After the Congressional Black Caucus recently visited Cuba -- and met with it's ailing leader Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul -- America's emotions ran high. In districts where the Cuban population is prevelant, it was even more obvious. Adding to the controversy surrounding the trip, in which several members praised Fidel Castro's friendliness, President Obama recently announced a financial cooperation with the Cuban government, including a relaxation of financial and travel restrictions to the country.
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL) knows well the concerns of citizens in his district. He chided the President for offering this cooperation, calling the concessions a "serious mistake."
"[It] will provide the Cuban dictatorship with hundreds of millions of dollars annually; the financial resources to further clench its totalitarian grip on the Cuban people," said Diaz-Balart on The Hill's Congressblog.
It is my hope that President Obama will not grant any further unilateral concessions to the Cuban dictatorship, and insist upon the three fundamental goals for Cuba enshrined in U.S. law which have long constituted a bipartisan U.S. policy of State: The liberation of all political prisoners, the legalization of all political parties, independent labor unions and the press, and the scheduling of free internationally supervised elections.