A.J. Delgado: Cuba Must Release Political Prisoners, Support Free Speech to Bring Trump to the Table


Senior Trump campaign adviser A.J. Delgado joined SiriusXM host Matt Boyle on Monday morning’s Breitbart News Daily to offer her thoughts on the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and discuss the reaction of President-elect Donald Trump and his team.

“When I first heard, as many Cuban-Americans, my reaction was to think, ‘Oh, it’s yet another false alarm about Fidel being dead,’” Delgado said, recalling many such rumors and false alarms over the years.


“But it turned out to be true, of course,” she continued. “I’m here in Miami. I think, like all Cuban-Americans, we took to the streets to celebrate. It was a very emotional weekend for us. Obviously, the tyranny continues under Raul, so it’s a bittersweet celebration because still much remains to be done and to be seen in terms of change in Cuba. But still, the fact that Fidel is gone is certainly a landmark and not just a symbolic one. I think it does help the people on the island to feel as though the past is finally starting to become officially the past, and there can be a new chapter.”

“As for Mr. Trump’s position, I think you saw the tremendous statement which he put out, which was incredibly well-received and appreciated by all Americans, especially by Cuban-Americans, who have for too long sat by and had to listen to Obama and Democrats kind of whitewash the crimes of the Castroite regime,” she said. “And to hear Mr. Trump speak so plainly in that statement and so powerfully was very touching for all freedom-loving people around the world.”

Looking ahead to Trump’s first hundred days in office, Delgado said two important areas to watch are immigration orders and policy changes Trump makes with respect to Cuba.

“That’ll be interesting,” said on the latter subject. “He’s kind of alluded to undoing Obama’s executive orders pretty quickly once he got into office, and I know that’s something that even non-Cuban Americans are interested in seeing how he proceeds on that front.”

“I think those are two big issues that we’ll see him tackle the first weeks. But apart from that, only President-elect Trump knows himself what his top priority would be on that first day. But you can bet there’ll be orders signed that first week that will absolutely benefit the American public, first and foremost.”

Boyle returned to Delgado’s point that the Castro regime has survived Fidel’s death, and asked what reforms might bring real change to Cuba.

“I think they need to release a good chunk of the political prisoners,” she replied. “There are thousands of political prisoners languishing in Cuba’s prisons. I think that would be number one. And then host some type of elections.”

“Listen, I know we can’t make twenty demands, because they’d be unrealistic, but they need to give us something for us to come to the table,” Delgado contended. “A deal is a two-way street. What happened with Obama was, he resumed diplomatic relations and really asked for almost nothing in return. So we need to see something on their part to know they are acting in good faith, and I think the release of political prisoners, at least a substantial number of them, would be a step in the right direction, as well as some sort of movement towards allowing more freedom of association or some freedom of political speech.”

“As you know, Matt, if you and I were to have a political discussion in the middle of a Cuban street, we would be arrested the next day and probably beaten to a pulp,” Delgado observed. “So those are the kinds of things that need to change for our great nation to be able to sit at the table with Cuba and talk about resuming some sort of diplomatic status.”

Delgado congratulated Boyle on Breitbart News’ coverage of the 2016 election, recalling how he was the first person to look her in the eye and confidently predict that Trump would win. Boyle, in turn, noted that the rest of the media appears to have learned very little from the mistakes it made.

“They’re never going to change,” Delgado said. “If they were going to change, this would have been the wake-up call, right? When they got the election so wrong, this would have been the ‘Hey, you’re out of touch.’ And for them to say, ‘Listen, we need to do something, it’s obvious that we’re not understanding the public, we’re doing something wrong.’”

“They did that for about a day or two,” she allowed. “You saw the New York Times kind of did it, you know, ‘We need to change some things, mea culpa’ – and then went right back, as you say, to the usual pattern of attacking Middle America, attacking Trump supporters, attacking President-elect Trump. So I think this just leaves us in the same place we were before. We need our own media outlets that are fair – like Breitbart, like others, where we can count on for objective real news. And we can’t trust the mainstream media at all. It’s been this way for years, and unfortunately nothing changed with this election, as far as their objectivity.”

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

Listen to the compete audio of Delgado’s interview above.