Clarence Page, the Chicago Tribune columnist and CPJ board member, is disappointed the Congressional Black Caucus ignored human rights violations, including the imprisonment of journalists, during its recent visit to Cuba. In his column, Page notes that Cuba is now jailing 21 editors and writers, making it the world’s second-leading jailer of journalists.
That’s one reason why I was disappointed to see the black caucus delegation lavish praise on the Castros for their hospitality, yet ask for nothing on behalf of freedom and human rights. “Power concedes nothing without a demand,” Frederick Douglass wrote. “It never did and it never will.”
I hope the Obama administration keeps that in mind as it moves toward a sensible Cuba policy. You don’t always get what you want in politics but, at least, you have to ask.