For Release: March 22, 2016
Contact: Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or cell (703) 477-7476 or [email protected]
Project 21 Black Leaders Condemn Obama Trip to Cuba
"Communism has never worked, can never work and... must be challenged"
"Why is the President cozying up to killers?"
"This president... has pole-vaulted over America's territory of Puerto Rico, which is dying on the economic vine, to play kissy-face with the Castros"
"Cuba gets legitimacy and currency while America gets empty promises"
"Castro turned on us; not us on them"
"Mr. Obama should think before he acts"
"Many members of the Obama Administration are making excuses for this bastion of institutional racism"
Washington, D.C. - Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are issuing strong statements of condemnation about President Obama's trip to Cuba, which continues today.
"President Obama has truly let down America and the supporters of freedom all over the globe with his recognition of Cuba," charged Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper. "Recognizing President Castro and his despotic co-autocrats who make up the Communist party leadership as welcome members of the world's family of nations is bad enough. Appearing on their soil and declaring that Cuba's confiscation of private property and government-controlled economy makes sure 'that everybody is getting a decent education or health care, has basic security and old age, that those things are human rights as well' is beyond the pale."
"Supporting the enemies of America and isolating our friends is not just terrible for America, it sends the wrong signals to dispossessed people all over the globe," Cooper continued. "Communism has never worked, can never work and instead of being appeased, must be challenged. Shame on Mr. Obama."
"President Obama has been humiliated by foreign dictators before, but this trip to Cuba is taking humiliation to a whole new level," said Project 21's Bishop Council Nedd II, the rector of St. Alban's Anglican Church in Pine Grove Mills, PA and an elected Pennsylvania State Constable. "The White House said the president would not travel to Cuba unless there were improvements in human rights. The White House must have thought the Castros would want the visit so much they'd make at least cosmetic improvements, but President Obama guessed wrong: they didn't. But Obama did, so he went anyway, and dissidents were being rounded up even as Air Force One was headed to the island. Some of these 'dissidents' have done nothing more than attend church!"
"Raul Castro has gone out of his way to insult the president, and through him, every American," Bishop Nedd continued. "Heads of state go to the airport to meet important foreign guests. Raul Castro went to the airport for the leader of Iran. He skipped the trip for President Obama. That's a calculated insult."
"President Obama even allowed himself to be photographed in front of a huge memorial to racist Che Guevara," Bishop Nedd concluded. "Would the President allow himself to be photographed in front of a memorial to a KKK or Confederate leader, or any avowed racist here in the United States? Even one who was not a murderer, as Che Guevara was? It's extremely unlikely, but he was willing to do it for the Castros. Why? Why is the President cozying up to killers?"
"What this president is doing in opening relations with Cuba is near treason," said Project 21's Niger Innis, the national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), one of the nation's most famous and influential civil rights organizations. "He does it at a time when the Castro regime has given nothing to the United States, and when its senior patron, Venezuela, is also on the economic ropes."
"It seems the raison d'etre of this president is to make bridges to America's enemies while simultaneously undermining our strongest allies, as he has done to Israel, the Czech Republic, and Poland," Innis continued. "But in perhaps the most glaring effort by this president to undermine America's interest, he has pole-vaulted over America's territory of Puerto Rico, which is dying on the economic vine, to play kissy-face with the Castros."
"Once again, President Obama, being anxious to make history while appeasing America's enemies, looked absolutely foolish yesterday as the Cuban dictator declared in front of him with a straight face that Cuba doesn't hold any political prisoners," said Project 21's Christopher Arps, a Missouri-based political consultant and co-founder of Move-On-Up.org, a 43-state network of conservative and moderate black Americans. "Like Iran, Cuba gets legitimacy and currency while America gets empty promises. This is dangerous diplomacy for America and her allies."
"President Barack Obama desperately wants a clean victory before leaving office," said Project 21's Wayne Dupree, host of the Wayne Dupree Show and founder of the WAAR Media Group. "So far, Obama has been a weak president at best and a complete failure at worst. When I was young, Cuba was the country that allowed Soviet missiles to be stationed there so they could present a mortal threat to the United States of America. Fidel Castro was the communist leader who pointed a gun at us, like the guy in North Korea points one at South Korea. President Kennedy mistakenly trusted and welcomed the ascension of Fidel Castro. Then Castro turned on us; not us on them. People have been fleeing Cuba for 50-plus years. No one should start celebrating yet. Are we to just wipe the slate of history; act as though history doesn't exist? We will be paying billions if we try to bring Cuba up to modern standards of living."
"Obama is trying to get an automatic win here," Dupree continued. "Those of us who remember know we need a lot more from Cuba's communist leadership before we smoke cigars and drink a beer with them."
"Our President is always attempting to make history or be the first to visit a hostile nation or country that is at odds with the USA," said Project 21's Emery McClendon, an Indiana Tea Party activist and past winner of Americans for Prosperity's "Activist of the Year" award. "Mr. Obama should think before he acts because each time that he has done this over his past seven years in office things have not worked out for the better for America. Iran and North Korea are just two examples."
"President Obama's visit to Communist Cuba may indeed be historic in nature, but many members of the Obama Administration are making excuses for this bastion of institutional racism," said Project 21's Kevin Martin, a Navy veteran. "The plight of Afro-Cubans, or 'Mulatos,' has been well documented since the Castro brothers came to power more than 50 years ago. While many liberal activists have built a business of condemning America for its past transgressions of racism against minorities in America, the Obama Administration and these same liberals have taken a hands-off approach to the plight of Afro-Cubans, who are the most oppressed minority on the Cuban Island."
"The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has often praised the Castro brothers and the Cuban socialist system and has repeatedly called for the lifting of the U.S. embargo, while at the same time ignoring the plight of those who look like them," added Martin. "If the president, our liberal elected officials and State Department can condemn other nations, such as Myanmar, Zimbabwe and others for their human rights records, then they need to explain why they have taken a hands-off approach to the plight of Afro-Cubans over the years. This is especially true now, during this historic Presidential visit to the island nation, during the administration's effort to cement normalized relations with Cuba."
Project 21 has been a leading voice of black conservatives since its founding in 1992. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.
Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.
- 30 -