EDITOR: I've seen a lot of criticism of President Barack Obama for behaving cordially toward Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial. That the Cuban regime has a poor human rights record is a given. But let's compare it to one of our main allies in the Middle East — Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis oppress half of their citizens on the basis of sex. Women can't drive, they can't appear in public with any part of the body exposed except for hands and eyes, they can't go out in public without a male guardian. This is a short list of don'ts in Saudi law. We don't sanction the Saudis for human rights violation, nor the Chinese and a long list of trade partners.
President Richard Nixon went to China to open relations, and this has improved human rights in that country. It's moving slowly, but it's moving. President Ronald Reagan got a nuclear arms treaty with the Soviets when he started talking to them rather than about them. Don't these same ideals apply to Cuba?
I have issues with Obama, but this isn't one of them.