President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden received praise when they said neither one would attend the funeral of Cuba’s oppressive dictator Fidel Castro. It was too good to be true. It seems Obama used a loophole to avoid sending a U.S. delegation to the funeral…by sending two U.S. officials.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that Obama will send Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and acting U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Jeffrey DeLaurentis. Despite them being U.S. officials, it is not considered an official U.S. delegation “because the president did not abide by the formal process for naming a delegation.”

Oh, but it’s totally okay because Rhodes planned on traveling to Cuba this week anyway.

Um, okay. I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a U.S. delegation.

Obama has faced pressure from some not to send anyone to the dictator’s funeral. Castro has inflicted six decades of pain and torture on the Cuban people, causing people to flee the island, risking their lives in the ocean in order to finally experience freedom.

But Obama has made it a priority to normalize relations with the brutal regime:

The decision to send Rhodes and DeLaurentis is something of a middle ground between sending an official delegation and ignoring the ceremony. “There is a formal process where the president will delegate a delegation . . . that will not be taking place this time,” Earnest said.

Earnest said the decision not to send a delegation reflects the complicated relationship with Cuba, characterized by “turmoil.” Sending Rhodes and DeLaurentis to the funeral reflects the United States’ ongoing human rights concerns balanced against the administration’s desire to build “an ongoing future relationship with the Cuban people,” Earnest said.

He continued:

“Obviously, so much of the diplomatic relationship with Cuba is quite complicated,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “We continue to have some significant concerns about the way the Cuban government operates, including protecting the basic human rights of the Cuban people.”

Protecting? Frances Martel’s, my former editor at Breitbart, family fled Cuba and she covered Obama’s plans with the island. She noted how the regime began to re-arrest the political prisoners they released after Obama promised to work on relations. Then only hours before Obama landed in Cuba in March, the Cuban police beat and arrested “50 pro-democracy dissidents.” They then pushed the prisoners “into buses to be shipped into the nation’s jails to prevent them from disturbing official activities.”

The Cuban regime will hold a memorial service tonight before Castro’s ashes take a tour around the country he has demolished in front of the people he has kept from prospering. Officials will hold the funeral in Santiago on Sunday, December 4.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have told Obama not send anyone from the states to the funeral.

Obama received massive criticism for his statement after Castro died:

President Obama issued a statement Saturday morning: “Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people.”

“For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements,” Obama said. “During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends — bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity.”


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