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Trump’s Cuba restrictions are a needed message on human rights

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If there’s one thing I’m actually very happy with about President Trump, it’s his mostly consistent message on human rights. While President Obama talked the talk and did his liberal virtue signaling thing on freedom and basic human rights, he was woeful on walking the walk–most liberals are because of their confusion on mutually-exclusive “intersectional” causes. (For example: Islamophobia and transphobia, or women’s rights and Palestinian activism.)

Trump has no such confusion. He deals with China, and tells them to their faces that they’ve got an abysmal problem with freedom. He admires Vladimir Putin while recognizing that his kind of “leadership” carries with it some terrible costs in personal freedom.

When it’s necessary, Trump takes on the brutal dictators and doesn’t let them off the hook with platitudes. He’s done it with Mahmoud Abbas (after naïvely believing the PA isn’t paying and raising up terrorists). He’s done it with the UN through Ambassador Nikki Haley.

And now he’s sending a message to Cuba, dialing back some of the dictator-love Obama showed to the brutal Castro regime. Good.

Trump will sign a directive requiring the Commerce and Treasury departments to issue regulations spelling out the travel and business restrictions. Enforcement will take effect once the regulations are finalized. For example, someone heading to Cuba next week on an individual people-to-people visit and self-certifying that it is for educational reasons could still go.

The new regulations will end these individual person-to-person trips and require travelers who meet other categories of allowable travel to keep detailed records. Eliminating the individual travel category is designed to reduce the likelihood of tourism travel — a type of economic activity banned by the U.S. embargo and a combination of sanctions against Cuba, the officials said. The travel records would be subject to federal audits.

These changes aren’t just to punish Cuba. They are specifically to push the Cuban regime to make real changes.

 

  • Deny U.S. dollars to the Cuban government.
  • Increase pressure on President Raul Castro to end human rights abuse.
  • Allow free elections.
  • Free Cuban political prisoners.
  • Return U.S. fugitives to the homeland.
  • Institute changes that will convert the government-run economy to one dominated by private businesses operated by Cuban citizens.

The U.S. embassy in Havana and Cuba’s Washington embassy will remain open.

This is probably the best of both worlds. Complete disassociation with Cuba didn’t accomplish anything for 50-plus years. Now that they’ve had a taste of American tourists and cruise ships once again, maybe they’ll have an incentive to take some active steps–if baby steps.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who had input into the new proposed rules, agrees.

“All the pressure comes from American business interests that go to Cuba, see the opportunities and then come back here and lobby us to lift the embargo,” Rubio told the [Miami] Herald. “I’m trying to reverse the dynamic: I’m trying to create a Cuban business sector that now goes to the Cuban government and pressures them to create changes. I’m also trying to create a burgeoning business class independent of the government.”

Around the world, engaging on business, being direct with political leaders and dictators, while maintaining a pro-human-rights stance is one of the best things I’ve seen about this frequently-self-hobbled administration. Keep it up.

 

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Immigration

Allie Beth Stuckey recognizes the cognitive dissonance of many on the left

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Allie Beth Stuckey recognizes the cognitive dissonance of many on the left

We need the wall. This is apparent to anyone who is being intellectually honest about the problem at the border and the infusion of illegal immigrants crossing over every day. Unfortunately, many Americans are not being intellectually honest about the wall simply because it’s being promoted by a President they hate.

If President Obama had tried to build a wall in 2014, every Republicans and most Democrats on Capitol Hill would have supported it. We’d have 1500 miles built by now.

But it’s not President Obama who’s pushing for the much-needed obstruction at the border. Instead, we have President Trump pushing it, and while a very clear argument can be made that be made that he should have demanded the Republican Congress fund it during the two years they had control, he’s pushing for it now and we need it immediately.

The latest controversy surrounding the wall is with his national emergency declaration he announced last Friday. As one might expect, the push back from the left has been rapid and severe. While there are some who are willing to listen to reason, there are plenty who are invoking the Berlin Wall in their arguments against the border wall. Conservative millennial Allie Beth Stuckey expressed her frustration on Twitter.

She’s so right. What the left fails to understand is that comparisons are ridiculous. The Berlin Wall was built to keep people from escaping the oppression of East Berlin. The Mexican border wall is intended to keep people from defiling our nation’s sovereignty.

The problem isn’t that they don’t understand this. It’s that they’re unwilling to disregard the cognitive dissonance that keeps their unhinged thoughts and actions intact while shielding them from the common sense associated with their recognition of the problem and the obvious solution.

 


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Culture and Religion

PragerU: Does race really matter?

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PragerU Does race really matter

Leftwing talk about race frightens Dennis Prager and it should frighten you as well. There is a dangerous precedent being set by the left that is creating division where it no longer exists. Unfortunately, it definitely did exist in the recent past, but modern America generally does not look at race as much of an indicator anymore EXCEPT when the left makes it an issue. This is ironic, of course, because in their quest to supposedly eliminate racism, the left tends to make race a bigger issue than it needs to be.

We hear about cultural appropriations, certain races whose lives apparently matter more than others, and the deconstruction of our nation’s history based upon cultural norms from the time that are no longer acceptable now. Yes, many of America’s first people were racist. Some even owned slaves. Even after slavery was abolished, we experienced racial divides that continued through the civil rights movement all the way into modern times. But today, those divides are no longer as prominent. A black President was elected with a strong number of non-black voters behind him. Congress is more racially and sexually diverse than ever in our country’s history. We have more CEOs of major corporations who aren’t just “old white guys” than ever.

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America is making strong strides to effectively eliminate racial inequality, but the push to keep the divide as wide as possible isn’t coming from the general conservative side of the political aisle. Yes, there are white supremacists who claim a portion of the right-leaning mantle, but they are infinitesimal compared to the standard masses of conservatives who have seen beyond race. The real cultural and racial divides are being perpetuated by the left, and in particular by our leaders from the Democratic Party who cannot have a future if they do not play the race card incessantly.

This video by PragerU shows the stark difference between Dennis Prager and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). As she vies for votes by playing the race card, Mr. Prager calls out the real racism in America that’s coming from the left.

 


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Guns and Crime

6 illegal aliens, rivals of El Chapo, arrested in massive drug sting

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6 illegal aliens rivals of El Chapos arrested in massive drug sting

A massive drug trafficking operation by law enforcement in North Carolina resulted in the arrests of six illegal immigrants with connections to a Mexican drug cartel. The organization, which is a competitor of the Sinaloa cartel made famous by its jailed leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was operating along the east coast pushing drugs ranging from cocaine to methamphetamine.

Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, Raul Rangel-Gutierrez, Regulo Rangel Gutierrez,  Rodolfo Martinez, Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez and Francisco Garcia-Martinez were arrested and tied to the Jalisco New Generation cartel.

“Members of the investigative team believe — based on wire intercepts, surveillance and other facts discovered from the investigation — that Oscar and Regulo transport illicit proceeds, derived from the sales of narcotics, when they travel from Myrtle Beach to Charlotte,” according to federal court documents, as WMBF reported.

My Take

What makes this so concerning is that Jalisco New Generation cartel is known to operate mostly out of Tijuana on the west coast of Mexico, shipping drugs along the porous southern California border. For them to be reaching all the way to the east coast is telling of their influence and reach.

Unfortunately, leftists believe in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s solution, which is to stop drug trafficking by making it harder to cross the border at the ports of entry.

Progressives often refer to statistics that show most drug busts happen at the ports of entry, ignoring the obvious fact that fewer drug traffickers are caught when they breach the border away from ports of entry.

 


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