As the end of his term draws near, it looks like Obama’s got a small case of senior-itis. While the rest of the government is “hard at work,” he and his family are taking a trip to Cuba!
As with all great leaders, the question of their legacy is an interesting one. For Obama, at the absolute least, he will get to be remembered as the first president in 90 years set foot on Cuban soil. “I tried to give Americans healthcare, and they hated it. Screw this, I’m going to the beach.”
Air Force One will be landing in Havana for a three day trip to the island nation. While he and his family will be touring Havana, Obama will also be giving speeches on a rather important issue: Cuba’s record on human rights. As you can guess, it being a communist country, Cuba has a less-than-stellar record. In fact, several protestors were arrested in Havana the same time Air Force One was landing.
Still, President Obama will speak with Cuban leader Raul Castro, leaders of people in opposition to the government, and will give a televised speech to the people of Cuba itself, where he plans to discuss the need to improve human rights.
‘For more than 50 years, we tried a strategy of saying, well, why don’t we just try to ignore the Cubans and see if they change their mind on their own. Not surprisingly, that strategy didn’t really work very well, so we’re trying a new approach,’ White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Friday.
Earnest said: ‘The President of the United States is going to get on Air Force One, he’s going to fly to Havana, Cuba, and he is going to sit down with the leader of Cuba and say, you need to do a better job of protecting the human rights of your people.
‘He’s going to give a speech to the Cuban population, to the Cuban people, one that will be carried on TV, according to the Cuban government, where the President will advocate for better respect for human rights.
And while he’s in town the president will ‘visit with people who have previously been victimized by the government, and encourage them to continue to fight for the kinds of universal human rights that we deeply cherish in this country’.
‘That is effective advocacy for American values,’ Earnest added. ‘That is effective advocacy for the kinds of principles that we cherish in this country and in our government. And it is, by the way, an approach that is strongly supported by the vast majority of the Cuban people.’
I don’t know… Sure, fighting for improved human rights is good and all, but I still think this is just the equivalent of skipping class. It’s Obama’s senior year, he’s gonna be graduating anyway, why not go out and party a little? And if it happens to add to his legacy while he’s at it, more power to him!