Marc Másferrer put it very succinctly recently in Uncommon Sense: "Damas: 'We Like Obama.'" I think a better take on their endorsement of Obama's plan to meet with Rául Castro would be: "Damas: 'We Should Like to See Again Our Imprisoned Husbands, Sons and Brothers.'"
The Damas de Blanco are not naive as some have suggested in attempting to explain their by no means new embrace of detente. In fact, the Dama de Blanco are more politically savvy than their self-appointed apologists. They have realized that their loved ones in Castro's prisons are hostages and that none will see the light of day again until such a meeting takes place.
The 230 political prisoners officially recognized as such by the major human rights organizations, although they constitute exactly .001 percent of those incarcerated by Castro, are, by virtue of their celebrity and the exertions of the Damas themselves in calling attention to their plight, the reserved stock of Castro's jails. They are not going to be given away to just anybody. The days are long past when any official visitor to the island could bring his wish list and get his pick.
In fact, Raúl has called a moratorium on such reckless expenditure of Communist Cuba's most important bargaining chips. All 230 are reserved for Obama himself as surely as if they had been branded with his name. They are his reward for meeting with Raúl and his political cover: the MSM will see to it that Obama is hailed as their "liberator" and not as the president who capitulated to Castro unconditionally.
It is likely that if Obama is elected, or even in anticipation of his election, the 230 may be accorded better treatment. Slaves also, when their masters had decided to sell them down the river, were put on double rations and their various infirmities attended to so that they would make the best possible appearance on the auction block.
Of course, the Damas de Blanco would welcome any improvement in their living conditions and rejoice at the prospect of their release. One would have to be bereft of any sense of empathy or divorced from humanity itself to criticize them for petitioning Obama on behalf of their family members.
What we do find unconscionable is the fact that Obama put them in this position in the first place. An off-the cuff remark by him, which he could later have modified but chose instead to codify as the "Obama Doctrine," held out the promise to Raúl and all the world's tyrants that the U.S. would accommodate them and expect nothing in return but the pleasure of their company. Hopeful and emboldened by Obama's pledge, now reiterated on numerous occasions, they have frozen everything in place in expectation of that golden hour. This includes, of course, the fate of political prisoners.
What Obama holds out to them, and what they are all too eager to receive from him, is a totalitarian "New Deal." All the wrongs of the past, the crimes and the usurpations committed on their people, will be forgiven by one who has no right to presume to do so. No restitution will be required of them in exchange for this plenary indulgence nor any pledge extracted to alter their customary behavior. They can continue to be exactly what they are and what they have always been -- the scourge of their countrymen. The only difference will be that the U.S. shall not challenge their right to be tyrants.
The "Obama Doctrine" is far from progressive; it is, in fact, the very definition of reactionary, a throwback to the divine right of kings. Had he never enunciated it, he would never have received the support of the Damas de Blanco because their hopes for the freedom of Cuba's political prisoners would still be centered around freedom for all Cubans. Now they are convinced that if Obama is elected president in November the prospect of all Cubans regaining their freedom will be reduced to almost nothing, while, ironically, the prospect that 230 Cubans, among the least free of Castro's subjects, will regain theirs is almost guaranteed. Under such circumstances the Damas de Blanco are entirely right to get what is within their reach especially since it is what they most want.