By Carol Rushton
President Obama made history recently by visiting Communist Cuba, something that a sitting U.S. president has not done since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. After Air Force One landed in Havana, the president said that his visit was a “historic opportunity to engage with the Cuban people” and he was “looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people” (Daily News, March 21, 2016, “President Obama Lands in Cuba for Historic Three-Day Visit”).
Besides the obligatory photo-ops with Dictator Raul Castro in front of Che Guevara portraits, the president found time to do the wave at a baseball game with American and Cuba pro teams, as if these types of events are de rigueur in this communist country all the time. The First Family stayed at a beautiful mansion, something that the average Cuban making between $20-$30 a month has probably never seen, much less stepped foot in. Between the photo-ops, the speeches, and the lavish state dinner, it is doubtful that President Obama, the First Lady, or their daughters had the chance to “engage with the Cuban people,” especially since the Castro dictatorship conveniently took hundreds of dissidents off the streets and placed them in special rooms with bars – called jail cells – before the president of the United States arrived.
In the late 1990s my father, Rev. Noah Hutchings, traveled with a minister friend to the Castro brothers’ communist paradise to deliver medical supplies to some of the hospitals on the island. My father related to me his account of the trip after he returned to the U.S.
My dad said the hospitals in Cuba did not have any windows. The hospital beds had no sheets. The doctors and nurses had no medicines to give their patients, not even aspirin. The hospitals had no needles, no syringes, and no modern medical equipment.
The female nurses and doctors were so desperate for basic medical supplies that they worked as prostitutes on the side to make money to buy the simplest necessities for their patients, something that must have been extremely humiliating for them to do. In case you think my father was lying, he actually saw this with his own eyes. He was well into his seventies at that time, and he couldn’t walk down a street in Cuba without being mobbed by women who threw themselves at him, begging him to have sex with them so they could make a few dollars to feed and clothe their families.
If the healthcare system was in such a horrific condition, you can just image what the rest of the country was like.
You can be sure the Castro regime went to great lengths to ensure President Obama and his family or anyone else in his entourage never witnessed anything remotely like this. The great tragedy is that while President Obama and his family were being wined and dined by a communist dictator, the day-to-day situation for any Cuban cannot be any better today than it was in the 1990s, perhaps even worse.
What President Obama saw was a sanitized version of the Cuban communist paradise that the Castro dictators roll out to their more important guests. The gullible, like our socialist/Marxist president, willingly play along, giving aid and comfort to the tyrants who rule their citizens with an iron fist.
President Obama callously betrayed the Cuban people when he gave legitimacy to the communist dictatorship in Cuba by his visit. Perhaps the Cuban dissidents who Obama never saw, the ones who long for liberty with all their hearts, may eventually forgive him. But they will never forget. Neither will God.