President Barack Obama kicked off his three-day trip to communist Cuba, landing in Havana’s Jose Marti international airport. Obama is the first president since Calvin Coolidge to visit the island nation. The president will meet with Cuban leaders including a meeting with Dictator Raul Castro.
Despite the trip’s historic nature, many of the president’s political opponents are less than happy with his decision.
GOP frontrunner Donald J. Trump took to Twitter to make his feelings known:
Wow, President Obama just landed in Cuba, a big deal, and Raul Castro wasn’t even there to greet him. He greeted Pope and others. No respect
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2016
Trump reiterated his statement during a campaign event saying, “President Obama landed in Cuba and the head of Cuba, who was there for the Pope and he was there for other dignitaries that come in, but he wasn’t there for the President of the United States. I mean, it’s Amateur hour folks.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose father Rafael Cruz escaped communist Cuba, also had a few things to say about the president’s trip.
I have a word for the people of Cuba who will witness the gaudy spectacle in Havana: America has not forgotten you: https://t.co/AiTSTraOPA
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 20, 2016
The Texas senator took to the pages of Politico with an op-ed. Cruz wrote:
The White House keeps saying that this trip will chart a new course for people-to-people relations, but all that Obama’s appeasement of the Castro dictatorship has done so far is create a channel for inside deals between large corporations and the Cuban military, which holds all the keys to the island’s economy. The effect will not be liberalization but rather the institutionalization of the Communist dictatorship as the profits from this détente will line the pockets not only of Fidel and Raul Castro, but also of Raul’s son, Alejandro Castro Espin.
Corporate cronyism, meet communist totalitarianism.