For John, BLUF: Overall the President's visit to Cuba was a success. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The Wall Street Journal, and Reporter Kemal Vyas, we have, earlier this week, "Fidel Castro Lashes Out at Obama After Cuba Visit". This is some backwash from President Obama's trip to Cuba, solidifying our opening to the island nation.
Here is the sub-headline:
The 89-year-old former leader offers a written rebuke a week after president’s historic tripHere is the lede plus two paragraphs:
Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro slammed President Barack Obama’s recent visit to the Caribbean island, warning his countrymen to beware of Washington’s sweet talk as both nations embark on a long and uncertain path toward improved relations.Someone noted that this reaction by former President Fidel Castro might be personal:
In a long column published Monday in Granma, the newspaper of the Cuban communist party, the elder Mr. Castro decried Mr. Obama’s call to set aside the countries’ decades of animosity and look to a common future as neighbors.
“One assumes that each of us runs the risk of a heart attack hearing these words from a U.S. president,” Mr. Castro wrote, outlining a long list of grievances including the failed U.S.-backed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. “We don’t need the empire to gift us anything,” he added, touting his economically crippled country’s independence from foreign powers.
Fidel's reaction shows, at minimum, that he was probably furious that President Obama didn't stop by to pay him homage—attention he still dearly craves in his dotage. Then too, he also was probably really angry at younger brother, Raul, bumbling in the joint Press Conference with the US President.I score this as a victory for President Obama, a good foreign policy move.
He probably had fantasies about how he would never have agreed to a showcase Press Conference. Such an event allowed a nationwide TV audience to compare a media savvy US President to work the occasion to give a contrast between the US with the Communist regime in Cuba. After all, FIDEL'S legacy was being contested, in a small part, by the reality of a US President speaking confidently, while his brother acted somewhat cluelessly with regard to how the optics of this event could spiral out of control.
Regards — Cliff