Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mousetrapping Castro

Americans generally don't appreciate how advantageous it is to have a President who is actually smart. From Politico:

HAVANA — In Cuba, just having a news conference is news. President Barack Obama jokes that he likes news conferences and wants to do more of them, and let them go on longer. That tends to be less the case at the White House than abroad, when Obama’s trying to make a point about a repressive regime by turning to the news media.

He did it in China in 2013 by giving a New York Times reporter a question to President Xi Jinping right after the government in Beijing had kicked out a reporter from the newspaper. He did it in Ethiopia last year, when he forced the journalist-jailing prime minister to stand next to him for a long news conference during which Obama talked about the country’s record on human rights and held forth on American politics.

Monday afternoon here in Havana, he did it to Raúl Castro, right in the Revolutionary Palace, letting him be pressed with questions for the first time — ever — and joining in himself. And not just that: He had to answer for the political prisoners whom the government rounds up almost daily — yet denies even exist.

Cubans watching on state television, which broadcast the whole thing live and in full, had never seen anything like this. Neither has the White House press corps. Or anyone who works at the White House.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/how-obama-set-a-trap-for-raul-castro-221059#ixzz49PCW975y Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook