Tag Archives: Rahm Emanuel

Why Is Rahm Emanuel Vacationing in Repressive Cuba?


Elliot Abrahams in Newsweek

Here’s the  news out of Chicago:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is cutting short his family vacation in Cuba and will return to Chicago on Tuesday to deal with the latest crisis involving the city’s Police Department.

While the press is paying attention to the shootings, I’d like to ask another question: what is he doing taking a “family vacation” in a viciously repressive communist country?

Think of it: the liberal Democrat ignores suppression of freedom of the press and speech and religion. The elected mayor frolics in a place where there has not been one free election since Fidel Castro took over in 1959, nor will there be while he and his brother Raul live.

The island’s prisons are full of political prisoners, but Emanuel ignores this. There are plenty of human rights activists and former political prisoners who would be happy to talk with him about Cuba’s future, but that won’t happen: he’s on a “family vacation,” you see.

Can you imagine a “family vacation” on South Africa’s beautiful beaches while Nelson Mandela sat in prison on Robben Island? A fun time in Russia while Sharansky was in the Gulag? No. So why is Cuba different?

Emanuel’s visit to Cuba is an expression of indifference to human freedom. Cuba is surrounded by democracies whose people do not live in a police state and do not go to jail for asking to vote or trying to publish a newspaper–and their beaches are equally beautiful.

Chicago’s mayor chose to hand some badly needed cash to the Castro regime, and there is simply no excuse for it. But there is a considerable irony here: just as  Amnesty International is pounding Emanuel over protection of human rights in Chicago, he’s off sunning himself on an island that is famous precisely for the violation of human rights.

Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the   Council on Foreign Relations.

Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets upset when reporter reveals he is going to spend the holidays in Cuba

Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a close pal of Barack Obama and the Clintons, got upset on Thursday when a journalist for Politico revealed that he is taking his family to Cuba during the holidays.

“You take your young people on fascinating trips around the world, headed these holidays to Cuba. Why?” POLITICO’s senior White House correspondent Mike Allen asked Emanuel.

“Well, first of all, thanks for telling everybody what I’m going to do with my family. You had a private conversation with me and now you decide to make that public. I really don’t appreciate that, for one, I really don’t,”Emanuel said.

It seems that the mayor of Chicago wanted to keep his vacation in Cuba a secret.

His excuse for taking his kids to a totalitarian state where tourists enjoy benefits that are denied to the local population was that “They get to be exposed to other cultures, other parts of the world, and one of the things that we want is for our children to know that the world has people of different faiths, different backgrounds, with different ways of living and coping with similar situations.”

What a lame excuse. I am sure he will spend his time in Cuba staying at a five star hotel and visiting only those sites where the regime tourist guides take them.

THis is the video of the exchange between Emanuel and Politico’s Mike Allen