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Earnest Gives Cuban “Journalists” a Proper Lecture

Well, good on Josh Earnest.

I wasn’t writing last week, though I attended this White House briefing, so I’m just getting this to you now.

The White House press Secretary seemed prepared to deal with the presence of a few Cuban “journalists” who were in the briefing room. It kind of set the place abuzz – that real live Cuban journalists were in the house. He had a nice little lecture about freedom for them to take home. I’m sure it will be confiscated at the airport in Havana.

Now, as you and I know, there is no such thing as a Cuban “journalist,” at least not one that would be trusted to come to Washington. These are propagandists for a brutal dictatorship, and they may well be marched to the guillotine with the rest of them should the revolution ever occur which – as President Obama’s opening to Cuba guarantees – it won’t.

The Cuba opening is one on which reasonable people can disagree, of course. I get Obama’s point that 50 years of sticking it to Cuba hasn’t really worked, though it at least drained plenty of billions from the Soviet treasury.

On the other hand, Cuba is just now losing the benefactor that replaced the Soviet Union – Venezuela – and the regime did in fact seem to be facing big financial trouble. But now U.S. money will flow into the coffers of the Cuban oligarchy, ensuring its perpetuation for many more years to come.

And I’d like someone to show me the example of where “engagement” has removed a Communist regime. China, anyone? As opposed to confrontation. Soviet Union, par exemple.

Anyway, here’s the Cuban’s question, followed by excerpts of Earnest’s remarks.

Cuban “Journalist:” Thank you very much. Two small questions. First, do you think that it’s possible to see the scenario in which we will open embassies in Havana and Washington? Is that future a scenario? Is the administration committed to being more respectful of the Vienna Convention towards the behavior of the American diplomats in Havana? For example, do you think the programs for regime change will go on or not? Do you have any remarks on that?

And on the other way, do you think that President Obama will also use — continue using his executive prerogative to expand the links, the bonds with Cuba?

Earnest: The President believes that greater engagement between the United States and Cuba would bring about the kind of change that we would like to see in terms of the Cuban government’s treatment of the Cuban people. We continue to have significant concerns about the way that the Cuban government all too often fails to respect the basic universal human rights that we hold so dear in this country; that there are too many Cuban political activists, Cuban journalists who see their freedom of speech, their freedom of assembly, their freedom of expression trampled by the Cuban government. That continues to be a source of significant concern not just on the part of the President of the United States, but by a lot of Americans . . .

As it relates to the way in which this change in Cuba will be brought about, I think that’s something that the Cuban people will determine. I think we would hope — and our aspirations for the Cuban people is that they would be able to express their views and even express their dissent in public without fear of retribution.

That’s a freedom that most Cubans do not enjoy at this point. But we’re hopeful that by making a change in this policy, by facilitating deeper engagement between the U.S. and Cuban people, that that kind of freedom of expression will become more common and, most importantly, will finally be protected by the Cuban government in a way that it isn’t now.

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15 Responses to Earnest Gives Cuban “Journalists” a Proper Lecture

    • What a surprise.
      I’m surprised he didn’t have Bill Nye in the wings to reinforce his lecture.

      I wonder if Barry realizes how intelligent people regard him.
      Is the degree of isolation that deep ?
      Or is it the fact that he just doesn’t care ?

  1. I don´t agree here, Keith. I don´t believe in confrontation here.There is no need for it, in my humble opinion. By the way, I have spent some time reading about the Cuba crisis. First, an excellent book by Michael Dobbs and then , an excellent book by Seymour Hersh, ” The dark side of Camelot”. I got something to think about there. So this is the way politics was made ?? Also, a couple of weeks ago I watched a new documentary about Castro, now an old , ailing man but still feisty and talkative. It was Oliver Stones film, very interesting.He probably doesn´t have many fans here but I think he tried to be objective and took a historic approach.

  2. Am I slow–what is the point of this Cuban post–that people asked questions for the questions not the answers to be the news? Hardly new from Cubans or anyone. Was the point that Earnest lectured them on human rights? Just more naivity. If we are so worried about that–why lift sanctions and fix their 57 Chevys? I may be missing the obvious…

  3. Engagement! I will not be traveling there, not because of the citizens, but the obvious. Along with joshi’s long… answer, he should have announced that he will be visiting from time to time.

    • I am still trying to find out what are the rules, agreement in that room.
      I do not want a Jerry Springer scene.
      However when someone talks in circles, and does not answer the questions, they should be able to put their foot down, on behalf of the citizens.
      As a child if I would have answered questions by talking in a circle, she would not have tolerated it.
      Does Joshi have a room he can be sent to, when he is disrepectful? sarc.

          • If they would put their foot down and confront Josh, they would no longer have a pass to get in there.

            The people that comment on this site probably wouldn’t last 1/2 hour.
            We would be evicted, and our access denied.

            When he starts this never ending monotonous drone that he subjects us to, someone should stand up and stop him.

            Of course, that would be an affront to his elevated position in the Obama administration, and you will be be castigated for your arrogant display of disrespect.

          • I understand and agree that they would be out the door. I am just insulted by his rattling on and on. Saying everything he can, except answering the question. Point-Blank. Harf is another one that has not given the Ameriacan people, and the reporters any respect. Of course she got promoted for that.

  4. The Castro regime will keep doing the same things the’ve been doing. As someone who livedin Cuba until1961 and returned for a two-week visit, there’s no future in that prison.

  5. Why the lecture? Obama is giving Cuba what it needs to continue the inhuman rights communist regime. Obama wishes he could treat America like Castro does thats why the free pass to Cuba. to continue the communist regime. ObamA ]is a communist also, thats why the sympathy and friendship towards Cuba. What a moron!

  6. […] Earnest gives Cuban “journalists” a proper lecture . . . The White House press Secretary seemed prepared to deal with the presence of a few Cuban “journalists” who were in the briefing room. It kind of set the place abuzz – that real live Cuban journalists were in the house. He had a nice little lecture about freedom for them to take home. I’m sure it will be confiscated at the airport in Havana. White House Dossier […]