Gov. Terry McAuliffe is currently visiting communist Cuba
to sample the local vintage on an economic development trip promoting Virginia businesses. For instance, the governor is addressing the situation in which Cuba imports Virginia pork products, but only after they have been trucked down to Florida for shipment. McAuliffe would rather establish a direct tie, via the Port of Virginia. This, among other goals, is laudable.
What’s not laudable is McAuliffe’s affirmative intention to not make any statements on behalf, or to even try to visit, any of the thousands of Cubans who are political prisoners or victims of political violence at the hands of the Castro dictatorship. For one newly-elected member of the Virginia House of Delegates, that is simply unacceptable.
From the Washington Post:
Del.-elect Jason Miyares, the first Cuban American elected to Virginia’s General Assembly, called on McAuliffe to spend time with the Ladies in White and others at odds with Cuba’s communist regime. Miyares’s family fled the country in 1965.
Miyares makes the point that McAuliffe has decided “to ring in the new year in the only non-democratic nation in the entire Western Hemisphere,” and that as such, “perhaps he should keep in mind the thousands of dissidents that are harassed, beaten and imprisoned each day in Cuba simply because they yearn for freedom.” McAuliffe has, of course, refused to any such thing, essentially saying through spokesmen that he is not going to do anything that might upset the island nation’s masters as he tries to lure their cash to Virginia.
In fairness, other Governors have done the same thing, but that doesn’t make it right. The man who currently holds the same office Thomas Jefferson once held should know better than to countenance dictators and political oppression. In case you think this isn’t a cause worth highlighting, check out the Ladies in White that Miyares referenced.
McAuliffe has nonetheless refused. Next stop on the Governor’s travels beyond Virginia? Iowa, where this Saturday and Sunday he will be stumping around the state for his good pal, Hillary Clinton. Needless to say, paying any attention to the Cuban advocates for freedom would be just a tad bit embarrassing for a woman who was Secretary of State in an administration whose Cuba policy has amounted to little more than coddling the Castro brothers.
Hats off to Delegate-elect Miyares for calling out McAuliffe on this! We’re looking forward to more of the same as he begins his service in Richmond next week.