White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama would not send an official delegation to the funeral or attend himself, Politico reported.
However, according to CBS chief White House corespondent Mark Knoller, he will send Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, who serves as the chief U.S. diplomat in Havana, to the memorial service.
This announcement was disturbing and falls in line with his stance on Cuba that he has shamefully tried to cloak as the strengthening of ties between the U.S. and the island nation.
WH clarifies. @rhodes44 and Amb DeLaurentiis representing US at Castro memorial service tonight. But no official US delegation to funeral.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 29, 2016
Earnest spoke about the indefensible move by Obama: “Obviously, so much of the diplomatic relationship with Cuba is quite complicated. We continue to have some significant concerns about the way the Cuban government operates, including protecting the basic human rights of the Cuban people.”
Concerns so significant that you send two administration officials to a memorial service for the man almost single-handedly responsible for the Cuban people’s immense suffering for so long. There’s nothing complicated about it — it’s simply disgusting.
Earnest called Rhodes the “principal interlocutor” in Obama’s plan to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations that has spat in the face of all the Cuban people who have suffered and continue to suffer under communist dictatorship.
Rhodes and DeLaurentis’ presence at the brutal dictator’s memorial service was described by Earnest as an effort to “show our commitment to an ongoing, future-oriented relationship with the Cuban people..”
Yes, to show them that if enough time goes by, the U.S. will back down in the face of horrific human rights abuses and suffering at the hands of a ruthless man who our president sees fit to pay respects to via two administration officials.
Ambassador Mary Mel French, a former chief of protocol for the Clinton administration and author of the book “United States Protocol: The Guide to Official Diplomatic Etiquette,” said of the protocol in regard to funerals: “We do not have to send an official delegation to any funeral.”
She added, “But it does seem to me that President Obama has chosen a very respectable way to have our country represented.”
It’s too bad she didn’t stop after the first comment — but then again, she did work in the Clinton administration, so respectability is probably not her forte.
There’s nothing respectable about sending U.S. administration officials to pay respects in any way to Castro, a man who terrorized his nation and antagonized the U.S. for decades years.
Once again, Obama showed his true colors, and thankfully there’s only a few weeks left before he’s out of the White House and back to community organizing — officially that is.
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