visits Cuba, and What Could Be Wrong with That?

by Elliott Abrams

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, right, talks with Cuba's Josefina Vidal, director general of the U.S. division at Cuba's Foreign Ministry, left, and Gustavo Machin, Cuba's deputy chief of North American affairs, center, before a meeting with Cuba's Minister of Foreign Trade Rodrigo Malmierca at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba, Monday, April 20, 2015. (Ramon Espinosa/Courtesy: Reuters)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, right, talks with Cuba’s Josefina Vidal, director general of the U.S. division at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, left, and Gustavo Machin, Cuba’s deputy chief of North American affairs, center, before a meeting with Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade Rodrigo Malmierca at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba, Monday, April 20, 2015. (Ramon Espinosa/Courtesy: Reuters)

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Yemen and Gaza: Why the Different Reactions?

by Elliott Abrams

The Washington Post reported this today:

An airstrike killed dozens of people Monday at a camp for displaced people in northern Yemen, in what appeared to be the single deadliest attack since a Saudi ­Arabia-led coalition sent warplanes to target Shiite insurgents advancing across the country. Read more »

The Cuba Score: Obama 53, Castro 492

by Elliott Abrams

As part of the Obama administration’s deal with the Castro regime in Cuba, Castro agreed to release 53 prisoners. This was not quite the concession that it appeared to be, for some of the prisoners had already been released and the release of the rest had already been promised to Spain. Sen. Robert Menendez noted that “Some of the 53 were released well before June, before the list was supposedly put together,” he said. “As a matter of fact, 14, to be exact, were released six to eight months before the December 17 announcement. One was released over a year ago.” Read more »