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"

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 »

Castro Mocks the American Outreach

by Elliott Abrams

The efforts of the Obama administration to ‘normalize’ relations with Cuba have been mocked this past week.

The U.S. Southern Command holds an annual regional security conference. For decades one of its main purposes was to protect the region against Cuba, but this time the Obama administration made sure that Cuba was invited to attend. The conference was held at the very end of January. Read more »

Cuban Political Prisoners Measure the Impact of Obama’s Cuba Policy

by Elliott Abrams

This past week marked the anniversary of President Obama’s new Cuba policy.

That policy is failing to produce any human rights improvements in Cuba. So this week, 126 Cuban former political prisoners–who together have served 1,945 years in Castro’s prisons, wrote a letter to Mr. Obama about his policy. It was delivered to the White House by Ernesto Diaz Rodriguez, a former political prisoner and poet who spent more than 22 years in Cuba’s prisons. Read more »

The Sad Case of Lori Berenson

by Elliott Abrams

Twenty years ago Lori Berenson, a young American, was convicted of assisting a terrorist group in Peru in a plot to assault and seize the Congress in Lima. Soon she will be coming home, her sentenced served.

In The Weekly Standard, I discuss this old case and the likely treatment of Berenson as a martyr and heroine. But all the evidence suggests she did assist the Tupac Amaru group, which both the United States and the EU viewed as a terrorist organization and which committed many acts of violence. There is a certain sadness about this life ruined by a commitment to an ideology that made Berenson back terrorists, but that does not make her someone to admire or honor. The full text of the article appears at the Standard web site here.

The Sandinistas Attack the Miskito Indians–Again

by Elliott Abrams

The hostility between the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast was sharp during the 1980s, and many Indians joined the contra effort against that regime. They wanted little more than to be left alone, but the Sandinistas wanted to conscript them into the revolution. To the Marxist Sandinista leaders they were relics of a pre-capitalist age, and had to brought into 20th century Stalinist reality. 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 »