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 "Latin America"

On the Death of Fidel Castro

by Elliott Abrams

On the death of Fidel Castro my thoughts today turned immediately to Huber Matos, who sadly did not live to see this day.

Matos was a true hero of the Cuban Revolution–and was therefore imprisoned by Fidel Castro for twenty years. Such a sentence was the true measure of the cruelty and vindictiveness of Fidel Castro–and of his fear of liberty for the Cuban people.  For it was when Matos showed his true goal as a revolutionary–the freedom of the Cuban people–that Fidel Castro had him arrested and jailed. Matos emerged from prison in 1979 and joined his family in Costa Rica, and then soon moved to the United States–where he lived until his death in 2014 at age 95. He founded and for nearly two decades led Cuba Independiente y Democratico, an organization that worked for freedom for the Cuban people. Today, I just wish he could have lived to 97. Read more »

Cuba and the American Bar Association

by Elliott Abrams

The motto of the American Bar Association (or ABA) is “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice.”

It should perhaps be revised to “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice, and Travel to Cuba.”  Right now the ABA is sponsoring at least two trips to Cuba–but neither one has anything to do with liberty or justice. Read more »

Nicaragua’s Sad Story Continues

by Elliott Abrams

Nicaraguans go to the polls in a few months, but not for a free election.

A group of Nicaraguan writers, intellectuals, and civil society leaders have written an open letter describing and decrying the conditions under which Nicaraguans will vote.  The key line: they urge their fellow citizens to “reject the electoral farce the ruling group is trying to impose on us. If this farce is finally carried out, the results should be considered null and void.” Read more »

Nicaragua and the Russians–Again

by Elliott Abrams

According to USAID, “with a per capita income of $1,239 in 2011, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.” Moreover, “the average number of years of schooling in Nicaragua is 5.8, the second lowest in the sub-region” and in Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast region, “45 percent of school age boys and 40 percent of girls are not in school, and 25.6 percent of girls and 25.2 % of boys are illiterate.” Read more »

Make Believe About Education in Cuba

by Elliott Abrams

“Cuba has an extraordinary resource – a system of education which values every boy and every girl.”

This is a remarkable statement to make about a communist dictatorship. It is disturbing and disappointing to find it coming from a high official of the Obama administration–Valerie Jarrett. Read more »

Senator Menendez Speaks About the Obama Visit to Cuba

by Elliott Abrams

On Thursday, Sen. Robert Menendez (D, NJ) delivered a long and heartfelt statement on the floor of the United States Senate about Pres. Obama’s  forthcoming visit to Cuba. The entire text is copied below because the remarks are worthy of note. Sen. Menendez believes, as I do, that this visit will weaken the chances for freedom in Cuba because it is organized around embracing the current regime rather than pressuring it for change. Read more »