Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Will Obama Administration Cuba policy legacy project throw Clinton under the bus?

Will President Obama's move to name an Ambassador to Embassy in Havana hurt Hillary Clinton in Florida?

Will President Obama's announcement cost Hillary Florida?
42 days before election day President Obama made a fateful decision that could impact the outcome of the Presidential election in Florida when he announced yesterday afternoon that “Today, I am proud to nominate Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis to be the first U.S. Ambassador to Cuba in more than 50 years." 

Cuba, so far this election cycle has not been high on the radar, but with this announcement the Obama Administration's controversial Cuba policy will be debated and at a time when polls indicate that the race in Florida is tightening the Cuban American vote could be decisive in swinging the state and its 29 electoral votes.

Lets review for a moment some of the outcomes of the Obama Administration's Cuba policy:
1. Dissidents murdered by the dictatorship within a worsening human rights situation. 
2. Trade between the United States and Cuba has collapsed under the Obama Administration to levels not seen since 2002. 
3. Castro regime power and influence projected further into Latin America with devastating results in Venezuela and Nicaragua. 
4. Mass exodus from Cuba with tens of thousands of Cubans fleeing the island because they see that the Castro regime is being assisted by the White House in a generational succession of the Castro family. 
5. Military and Castro family further expanding control over the economy. 
6. Discrimination against Cuban American by American corporations trying to satisfy demands of the Castro dictatorship. 
7. China, North Korea, Russia and Iran strengthening ties with the Castro regime to levels not seen in years. 
8. Cuba seized a U.S. Hellfire missile in 2014 while secret negotiations were underway and refused to return it until the Wall Street Journal broke the story in early 2016.  
This is most likely the reason why Donald Trump reversed his support for the Obama Cuba policy on September 16, 2016 describing Obama's deal as "one-sided" and benefiting "only the Castro regime," and met with Cuban American and Venezuelan American leaders in Miami yesterday promising results in improving the situation in Cuba and Venezuela with a smarter and more assertive American foreign policy under a Trump administration. 

President Obama could have nominated DeLaurentis after November 8th and avoid heightening the focus on his Cuba policy in the Cuban American community and potentially harming Hillary Clinton. Bendixen-Amandi polls and the FIU Poll with dubious methodology have tricked more than one politician into believing that the Cuban-American community has changed and that backing a policy that legitimizes the Castro regime while human rights worsen on the island will not reflect negatively their support.

President Obama did not take that chance when he was running for the White House in 2008 and 2012 but is apparently willing to risk Hillary's prospects in 2016.

The number 42 was revealed by the late British author Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker's trilogy to be the answer "to life, the universe and everything," but the joke was that it didn't make sense without knowing and understanding what the question was. 

In 42 days however the Obama White House and the Clinton campaign will have a definitive answer on how Cuba policy impacts the Cuban American vote and in a tight race the outcome may not lead to much laughter or celebration in either quarter.

Meanwhile the debate begins:

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