|President Obama does the wave with Raul Castro at a baseball game in Cuba|
|Trade peaked under Bush in 2008 and began a steady decline under Obama|
In spite of pandering to the dictatorship trade between Cuba and the United States has imploded under the Obama Administration. Peak year of U.S. trade in goods with Cuba was 2008, the last year of the Bush Administration. The two worst years in trade are the ones following the new Cuba policy launch in December of 2014. All of the details are available at the U.S. Census Bureau. The Cuban economy contracted in 2016 and at the same time military control over it has expanded.
|Source: Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional (CCDHRN)|
Meanwhile the human rights situation in Cuba has deteriorated with 2016 finding new prisoners of conscience behind bars and 9,940 politically motivated arbitrary detentions over the course of the year. There is a need to provide some context. In 2009, the first year of the Obama Administration, there were just 869 arbitrary detentions documented. During the eight years of the Obama White House there has been a more than eleven fold increase in politically motivated arbitrary detentions with 2016 being the worse. Religious repression escalated in Cuba in 2016 including the beating of pastors, the confiscation of Churches and some demolished by the dictatorship. President Obama claimed that he would only go to Cuba if there was an improvement in human rights. Despite the decline he went anyway in March of 2016 and helped to legitimize the Castro dictatorship.
|Three of the newest prisoners of conscience in Cuba|
|Victims of state violence in Cuba|
|Some of the Cubans killed by the Castro regime over the past eight years|
The Obama Administration's Cuba policy marginalized dissidents and downplayed human rights as issues in Cuba favoring business opportunities with the Castro regime. The end result of this "new" policy was not surprisingly a worse human rights situation in Cuba and a decline in trade between the two countries.