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Obama flip-flopping on Cuba: 2004 supporting normalization - December 2007 against normalization

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agdlp Donating Member (363 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 05:35 PM
Original message
Obama flip-flopping on Cuba: 2004 supporting normalization - December 2007 against normalization
In a 2004 questionnaire, Sen. Obama supported normalization of relations with Cuba:

http://www.iviipo.org/2004queries_primary/Obama-respons...

Q: "Do you support normalization of relations with Cuba?" Obama: "Our longstanding policies toward Cuba have been a miserable failure, evidenced by the fact that Fidel Castro is now the longest-serving head of state in the world. If our isolationist policies were meant to weaken him, they certainly havent worked. I believe that normalization of relations with Cuba would help the oppressed and poverty-stricken Cuban people while setting the stage for a more democratic government once Castro inevitably leaves the scene."

But in a December debate, Sen. Obama revealed that he now opposes the normalization of relations with Cuba:

MODERATOR: Normalize relations, whether or not Fidel Castro isn't... OBAMA: No, but there are two things we can do right now to prepare for that and that is loosen travel restrictions for family members, Cuban-Americans who want to visit, and open up remittances so that they are able to support family members, many of them who are fighting for their liberty in right now. MODERATOR: But for now...OBAMA: I would not normalize relations, but those two things, those two shifts in policy would send a signal that we can build on once Castro's out of power."

http://www.hd.net/brownandblack.html

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sunonmars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. is there anything he has not flipflopped on, no wonder Kerry is with him
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. i prefer a candidate that never changes their mind on an issue
even when there is a changing situation or new information that may make that position not realist or untenable.
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agdlp Donating Member (363 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. So what have changed since 2004 ? Castro hand power to his brother Raul
Well, Castro is deadly sick, his brother ruling Cuba. It would be quite natural to stay on course and normalize the US/Cuban relations.
Oh wait its election and I cant look soft if I win the primary...

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/cuba/cub...

"August 1, 2006
Prepared by: Michael Moran, Robert McMahon


Cuban leader Fidel Castro has made clear his intention to hand power to Raulhis younger brother, defense minister, and heir apparentafter his death. That scenario gets a trial run over the next several weeks as Castro recovers from intestinal surgery. In a letter read on state television July 31, Castro ceded some, but not all, of his powers to his brother (BBC). Castro, nearing his eightieth birthday (Miami Herald), remains very much in control of Cuba. But analysts will carefully watch Raul's stand-in performance. The younger Castro, profiled here by Robert Windrem of NBC News, has stressed the communist party's permanence in recent public appearances.

U.S. officials and many Cuban dissidents and exiles have something different in mind. Temporary or not, news of the transfer of power sparked celebrations (Reuters) in the anti-Castro environs of Miami. Vexed by Castro's regime for forty-seven years, the White House earlier this month reaffirmed a plan to support independent civil society in Cuba, aiming for a transition to "genuine democracy." The Bush administration endorsed a call by a government agency, the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, to spend about $80 million to promote democratic succession. CFR Fellow Julia Sweig's book, "Inside the Cuban Revolution," provides vital context to the situation
"
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jackson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. That is rich coming from an Obamite
This is what supporters of candidates who acknowledge they have a record having been saying to Obamites for a year.
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Nailzberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
4. I want a President that can evaluate new info and change their mind.
That's why Democrats went ape-shit over the whole "flip-flop" attack when it was used against Kerry. We like our leaders to think, Repubs like their leaders to remain committed to a narrow, unwavering doctrine.
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. that bastard changed his mind? the nerve! the gall! the audacity!
the utter stupidity of it all!
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. Can you give a link to a transcript and point to his statement on this?
Someone giving me a link to 2 hours and 41 minute debate doesn't meet my standard of an acceptable source. To hard to get to where you want to go.

Thanks!
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Nailzberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Transcript is a PDF.
http://www.hd.net/transcripts/2007IowaBrownAndBlackForu...

The question is asked on p.41. Obama begins response on 43.
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agdlp Donating Member (363 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Transcript Part 1 page 43 - url provied
Hope this helps :-)
-------------------

http://www.hd.net/transcripts/2007IowaBrownAndBlackForu...

page 43..

MN: (1:28:43) Normalize relations whether or not Fidel Castro is in power?

SB: (1:28:47) Not as long as in fact has his human rights policy but youve got to
compete with it.

MN: (1:28:51) Thank you. Senator Obama?

SO: (1:28:52) No but there are two things we can do right now to prepare for that.
And that is loosen travel restrictions for family members, Cuban Americans who want to
visit and open up remittances so that they are able to support family members, many of
them who are fighting for their liberty in Cuba right now.

MN: (1:29:10) But for right now?

SO: (1:29:12) I would not normalize relations but those two things, those two shifts in
policy would send a signal that we can build on once Castro is out of power
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DianaForRussFeingold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
9. All his positions amount to-- whichever way the political winds may blow
All of a sudden, Obama supporters believe the corporate owned, dis-empowering, talking heads .They only listen to good and anyone who criticizes is shunned by them.
They seem to have unconditional devotion to Obama, and that's, what's scary...

Here's another example--We have absolutely no evidence Obama would have voted, let alone vote NO to WAR with Iraq!
When he actually did have a chance, to vote NO to WAR--
Obama and another candidate (McCain) played it politically safe--
and didn't show up!

"Those who regret their vote five years ago to authorize military action in Iraq should think hard before supporting this approach. Because, in my view, it has the same potential to do harm where many are seeking to do good.

At best, its a deliberate attempt to divert attention from a failed diplomatic policy, said Webb. At worst, it could be read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action, without one hearing and without serious debate. Watch it:
Webb: Lieberman And Kyls Hawkish Iran Amendment Is Cheneys Fondest Pipe Dream
Guess who Obama's mentor was?

Mike Gravel Exposes Clinton &' Obama' on Iran http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3gQfz8GC0o

What Obama Really Means http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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jackson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. Another flip flop. Obama has consistently moved to the right in his career
As the votes he seeks become more diverse and hence include more conservatives and moderates he has moved to the right. Remember he was a state senator in a very liberal district in Chicago. He then represented a blue state, although it was more conservative than his old district. Now he is running nationally and moved further to the right.
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agdlp Donating Member (363 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-29-08 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. 
Our main goal: Freedom in Cuba
Aug. 21, 2007

By BARACK OBAMA

When my father was a young man living in Kenya, the freedom and opportunity
of the United States exerted such a powerful draw that he moved halfway
around the world to pursue his dreams here. My fathers story is not unique.
The same has been true for tens of millions of people, from every continent
including for the many Cubans who have come and made their lives here
since the start of Fidel Castros dictatorship almost 50 years ago.

It is a tragedy that, just 90 miles from our shores, there exists a society
where such freedom and opportunity are kept out of reach by a government
that clings to discredited ideology and authoritarian control. A democratic
opening in Cuba is, and should be, the foremost objective of our policy. We
need a clear strategy to achieve it one that takes some limited steps now
to spread the message of freedom on the island, but preserves our ability to
bargain on behalf of democracy with a post-Fidel government.

The primary means we have of encouraging positive change in Cuba today is to
help the Cuban people become less dependent on the Castro regime in
fundamental ways. U.S. policy must be built around empowering the Cuban
people, who ultimately hold the destiny of Cuba in their hands. The United
States has a critical interest in seeing Cuba join the roster of stable and
economically vibrant democracies in the Western Hemisphere. Such a
development would bring us important security and economic benefits, and it
would allow for new cooperation on migration, counter-narcotics and other
issues.

Advance political reform

These interests, and our support for the aspirations of the Cuban people,
are ill served by the further entrenchment of the Castro regime, which is
why we need to advance peaceful political and economic reform on the island.
Castros ill health and the potentially tumultuous changes looming ahead
make the matter all the more urgent.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration has made grand gestures to that end
while strategically blundering when it comes to actually advancing the cause
of freedom and democracy in Cuba. This is particularly true of the
administrations decision to restrict the ability of Cuban Americans to
visit and send money to their relatives in Cuba. This is both a humanitarian
and a strategic issue. That decision has not only had a profoundly negative
impact on the welfare of the Cuban people. It has also made them more
dependent on the Castro regime and isolated them from the transformative
message carried there by Cuban Americans.

In the Cuban spring of the late 1990s and early years of this decade,
dissidents and human-rights activists had more political space than at any
time since the beginning of Castros rule, and Cuban society experienced a
small opening in advancing the cause of freedom for the Cuban people.

U.S. policies especially the fact that Cuban Americans were allowed to
maintain and deepen ties with family on the island were a key cause of
that Cuban spring. Although cut off by the Castro regimes deplorable
March 2003 jailing of 75 of Cubas most prominent and courageous dissidents,
the opening underscored what is possible with a sensible strategic approach.

We in the United States should do what we can to bring about another such
opening, taking certain steps now-and pledging to take additional steps as
temporary openings are solidified into lasting change.

Cuban-American connections to family in Cuba are not only a basic right in
humanitarian terms, but also our best tool for helping to foster the
beginnings of grass-roots democracy on the island. Accordingly, I will grant
Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to
the island.

But as we reach out in some ways now, it makes strategic sense to hold on to
important inducements we can use in dealing with a post-Fidel government,
for it is an unfortunate fact that his departure by no means guarantees the
arrival of freedom on the island.

Bilateral talks

Accordingly, I will use aggressive and principled diplomacy to send an
important message: If a post-Fidel government begins opening Cuba to
democratic change, the United States (the president working with Congress)
is prepared to take steps to normalize relations and ease the embargo that
has governed relations between our countries for the last five decades. That
message coming from my administration in bilateral talks would be the best
means of promoting Cuban freedom. To refuse to do so would substitute
posturing for serious policy and we have seen too much of that in other
areas over the past six years.

We must not lose sight of our fundamental goal: freedom in Cuba. At the same
time, we should be pragmatic in our approach and clear-sighted about the
effects of our policies. We all know the power of the freedom and
opportunity that America at its best has both embodied and advanced. If
deployed wisely, those ideals will have as transformative effect on Cubans
today as they did on my father more than 50 years ago.

2007 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.miamiherald.com

------------------------

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,165537...

Conventional political wisdom in the bellwether state of Florida has always focused on Cuban-Americans, especially those influential exiles who take a hard line against any U.S. engagement with Fidel Castro's Cuba. Cross them, says the presidential candidate handbook, and say adios to the Sunshine State's 27 electoral votes.

So why would Barack Obama who is scraping to keep up with Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination ignore that seemingly golden rule? Why, in a Tuesday op-ed piece in the Miami Herald, would he challenge the Cuban-American elders and call for dismantling President Bush's hefty restrictions on Cuban-Americans making visits and sending money to relatives in Cuba?

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