Comments on: Obama, Castro, and the perversity of the Cuban embargo Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:47:54 +0000 hourly 1 By: emm305 Fri, 20 Dec 2013 22:40:27 +0000 Normal relations with Cuba need to happen NOW.

I think most Americans are as sick as I am that we allow the Cuban American supporters of the pre-Castro dictator to dictate our foreign policy towards Cuba for 50+ years.

By: mburn16 Thu, 19 Dec 2013 02:31:10 +0000 The idea that normalized relations with the United States will automatically lead to freedom for the Cuban people is absurd. China was also once a repressed, impoverished, and unstable state. And, the United States once transitioned from virtually no normal relations with China to an open political and economic relationship.

The result? China is rich and threatening to overtake the United States, and the people there continue to live under terrible political repression.

Anytime someone tells you easing the embargo will help to make Cuba free, just point to the continued communist control of china, and ask them to repeat what they just said.

By: brotherkenny4 Wed, 18 Dec 2013 19:55:47 +0000 Once the Castros are gone we can once again make Cuba a defacto possesion of the United State and reinstall all the casinos, prostitution and organized crime so that our senators and representatives have a vacation spot over the holidays. Maybe if they can have their gambling, booze and whores out of sight of their families once again, they’ll stop being cruel a-holes to the rest of us.

By: rikfre Wed, 18 Dec 2013 18:08:02 +0000 Should the USA reconsider the embargo and begin to trade with Cuba, the whole Castro inspired Marxist regime would fall like overripe fruit. However, this would bring up the question of the people who ran away from this regime and left property and treasure there. How, and will, they ever be compensated for their loses. I’m sure Fidel et-al did not keep records.

By: AZreb Wed, 18 Dec 2013 13:03:11 +0000 Have never understood why we trade with China, a Communist nation, and not Cuba. Especially since many of the items we import from China have sickened and/or killed people and pets.

Oh, forgot – we borrow money from China, so that country is okay.

By: Vodik Tue, 17 Dec 2013 23:56:59 +0000 Several points in this analysis are biased:

1. “A substantial majority of Americans have long favored easing the Cuba trade embargo, but Cuban-Americans in Florida will not hear of it.”
No mention of the fact that Barack Obama was re-elected with half of the Cuban vote, and that Obama’s decision to let Mariela Castro in the US failed to dent Obama’s chances of winning the Cuban vote. All the Cubans in Miami do not approve of the repression in Cuba, but they are deeply divided over the best way to get the Cuban government to adopt multiparty democracy. If you go onto the website of Joe Garcia (D-FL), you’ll see that he is strongly supportive of Barack Obama’s policy of allowing unlimited Cuban American travel to Cuba for family visits.

2. Anyone who thought that trade would get China and Vietnam to adopt multiparty politics has been disappointed to hear that the leaders of China and Vietnam are pledging never to abandon one-party rule despite US trade with those countries (China’s Xi Jinping believes that the Soviet Union collapsed because it strayed too far from ideological orthodoxy and that sticking to ideological orthodoxy is the only way to preserve political unity in China). So expect Cuba to say no to multiparty democracy just because the US decides to lift the embargo given that Cuba considers one-party rule synonymous with Jose Marti’s theme of political unity.

3. “The feeble remnants of Cuban communism cannot survive a tidal wave of American investors, nor the soft power of millions of American visitors bearing endless goodwill, open hearts, and wallets stuffed with hard currency.”
The authors fails to mention that Canada and Europe have already signed investment deals with Cuba in the past, even though European and Canadian tourism to Cuba has done nothing to get the Cubans to stop repressing the opposition. Even though tourist apartheid no longer exists (Raul Castro lifted the ban on Cubans staying in tourist hotels back in 2008), meaning that Europeans and Canadians can now get lovey-duvey with Cubans at beautiful beaches drinking mojitos, allowing US tourism to Cuba will only give the regime enough resources to crush all opposition, in which case Cuba’s beaches will be punctuated with the blood of murdered Cuban dissidents. Communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR did not collapse because of tourism; it collapsed because the leaders of Eastern Europe didn’t realize that the cost of maintaining their repressive apparatuses was no longer sustainable. Therefore, I highly doubt that US investment and tourism with Cuba will bring down one-party rule.

4. “With an eye on his legacy, John Kerry has proved a hyperactive Secretary of State who could add freeing Cuba to his wish list…..Both Kerry and the Defense Secretary, the Republican Chuck Hagel, approve of relaxing the embargo.”
Chuck Hagel’s argument against the embargo was made in the context of the time when Fidel Castro was still in power after 40 years of iron rule. With El Comandante gone, it’s arguable whether he supports expansion of ties with Cuba (e.g. establishing contacts with Cuban military) because he’s not the one who decides matters in US-Cuba policy. Kerry, for his part, supported the US embargo during his 2004 presidential campaign and he has a rather mixed voting record on Cuba policy, having opposed the passage of the Helms-Burton Act whilst opposing lifting the ban on tourist travel to Cuba (see Kerry_Foreign_Policy.htm#Voting_Record for Kerry’s position on Helms-Burton Act). The fact that he acknowledges the economic reforms in Cuba while criticizing Cuba’s lack of democracy (just like Obama and Biden) shows that he has no illusion that economic reforms alone are a separate matter from political reform and that the Obama administration is pressuring Castro to allow his people freedom of speech and assembly. While encouraging private entrepreneurs in Cuba, Obama and Kerry are firm in their position that they will allow the Golden Arches to come to Cuba only if Cuba stops repressing the opposition and dismantles its repressive security apparatus because they know if they gave Castro enough money to crush his opponents, then Cuba’s beautiful beaches will be spoiled with the blood of members of the Ladies in White and other opposition groups. This kind of policy is exactly the equivalent of several nannies trying to coax spoiled children to get their act together and calm down.

By: Dan_from_MV_CA Tue, 17 Dec 2013 23:56:22 +0000 I largely agree with the arguments in this opinion piece and think there would be more good than harm in normalization with Cuba.

But the attacks on “Those anarcho-conservative House members who don’t believe in government, nor taxation, nor majority rule” is over the top.

It’s more about smaller government, less taxation, and protection for rights of the minority enshrined in the Constitution than “no government, no taxation, or majority rule”

By: Hermist Tue, 17 Dec 2013 15:04:42 +0000 Cuban-Americans, politics in Florida, Republicans in Florida and scared Democrats keep this dumb embargo going!

By: dd606 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 21:34:38 +0000 Kerry has negotiated away Iran’s nuclear program? OK… I guess that’s why it’s in the news every other day, on the verge of falling apart before it even starts.