|Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba was |
established in January 2002. (AP)
President Obama is heading to Cuba in two weeks, eager to unveil more travel and trade concessions to the country’s Communist regime. But is he too eager to befriend Fidel and Raul Castro, no matter the price?
Members of Congress fear the president will cave to Cuba’s demand to hand over the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, introduced a bill last week to bar such a giveaway.
Of course, Royce’s bill is likely to face a presidential veto. As a practical matter, the surest way to prevent the president from surrendering Guantanamo is to keep its military detention facility loaded with prisoners. The president can’t relinquish it until it’s empty.
|Fidel Castro and Brother Raul in 1959|
The U.S. has controlled the 45-square-mile property at the southeastern end of Cuba for over a century. When the Castro brothers seized power in 1959, they demanded Guantanamo back. They failed then, but they’re trying again, exploiting the fact that the U.S. now has a president inclined to placate America’s foes.
When Obama initiated a diplomatic thaw with Cuba’s Communist regime, Raul Castro said surrendering the base had to come before “normalizing relations.”
Threats like that tend to make Obama go wobbly. This standoff could turn into a repeat of his disastrous Iran nuke deal.
Already, we’re hearing mixed signals from the administration on Guantanamo.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says that “it’s a strategic location” and “we intend to hold onto it.” But last summer, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “we understand Cuba has strong feelings about” getting Guantanamo back and “I can’t tell you what the future will bring.” Yikes.Read the rest of this IBD op-ed HERE.
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