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Obama to Castro: Tell America About its “Shortcomings”

President Obama on Monday made perhaps his most ostentatious show of moral relativism in a presidency long marked by it, inviting Cuban tyrant Raul Castro to lecture Americans about human rights.

Castro, as Cuba’s defense minister beginning in 1959 and then dictator after his brother Fidel stepped down in 2006, is responsible for untold numbers of dead, tortured, maimed, and impoverished Cubans, not to mention the subjugation of the nation under his and his brother’s rule.

But according to Obama, who appeared with him at a press conference in Havana, Raul Castro has something to teach us.

“President Castro has also addressed what he views as shortcomings in the United States around basic needs for people — in poverty in inequality, and race relations,” Obama said. “And we welcome that constructive dialogue as well, because we believe that when we share our deepest beliefs and ideas with an attitude of mutual respect, that we can both learn and make the lives of our people better.”

Obama later added: “I actually welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels that we’re falling short, because I think that we should not be immune or afraid of criticism or discussion as well.”

Obama accepted the standard communist rationale for totalitarianism, that it brings “security” in the form of health care and education. The former is necessary to keep the subjects alive and serving the state, the latter to teach them to obey communism.

“President Castro, I think, has pointed out that, in his view, making sure that everybody’s getting a decent education, or health care, has basic security in old age — that those things are human rights as well,” Obama said. “I personally would not disagree with him … The United State recognizes progress Cuba has made as a nation — its enormous achievements in education, in health care.”

Obama has been flying the moral relativism flag since the first year of his presidency, when during a news conference in Strasbourg, France, he contradicted himself by preaching American exceptionalism while suggesting it was something relative.

“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism,” he said then.

He went on eventually to compare ISIS to the Christian crusaders. Actions like his evenhanded treatment of the Israelis and the Arabs and his willingness to trust the Iranians with a nuclear deal point to a relativist’s inability to perceive the contrast between good and evil.

Obama told Castro the United States will continue to express its views on human rights to the Cubans “as we do wherever we go, around the world,” suggesting that it’s just what Americans do and not something Cuba’s leaders should be particularly upset about. And human rights does not have “to be the only issue we talk about.”

In fact, Cuba is capable of — and has been invited to — a “human rights dialogue” with the United States in which “hopefully we can learn from each other.”

Because we just look at things a little different from each other, that’s all. Nobody’s better, and nobody’s worse.

“The starting point is that we have two different systems,” Obama said. “Two different systems of government, two different economies.” With their different approaches, Obama suggested, the United States and Cuba could cooperate on human rights issues having to do with drugs and human trafficking.

As Obama finished speaking, Castro seized the moment to undermine every argument he had made, angrily denying that there were any political prisoners in Cuba.

“If there are political prisoners, give me a list, right now,” Castro demanded. “What political prisoners? Give me their names, and if there are political prisoners, they will be free by tonight.”

A version of this piece appears on LifeZette.

80 Responses to Obama to Castro: Tell America About its “Shortcomings”

  1. This pathetic excuse for an American, much less the President of the US, should explain why some Cubans risk their lives to leave their homeland if things are so wonderful there.
    His constant complaints about our country give rise to the accusation that he really isn’t an “American”, that he knows nothing about American values or our way of life. He is the outsider who managed to hijack our government with a slick campaign and the complicit help of a once honorable MSM.
    It’s no wonder that a man such as DonaldTrump can connect and inspire so many of our fellow citizens with his constant praise of our country, with his belief that we have been sorely used by the powers that be, and he can right the wrongs we feel so acutely.

    We count the days and hours until we see MrObama leave the WhiteHouse forever.

    • Donald Trump is a whole lotta talk too. Just because he has people riled up with his crazy rhetoric does not mean he is going to be the cleansing wind that blows over DC and “makes America great again.”
      Obama had a lot of slick rhetoric too and a catchy slogan, and look where that got us.

      • I respect your opinion of MrTrump and wouldn’t think of challenging it.
        However, what else do we have now?
        MrsClinton is more of the same, SenCruz has cloaked himself with religious cover, SenSanders- no, and then there’s GovKasich, a whiny old guy who thinks he should be rewarded for all his good stuff.
        We’re stuck. Rock and hard place come to mind.
        I’m going with the “new” guy, how bad could he be.

        • You can challenge all you want. You have a right to your opinion and beliefs.
          I personally find no problem with Ted Cruz’s religious convictions. I am very certain he is smart enough to know that not everybody is going to believe as he believes. And I do not believe he will impose his religious beliefs on others. He is a Constitutionalist which means he would adhere to the 1st Amendment as to all the other amendments.
          I believe our country could stand to be better informed on faith issues. Not government issue of course.
          Lets face it, we are sliding down the slope of immorality at an alarming rate. We have disdained Israel at our peril. We have been driven into the tank by big business in bed with government. I believe Donald Trump will continue along those lines.
          As for the others, they are worthless individuals who admire themselves above all, and are mired in their lust for power.
          And how bad could the new guy be? Very bad, IMHO.

          • C’mon, guys! No need to go back and forth – Trump, Cruz, Kasich….
            Not one of them is going to defeat HRC!
            The handwritin g is on the wall. The Republicans are on life support!

            We need a miracle!

          • The trouble with Cruz is that he is a liar. He lied again today on National T.V. about Trump. He said 10 minutes of insulting and jealous things about Trump in which he said that Trump wanted to get rid of Nato, which is not true. I myself heard Trump say that he wanted to keep Nato but that he wanted to spend less money on Nato? Cruz has lied many times and what kind of president would he be as a Pinnochia liar? His interview with O’Reilly tonight was Cruz just talking and talking and putting down Trump? Finally, O’Reilly said to Cruz, please talk about yourself now, but Cruz didn’t listen to him and just went on talking about how bad Trump was? Cruz sounded like an A hole on the O’Reilly show. He couldn’t shine Trump shoes as an intelligent individual, all he wants is the power and lies trying to get it and stole Dr.Carson’s votes too! Cruz should not be president, he just thinks he’s slick.

        • Veritas–are you calling Kasich a useless individual? I agree with you up until that. The problem is we have no acceptable candidates and no acceptable parties. Kind of a clean sweep.

          • In the end… Trump is a man that has…among his issues (insert whatever you want) he is a person who has made things happen…and is a man of action…. I doubt that 4 brave Americans would die while waiting 8 hours for help that never came…. 19 Trillion in debt – a tax code that discourages capital from coming to our shores… I’ll take a chance on Trump over a lame third term of Obama masked as Billary.

          • It would seem that I am Star.
            I think Ted Cruz is an acceptable candidate.
            Nobody is going to be the perfect candidate.
            As my brother says, we know what we will get with Hillary Clinton, we don’t know for sure what we will get with Donald Trump.
            I guess we have to hope for the best and plan for the worst.

      • veritaseequitas,I’m sick and tired of hearing this comparison of Trump with Obama! O was, and still is after 7 looong years, an empty suit. No accomplishments in his life. None! Trained as a Marxist from birth. A puppet, groomed to invade the White House. Yeah, look where THAT got us.

        srdem65, excellent as always!

        • You may be tired of hearing about the comparison, but I expect you will continue to hear about it. Be glad, since it means we still live in a country with a strong 1st Amendment.
          Trump and Obama do have a lot in common. A very thin skin for one thing, narcissistic behavior for another. A floating set of values for a third.
          Please don’t berate people for not agreeing with you. The exchange of ideas and opinions is still important.

          • Trump is a dirty capitalist — a system that provides you wealth only by making other people happy enough to let go of their own money…. or people who believe that government is there to take from the makers to get to the takers.

            This should be a simple thing for us to understand and see that a capitalist is always better than a statist…

          • To be fair… Trump is — to many — an acquired taste — I’ll wait for you to look over the menu — which will have but TWO choices….and then you too will be ordering a 4 year serving of TRUMP

          • Never happen, Mark. I might be forced to choke on Trump but not voluntarily… And I will be countering him every second of every day if he somehow cons enough people.

          • March 22, 2016, 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm

            Star, Nobody is forcing you to do anything. And if you choke on your vote or if you decide not to vote, that’s entirely on you.

          • Obviously to vote or not vote is my option…Mark said people had to swallow Trump–well, we may have to live under him worst case, but I will never ever in this lifetime respect him or think he is an adequate president. And I will do everything in my power to keep him from killing us all or fomenting hate.

      • x2 And now with Don’s non-interventionist policy, ISIS would get a pass, as far as I can see, to also be “exceptional” should Trump be elected…Can hardly type that it scares me so much. As for Obama inviting some creepy dictator to point out America’s problems …reprehensible. Looks likes Raul won this round–will get Gitmo back so he can lease it to some ne’er-do-wells, tons of aid and “cooperation,” a bunch of Starbucks, and ironically–maybe a Banana Republic or two..

    • Obama has never been American on anything other than paper. His mother was a leftist, his father was a leftist, he was mentored by a leftist, given his political start by a leftist, sat for 20 years in the pews of a raging leftist “preacher”, and is currently but a puppet under the strings of one of the nation’s most dangerous leftists, one Valerie Jarrett.
      Not an American one among any of em.

      • For sure. As I’ve said many times, he was programmed to be what he is now from a very early age, and he been handled and brainwashed non-stop by the worst elements of society every step of the way since then.

      • The red flags were raised when Obama referred to himself as a ‘citizen of the world’…way back when. He never could pass the smell test for me. Not ever!

        **Read an interesting comment this morning on another blog that pointed out the two similarities between Hillary and Obama: Both of their closest advisors/confidentes, Huma and Valjar, are Iranians. At least one is a Muslim – possibly both of them.

        • And when he told the citizenry of the US that he can be whatever we wanted him to be. Like a chameleon. Or a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get!
          Floating sets of morals and values.

  2. Obama standing in front of the picture of Che Guevara reminded me of Jane Fonda posing with the NVA.
    What a foul little man we have had stinking up the WH for the last 8 years.

    • Oh I so agree with you, a foul little man in our White House — he is a hater of America and its people. The day he got elected the first time, I woke up that morning and felt so bad, like I was hoping it was a bad dream. I just knew that he was no good for us and for anyone else for that matter, even that first bad dream day when he was elected the first time. I just knew it, ESP?

  3. What “enormous achievements” has Cuba made in education and health care?
    I know someone who went to Cuba a few weeks past. This person took and shared lots of pictures. The poverty and ruin is terrible.
    For the life of me, I cannot fathom why anyone would want to go there. Any money spent there goes to their corrupt military. I truly think O is trying to glean accolades from anyone who will he thinks will offer words of praise. Sadly for O, Raul shot him down.

  4. We know from simply observing his behavior, and listening to his words, that Obama is not “normal”, not tethered to the American idea, not grounded in the values and principles we believe in and try to live out as best we know how.

    He is a highly radicalized leftist and has been programmed to be exactly what he is since he was a child. He will react to the catastrophe in Brussels in the manner he always reacts to other human tragedies–late, awkwardly, inappropriately, using the wrong words, insincere expression on his face, blaming all the wrong elements of society. No one would be surprised to hear him blame Republicans for the deaths in Brussels, that how distorted his world view is.

    It’s actually a miracle our Nation still stands after 7 years of this man’s atrocities, wrecking ball behavior and presence in the White House. That it does stand, and that it will survive his apostasy, is surely one of Obama’s greatest regrets. He is fooling no one at this point, except himself.

  5. Brussels has been anticipating an attack from the ISIS and jihadists for some time. Obama surely had access to the same intelligence reports the Europeans had about the dangers there. Paris, now Brussels, and who knows where next? Washington, D.C.? Chicago? Los Angeles? Dallas? Atlanta? Miami?

    If he were a real President, Obama would have already flown back to Washington, moved into the Situation Room, gotten properly briefed, put the country on high alert, ordered his security team to beef up their status alert, energized all intelligence agencies, demand to be informed about every development and probe every possibility of harm to protect the nation.

    But, instead, there he is in Cuba all excited about a baseball game.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-shooting-belgium-idUSKCN0TA03H20151121

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/paris-terror-attacks/16-arrested-brussels-prepares-third-day-under-maximum-threat-n467941

    http://evoke.ie/news/brussels-prepare-for-imminent-terror-attack-as-search-for-isis-fugitive-continues

  6. Obama is expecting this “two-way” dialog to make changes here based on the Cuban system. Perhaps he is hoping to increase child prostitution to the levels that they have in Cuba.

    The Dems don’t seem to have much of an issue with the exploitation of children; witness Roman Polansky and the Hollywood liberal “pardon” of his actions against a 13 year old girl. Or, consider Bill Clinton, who hung out at a pedophile island retreat.

    We already have the IRS and other agencies chasing down dissidents in the US, so there may be other areas where we can learn better.

    • And, conversely, we don’t see many news stories and photos of desperate US citizens trying to escape the United States scrambling in leaky rubber boats risking their lives seeking the freedom and safety in Havana. It’s a one way migration

  7. Well let’s see ……there is a Muslim Terrorist attack in Belgium……..The WH speech staff is copying and pasting the same old speech that the Muslim religion is peaceful and “Let me be clear” it is the fault of the Republican Congress!

    What time is Potus’ tee time today?

  8. El Presidente Obama is all puffed up this morning – addressing the Cuban people in little spurts of Spanish. This is his moment! History in the making! Not so fast.

    Obama’s legacy should reflect that reconciliation with Cuba occurred only after Venezuela went belly up and stopped the financial aid to Cuba. Immediately after the death of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s economy crashed, along with oil prices. Cuba was broke! Raul Castro was desperate to reconcile with the U.S. – something his brother, Fidel, never would have agreed to.

    Just as he did with Iran, Obama blew the Cuba ‘deal’. He gave Castro everything he demanded without receiving anything in return.
    ‘Human Rights’? No big deal. It’s just something we talk about wherever we go!

    Obama’s 2008 campaign poster should be plastered all over the Communist Hall of Shame (if there is such a thing), along with Che, the Castro brothers, and Hugo. Traitor!!!

      • Whilst I would love to make some smart-alec comment… I just have to remember the thousands of tortured, terrorized and dead at the hands of Castro and how our president is willing to talk with them.

        My adult daughter mouthed off to my wife and I was able to get the whole family to ’embargo’ her until she apologized. For God Sake’s this president of ours can’t stand up to anyone except that +/-50% of Americans he hates who are not Democrats.

        We need a leader…not a loser

      • Just had a vision of Fidel and Bin Laden – spending their last days in a darkened room, watching old video clips of themselves…and yes, drooling over a bowl of Cheerios, lol.

  9. Marcus, Your comment
    @ 9:42 is so spot on.
    A US President should be doing exactly what you noted.
    Cancel trip, return to WH, get in that Situation Room.
    But that would take a leader, and Obama isn’t one.
    I wonder what other foreign leaders and diplomats think of Obama now.
    Remember when the President of America was thought of as the leader of the free world?
    How far we have fallen.

  10. Meanwhile, in other news, Obama’s brother, George Hussein Obama, is still living in Kenya on one dollar a month and in a box hut. Barry Obama couldn’t even invite him to a baseball game? Maybe he’ll send him a box of Koo-Ban cigars.

    • Cuban cigars.
      Two quick stories.
      JFK , a day or two before the embargo was to take place had Pierre Salinger scoop up about 1,200 Cuban Petit Upmanns, JFK’s smoke of choice.

      • Great story. Gotta plan ahead for these things. ;+}. I’ve had Cuban cigars (You could buy them in Canada all through the embargo, just don’t try to smuggle them back into the US.) and they really are darn good. Something about the soil, climate, growing conditions down there, etc.

  11. I can’t stay quiet any longer Keith. I’ve opted out of forum comments for a year now and today felt compelled to state clearly that this President is as weak and ill equipped person for a role as I’ve seen in my lifetime. The events of Europe and the issues arising from Syria and other former tyrant controlled M.E. countries who this President has toyed with during his presidency lie firmly at his feet. ISIS could only have dreamed of facing such a weak leader and post the red line incident in Syria over chemical weapons usage on civilians Potus has retreated every day on the topic, every day. The tide of migrants now being faced by Europe is largely caused by his failure to provide leadership where he ventured. The minute an event occurred that would air poorly on the Fallon show he backed away and invited another sports team to the WH. Its shameful that we as a people have to endure this type of leadership or lack of, We face a severe threat from ISIS who have had a game plan honed over 1,000 years and cannot belief I’m sure how feeble our attempts to eradicate them are. Meanwhile Potus dreams of designing and playing on his own gold course in Cuba for the rest of his years. Israel is the only country who understands the motivations of Islamic extremists and sure it has bred a right wing in Israel that overshadows the realities faced daily there. But the reality is fearsome and sooner or later Europe will ask of the US to help clear up this mess, US foreign policy is non existent but with very real outcomes this President cares not to consider. The GOP need to wake up that the people are fed up with the padding of personal nests on both sides of politics, we need a leader, let the votes decide and no matter your view of guys like Trump, can he be worse than Obama.