To listen to Barack Obama, you'd think his "opening to Cuba" was bringing about the budding of a beautiful red rose....
....but the reality is a wee bit....warmer.
Too bad you can't ask the three pro-democracy activists (and gentlemen) above who took The One's "diplomatic initiative" as a cue to kick off the peaceful Rose Revolution, as the Castros have had them quickly and summarily jailed:
Cuban police have "detained" at least three leading dissidents ahead of a planned free-speech demonstration in the Plaza de la Revolución.
The arrests of Antonio Rodiles, Eliezer Avila and Reinaldo Escobar look set to be the biggest test yet of diplomatic relations with the U.S. since they were restored earlier this month after fifty-three years of tension.
The crackdown came around lunchtime on Tuesday, just hours before local performance artist Tania Bruguera was due to stage an open-microphone event in Havana’s most politically sensitive square.
Police had denied Bruguera a permit for the “Yo tambien exijo,” [I also demand]” demonstration and warned activists not to participate, but several had indicated their willingness to participate in this test case for public dissent.
The authorities did not give them a chance.
Maybe Señors Rodiles, Avila, and Escobar were attempting to demonstrate to O that embracing the Castros will not "open up" Cuba but only prop up the communist regime and sell the poor, enslaved Cuban people down the proverbial river. You have to admit that this is more than a little embarrassing to the White House to have his new buddies in Havana very publicly crush a pro-democracy demonstration barely two weeks after his much-ballyhooed, tiresomely overhyped, slavishly bow-filled "diplomatic breakthrough". It's almost as if they don't fear us or "international isolation" at all - perhaps the preceding fifty-five years should have been a good clue - and are possessed of an overweening confidence that the Obamerikastani monarch doesn't give a damn what they do to their own subjects, but is rather taking notes for after his own coup de tat.
Will Red Barry interrupt his Hawaiian occupation to even put on a jacket, come before the hastily assembled press jackals, and deliver an empty, lecture-y condemnatory statement? Are you kidding? He's probably so zonked on Cuban choom that he's sleeping it off in the bunker on the sixteenth green at