Discuss as:

Congress: Praise for the Castros?

With Congress on its Easter break, a group of Congressional Black Caucus members went to Cuba, met with Raul and Fidel Castro, and had praise for them. The three who met Castro: Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee, Laura Richardson and Bobby Rush. "It was Raul Castro's first encounter with U.S. officials since formally replacing his brother as head of state," the AP notes. And it was the first time Fidel has met with Americans since he fell ill in 2006. Regarding Cuba policy: "Jeffrey Davidow, the White House adviser for the Summit of the Americas to be held in Trinidad and Tobago April 17-19, said Monday he 'would not be surprised' if the president announces more changes in U.S. policies before that meeting."
 
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA): Fidel Castro was "very engaging and very energetic."
 
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) said she got the sense "[Fidel Castro] really wants President Obama to succeed" in his foreign policy goals. "He sincerely wants an opportunity, I think, in his lifetime to see a change in America." She added, Castro "looked directly into our eyes" and asked, "How can we help President Obama?" Richardson said. 
 
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL): Raul Castro is "just the opposite of how he's being portrayed in the media… I think what really surprised me but also endeared to him was his keen sense of humor, his sense of history and his basic human qualities."