So how do Americans feel about President Obama’s restoration of diplomatic ties to the top five most repressive government in the world? A crowd of demonstrators gathered together in Little Havana in Miami on Sunday to make sure their dissent was heard loud and clear.
At S.W. 8th Street and 13th Avenue in the famous Miami neighborhood, a crowd made up of mostly Cuban-Americans gathered together chanting, “Libertad!” in solidarity with those who are suffering under the repressive communist Cuba government President Obama has bent over backwards to empower.
CBS Miami reports that among the demonstrators was Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a first generation Cuban-American running for senate, who blasted Obama’s “photo-op” session with the infamous Castro regime. Rather than seeing any reduction of oppression, Lopez-Cantera told the station, “there’s been an increase in oppression, an increase in political arrests and an increase of political beatings against people who are simply seeking to have rights that we take for granted here in America: freedom of expression, freedom of the press, free elections, the end of human rights violations and the release of political prisoners.”
Lopez-Cantera’s point was illustrated perfectly Sunday just hours before the president’s arrival when the Castro regime arrested over 50 members of the anti-Castro “Las Damas de Blanco,” a group composed of wives and family members imprisoned by the government for voicing dissent.
CBS Miami cites another rally participant who said she hoped “somebody talks to Obama about what happened in Havana today,” while another activist said the president’s concessions to Cuba have only made things worse. “The president promised he would visit Cuba when changes were made toward human rights,” said Carlos Puig. “Changes have been made. For the worse.”
According to a new CBS/NYT poll, the protesters in Little Havana represent about a quarter of Americans who oppose Obama’s restoring of diplomatic relations with the infamously repressive communist government. A majority (52%) of Americans support the president’s move, though about the same number say they don’t believe it will actually lead to more democratic policies in the country. Sixty-two percent think that reopening trade with the country will benefit America. As for Obama’s obsession with shutting down the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay: a majority (52%) think it’s a bad idea. Overall, a majority of Americans disapprove of how Obama’s handling the Cuba situation.
Cuba is the top five most restrictive society in the world, with the government tightly controlling access to money, resources, and information. Fewer than 5 percent of Cuban households have access to the internet.