America’s Self-Damaging Embargo of Cuba

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clinton obama steve clemons.jpg
In all of the noise about Iraq, Iran, Mukasey, FISA, and the upcoming Annapolis Peace Summit on Israel/Palestine, I neglected to mention that a vote was taken in the UN General Assembly condeming America’s embargo against Cuba.
The vote was 184-4. The four were the United States, Israel, Marshall Islands, and Palau. Micronesia didn’t even vote with the U.S. and abstained.
Japan voted against us. Germany voted against us. The Philippines voted against us. Poland voted against us. Mexico and Canada voted against us. The UK, Iceland, Brazil, and Singapore voted against us.
And while Israel voted with us, Israeli firms are nonetheless managing citrus groves in Cuba.
Hillary Clinton has unfortunately said that she would continue the Bush administration’s policies on Cuba — and that there are more differences between her and Barack Obama on the family-damaging restrictions on travel and trade than between her and George W. Bush.
We hope that she finds a way to change her mind — because we need a NEW direction in US foreign policy not hug-sessions with the past, particularly policies that have clearly failed not only recently but over four decades.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

21 comments on “America’s Self-Damaging Embargo of Cuba

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “How’s being pissed off working for you? Has it changed anything?”
    Yeah. My blood pressure.

    Reply

  2. Chuck Dupree says:

    PoA, whether something is working now has NOTHING to do with whether it’s needed. How’s being pissed off working for you? Has it changed anything? No. Does that mean it’s wrong? No.

    Reply

  3. Ben Brackley says:

    What is interesting is how this U.N. vote got no coverage in the US media. If you Google News it, it’s rather extraordinary. The US could garner the votes of only three other countries on this resolution.
    This is more evidence of the international news bubble we live in in this country. We don’t want to know how unpopular our policies are, and the US news media doesn’t see much reason to tell us.

    Reply

  4. samuel burke says:

    pauline, when those ballplayers exit cuba and make their way to amerika, the land of govt sponsored terrorism, then they get to play beisbol, which has bin beri beri gud to dem.
    it isnt a secret american plot to extract baseball players from cuba.
    the only secret govt plots are when they return little boys and girls, through international law, to please the globalist and establish precedence where international law rules over the laws of the individual nations.
    these ballplayers leave their families behind, like all others who leave the island prison.
    just remember stevie, once the globalist gain dominace and the impediments (a resister would be the constitution of the u.s.a) have all be removed, then who will be there to protect americas children of future generations? or do you think that you will be part of the select class of rulers and special priviledges?
    just look at the bolshevik or the cuban revolution as examples, once the useful idiots werent needed anymore (think huber matos, camilo cienfuegos) they were either jailed or killed.
    Revolutionary movements once in total power rule with a rod of iron. In the u.s the revolution divided the ruling powers to prevent abuses, it wont happen under corporate dominace because financial stability will be the law of the world.
    the battle over habeas corpus, military commisions act, fisa, the redefining of torture… ought to be viewd through the lens of the setting up a police state to rule with impunity over “we the people”.

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  5. ... says:

    why would hillary be any different or go against the pattern of us history? it is like expecting ingrained reporters of the political establishment to tell it like it is where it really matters.. it ain’t going to happen. your country will be 6 feet under before it happens.

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  6. pauline says:

    I thought we were already engaged in trade with Cuba? Don’t the Yankees, legally or illegally, hire Cubans who can throw the baseball better than other Central or South Americans?

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  7. YY says:

    You know the irony is that Cuba may in the long run be better off with the US embargo. No chance there for a free trade agreement and the associated meddling in their economy. They won’t have to go through a future leftist reform to get out from under corporate take over of their health care or water… Given how long the insane US foreign policy has lasted, by inertia, ignorance, and a very small but loud political constituency, I don’t really know it will be safe for Cuba to have the rethink in the official American policy. America has never been good at marginalizing the right, let alone the ones that are quasi-terrorists, it would probably be safer for Cuba that US keeps at the outdated embargo.
    What it would take for normalization is the kind of a big production as when relations with China was opened, not a quiet change. Something that would truly marginalize the hard-liners that still want to invade and take back the country.

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  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Government is not the problem. It is a tool. Corporations, eternal and unpunishable, are the problem, and if we don’t choose to use government to rein them in, they’ll destroy us.”
    Posted by Chuck Dupree
    Yeah, well hows that “using the government to rein them in” thing working out for you, Dupree?

    Reply

  9. Chuck Dupree says:

    Seems to me PoA is confusing the government with corporations, which is understandable but regrettable.
    Certainly the current, and past, policies of the US government, by no means limited to the current (mis)administration, have damaged everything in sight, I agree on that. What I would claim is that this has been done in the service (and I mean that in the “indentured” sense) of corporations, in particular the multi-nationals, who’ve simply bought enough politicians by one means or another to do whatever increases their short-term profit. US corporations are not even as smart about their own profits as, say, Japanese corporations, whose planning horizon tends to be an order of magnitude farther out.
    I claim additionally that this results from ideology. The American ideal of every man (or whoever) for himself was designed to allow the quiet maintenance of unearned privilege. The vast disparity of wealth and income we see now in this country is an intended result. The theory that individuals decide and act more effectively than groups fails in many areas, a couple of obvious ones being health care and transportation. Clearly our health care system would be improved by removing the insurance companies from the mix; they add nothing, and they subtract profit. And covering absolutely everyone, no matter what, would spread the risk wider and more evenly. We don’t do that, because it would reduce the disparities, which is the opposite of the goal. A similar argument can be made regarding public transportation: if we had trains as good as the French, not to mention the Japanese, travel would be faster, safer, cleaner, and more reliable. Even the relatively simple extension of what we’ve got, BART here in the Bay Area, would help a lot. But it would hurt the profits of the oil, steel, auto, and tire companies, so we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for the short-term benefit of a very small proportion of American families, namely the super-rich. Presumably they’re already engaged in building plastic bubbles under which they’ll be able to create breathable air.
    Other countries’ governments have managed to do useful things, which are normally reviled in the US press because they tend to spread the wealth rather than concentrate it, which to the traditional media is not a strategy but a moral requirement. But in the US the concept that the government could do something other than war is ridiculed by the man/moron on the street, and the idea of individuals banding together to do something is too close to the revolting idea of a union to be considered seriously.
    Government is not the problem. It is a tool. Corporations, eternal and unpunishable, are the problem, and if we don’t choose to use government to rein them in, they’ll destroy us.

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  10. samuel burke says:

    The cuban lobbys members are being shut out of cuba while the rest of the world is allowed to invest there…my fathers generation tried standing up to castro with the help of americas politicians…but thats an old story that doesnt pertain to todays world.
    The only ones suffering are the cuban citizens who are not part of the political elite..the taliban as gen del pino called them rule cuba but are exhibiting a willingness to change on their terms which is unacceptable to miami… the miami anti communist crowd..the troglodytes as del pino called them, have established a political base in miami that they do not want to surrender to the free traders …so who gets hurt?
    the citizens of cuba have to suck it up and live in missery, while the elite in both cuba and miami go on with their daily lives supping on koby beef and caviar.
    meanwhile back at the ranch …our constitution is being broken up piecemeal as the multinationals plans of open borders and trade moves forward to its intended end.
    the colossus of the north has arisen to rule the world, with new masters though, and no constitution to protect “WE THE PEOPLE”.
    no doubt about it.

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  11. samuel burke says:

    That makes all of us idiots.
    and the last hope that we have is for the press to stand up, but as we can see this isnt going to happen…
    what happened to america is the classiest coup de etat ever in the history of mankind.
    see if you can find it within yourself to speak up steve clemons..things are not as groovy and psychadelic as we are being led to believe.
    there is something rotten in denmark as the saying went…only now the stench is among us.
    the cuban lobby are a bunch of pissants compared to the sinister bullcrap pulled in washington.
    we need to trade with cuba, open the tradegates and let the people flow in and leave american pesos over there for them to convert. wouldnt it be funny if castro then required for u.s visitors to exchange to euros when visiting cuba…why not the dollars has been devalued beyond recognition by the non federal fed.
    elect ron paul and then lets elect others with the same views ..

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I thought we as a country didn’t like our businesses to engage with foreign sweatshops and the like.”
    What, you blathering idiot, China is just a figment of our imagination?
    Your kind of abject stupidity is the reason your party has tanked.
    OUR kind of abject stupidity is the reason our party was seen as a knight riding to our rescue.
    That makes all of us idiots.

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  13. Henry Gomez says:

    Steve Clemmons would jump off a bridge if Germany voted for it, if Japan voted for it. The US has nothing to gain by doing business with tyrants. I thought we as a country didn’t like our businesses to engage with foreign sweatshops and the like. Cuba today is one big tropical sweatshop where employees have no right to negotiate or organize. Where foreign enterprises pay the regime in hard currency and the regime pays the workers 5% of that in Cuban pesos.
    Boo hoo, Steve. Your side loses again. Bush has 15 months and even if you manage to get Hillary in office you are HOPING that she changes her mind. You better HOPE she doesn’t make any commitments to the exile community or your masters in Havana will be very unhappy for at least the next 5 years.
    And I haven’t forgotten the lies you told about me. Liar.

    Reply

  14. arthurdecco says:

    “The Cuban market will get opened up when the Walmarketeers figure out a way to make a fortune by screwing us and the Cuban people. And it won’t be to our benefit, it will be to theirs.” posted by POA
    Just one more fact in a post full of them. A great write, filled with an annoyed passion everyone here should be sharing in, but won’t.
    Even Dorothy’s Cowardly Lion found courage eventually, didn’t he?

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Fascinating that we allow Chinese goods in here while we exercise idiocy like our policy towards Cuba.
    I am hanging some custom 8 foot tall doors in a home I an currently setting finish in. In this house, there are a total of twenty seven interior doors to be hung. I bore the doors for hardware as part of the process of hanging them. As installing the hardware is one of the last parts of the finish process, I am in the habit of cutting short pieces of 1″ dowel, which I use as a temporary “lock” on each individual door, so they are not left merely swinging from the hinges, which invariably results in damage, both to the doors, and to the walls.
    Well, I bought a length of 1″ dowel from our trusty local Home Depot on Friday, to be used as described. However, alas, the damned dowel ended up not being 1″, but 1 1/16″ instead. Unusable, unless I want to expend the time and the energy to actually mill the dowel to a lesser dimension.
    What did the return desk tell me? That the 1″ description was a “figure of speech” and an “approximate”.
    This is Bushworld. The fucking Globalists can poison us, and destroy our infrastructure with inferior and misrepresented goods, but we can’t sell or buy to the Cubans, or travel to Cuba, because our government has a hard-on about Castro.
    Its a joke. And the rest of the world is laughing at us. Do you think these bastards raking in the money from their holdings in Home Depot give a shit whether or not a 1″ dowel is a 1″ dowel? Of course not. Any inconvienience caused to me is of no consequence. If the quality of my work suffers due to their greed, tough shit. If I am doing a job forty miles from the nearest hardware store, and I can’t use the product they sold me because its fucking garbage, so my day is wasted, do you think they are going to reconsider about how they stock their shelves?
    I can think of no aspect of daily living in the United States of America that has not been corrupted, cheapened, and damaged by the current policies of our government, as it relates to the economy, health, energy, education, or the environment.
    If we open up the Cuban market, do any of you really think it will be to benefit the citizens of Cuba or the United States? Hogwash. The Cuban market will get opened up when the Walmarketeers figure out a way to make a fortune by screwing us and the Cuban people. And it won’t be to our benefit, it will be to theirs.

    Reply

  16. samuel burke says:

    steve, on the havana blog post where this article also appeared you said ” I hope that she finds a way to change her mind — because we need a NEW direction in US foreign policy not hug-sessions with the past, particularly policies that have clearly failed not only recently but over four decades.” I am curious again steve, why is it that a man in your position chooses to take swipes at windmills, instead of aiming your journalistic sword at the dragon that is israel and americas destructive relationship with that nation? unconditional support for israel is why they hate us in the middle east and americans are waking up to that, and we would like to know why noone can question that relationship without being called antisemitic or ostracized, or booted out of whatever position they hold.
    how do you feel about our foreign policy with israel?…you know, the place where palestinians are oppressed by the israeli occupation forces, the place where for over sixty years this same oppression has been ongoing against an entire race of people who are powerless against a much stronger military force.
    i enjoy reading this post because it brings out issues that the “britney spears chasing” tv/cable american news sources do not address in any meaningul way. You absolutely crack me up though, in the way that you tiptoe through the minefield that is anything associated with israel.
    Americans who have more than half a brain are starting to wake up and take notice how this nations press and government is in thrall to a lobby that silences journalist like yourself, i Pity journalist in america that have to Subjugate their morals to the political interests of THE LOBBY, there is no backbone left among the majority of americas journalist, our congress has been as pat buchanan says “israeli occupied territory, but we the people are waking up steve, so hang on in there and maybe one day we will free you from the chains that you have forged for yourself by cowering to the elephant in the room.
    our foreign policy in the middle east and our special relationship with israel has gotten us attacked by militant muslims and has turned us into crusaders in muslim lands.
    mearsheimer and walt ought to get the congressional medal of honor for exceptional bravery under extremely hostile conditions.
    thank god for the international group of the 13 elders, since they seem to want to initiate a peace process in palestine and are expressing their moral indignation at the crimes against humanity that are being commited there. kudos to jimmy carter and desmond tutu…now we need to hear from mandela.
    the nuremberg courts would have condemned the leaders of israel for crimes and americas politicians for complicity.
    no doubt about it.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, these criminal fascists in Washington are well aware that the natives are getting restless. The fact that this shit, (following), gets passed only underscores how these frauds in the Dem party are actually complicit with the Bush Administration. They are setting the stage, and protecting themselves, from the day we finally march on Washington with the aim to fumigate the place. Mark my words, the debate we wage on sites such as this one will soon be considered criminal, and our speech will be prosecuted as terroristic in nature. And these shitbags being paraded before us as viable Presidential candidates are our future jailers.
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7243
    Big Brother: House passes the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”
    House Passes Thought Crime Prevention Bill
    by Lee Rogers
    Global Research, November 2, 2007
    roguegovernment.com
    Email this article to a friend
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    The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This bill is one of the most blatant attacks against the Constitution yet and actually defines thought crimes as homegrown terrorism. If passed into law, it will also establish a commission and a Center of Excellence to study and defeat so called thought criminals. Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this bill specifically targets the civilian population of the United States and uses vague language to define homegrown terrorism. Amazingly, 404 of our elected representatives from both the Democrat and Republican parties voted in favor of this bill. There is little doubt that this bill is specifically targeting the growing patriot community that is demanding the restoration of the Constitution.
    First let’s take a look at the definitions of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as defined in Section 899A of the bill.
    The definition of violent radicalization uses vague language to define this term of promoting any belief system that the government considers to be an extremist agenda. Since the bill doesn’t specifically define what an extremist belief system is, it is entirely up to the interpretation of the government. Considering how much the government has done to destroy the Constitution they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting an extremist belief system. Literally, the government according to this definition can define whatever they want as an extremist belief system. Essentially they have defined violent radicalization as thought crime. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.
    `(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
    The definition of homegrown terrorism uses equally vague language to further define thought crime. The bill includes the planned use of force or violence as homegrown terrorism which could be interpreted as thinking about using force or violence. Not only that but the definition is so vaguely defined, that petty crimes could even fall into the category of homegrown terrorism. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.
    `(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
    Section 899B of the bill goes over the findings of Congress as it pertains to homegrown terrorism. Particularly alarming is that the bill mentions the Internet as a main source for terrorist propaganda. The bill even mentions streams in obvious reference to many of the patriot and pro-constitution Internet radio networks that have been formed. It also mentions that homegrown terrorists span all ages and races indicating that the Congress is stating that everyone is a potential terrorist. Even worse is that Congress states in their findings that they should look at draconian police states like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom as models to defeat homegrown terrorists. Literally, these findings of Congress fall right in line with the growing patriot community.
    The biggest joke of all is that this section also says that any measure to prevent violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism should not violate the constitutional rights of citizens. However, the definition of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as they are defined in section 899A are themselves unconstitutional. The Constitution does not allow the government to arrest people for thought crimes, so any promises not to violate the constitutional rights of citizens are already broken by their own definitions.
    `SEC. 899B. FINDINGS.
    `The Congress finds the following:
    `(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be utilized to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.
    `(2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.
    `(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
    `(4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.
    `(5) Understanding the motivational factors that lead to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence is a vital step toward eradicating these threats in the United States.
    `(6) The potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily prevented through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and requires the incorporation of State and local solutions.
    `(7) Individuals prone to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence span all races, ethnicities, and religious beliefs, and individuals should not be targeted based solely on race, ethnicity, or religion.
    `(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.
    `(9) Certain governments, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have significant experience with homegrown terrorism and the United States can benefit from lessons learned by those nations.
    Section 899C calls for a commission on the prevention of violent radicalization and ideologically based violence. The commission will consist of ten members appointed by various individuals that hold different positions in government. Essentially, this is a commission that will examine and report on how they are going to deal with violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism. So basically, the commission is being formed specifically on how to deal with thought criminals in the United States. The bill requires that the commission submit their final report 18 months following the commission’s first meeting as well as submit interim reports every 6 months leading up to the final report. Below is the bill’s defined purpose of the commission. Amazingly they even define one of the purposes of the commission to determine the causes of lone wolf violent radicalization.
    (b) Purpose- The purposes of the Commission are the following:
    `(1) Examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States, including United States connections to non-United States persons and networks, violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in prison, individual or `lone wolf’ violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence, and other faces of the phenomena of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence that the Commission considers important.
    `(2) Build upon and bring together the work of other entities and avoid unnecessary duplication, by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of–
    `(A) the Center of Excellence established or designated under section 899D, and other academic work, as appropriate;
    `(B) Federal, State, local, or tribal studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence; and
    `(C) foreign government studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence.
    Section 899D of the bill establishes a Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States. Essentially, this will be a Department of Homeland Security affiliated institution that will study and determine how to defeat thought criminals.
    Section 899E of the bill discusses how the government is going to defeat violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism through international cooperation. As stated in the findings section earlier in the legislation, they will unquestionably seek the advice of countries with draconian police states like the United Kingdom to determine how to deal with this growing threat of thought crime.
    Possibly the most ridiculous section of the bill is Section 899F which states how they plan on protecting civil rights and civil liberties while preventing ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism. Here is what the section says.
    `SEC. 899F. PROTECTING CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES WHILE PREVENTING IDEOLOGICALLY-BASED VIOLENCE AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISM.
    `(a) In General- The Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to prevent ideologically-based violence and homegrown terrorism as described herein shall not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.
    `(b) Commitment to Racial Neutrality- The Secretary shall ensure that the activities and operations of the entities created by this subtitle are in compliance with the Department of Homeland Security’s commitment to racial neutrality.
    `(c) Auditing Mechanism- The Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer of the Department of Homeland Security will develop and implement an auditing mechanism to ensure that compliance with this subtitle does not result in a disproportionate impact, without a rational basis, on any particular race, ethnicity, or religion and include the results of its audit in its annual report to Congress required under section 705.’.
    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of contents in section 1(b) of such Act is amended by inserting at the end of the items relating to title VIII the following:
    It states in the first subsection that in general the efforts to defeat thought crime shall not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights and civil liberties of the United States citizens and lawful permanent residents. How does this protect constitutional rights if they use vague language such as in general that prefaces the statement? This means that the Department of Homeland Security does not have to abide by the Constitution in their attempts to prevent so called homegrown terrorism.
    This bill is completely insane. It literally allows the government to define any and all crimes including thought crime as violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism. Obviously, this legislation is unconstitutional on a number of levels and it is clear that all 404 representatives who voted in favor of this bill are traitors and should be removed from office immediately. The treason spans both political parties and it shows us all that there is no difference between them. The bill will go on to the Senate and will likely be passed and signed into the law by George W. Bush. Considering that draconian legislation like the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act have already been passed, there seems little question that this one will get passed as well. This is more proof that our country has been completely sold out by a group of traitors at all levels of government.

    Reply

  18. Linda says:

    Erichwwk,
    Great quote from Galbraith, but unfortunately today both conservatives and liberals are “looking for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    Reply

  19. erichwwk says:

    I suspect that the vote re the Cuba embargo also reflects the sentiment of the international community on US foreign policy in general, were it possible to have such a vote w/o undue U.S. influence.
    Similarly, Hilary reflects the Bush administration in most instances of foreign policy, offering a relatively seamless way to move to a Democratic Party administration w/o significant change.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    On another thread, Steve states that he ignore’s Ron Pauls candidacy because Ron Paul hasn’t “done enough”. I challenge Steve to compare Ron Paul’s lond held positions and Washington activism against Hillary and Obama’s. If debated honestly, I fear Steve would have to concede that Ron Paul has “done” far more thanm both Hillary or Obama combined. But Steve will be loathe to admit it.
    Welconme to the world of “Stop looking for conviction, ethics, or patriotism, you’ll vote for who we tell you to vote for, dammit.”
    Struggling for Relevance in Cuba: Still No Cigars
    by Rep. Ron Paul
    Since Raul Castro seems to be transitioning to a more permanent position of power, the administration has begun talking about Cuba policy again. One would think we would be able to survey the results of the last 45 years and come to logical conclusions. Changing course never seems to be an option, however, no matter how futile or counterproductive our past actions have been.
    The Cuban embargo began officially in 1962 as a means to put pressure on the communist dictatorship to change its ways. After 45 years, the Cuban economy has struggled, but Cuba’s dictatorship is no closer to stepping to the beat of our drum. Any ailments have consistently and successfully been blamed on U.S. capitalism instead of Cuban communism. They have substituted trade with others for trade with the U.S., and they are “awash” in development funds from abroad. Our isolationist policies with regard to Cuba, meanwhile, have hardly won the hearts and minds of Cubans or Cuban-Americans, many of whom are isolated from families because this political animosity.
    In the name of helping Cubans, the U.S. administration is calling for multibillions of taxpayer dollars in foreign aid and subsidies for Internet access, education, and business development for Cubans under the condition that the Cuban government demonstrates certain changes. In the same breath, they claim lifting the embargo would only help the dictatorship. This is exactly backward. Free trade is the best thing for people in both Cuba and the U.S. Government subsidies would enrich those in power in Cuba at the expense of already overtaxed Americans!
    The irony of supposed free-marketeers inducing communists to freedom with government handouts should not be missed. We call for a free and private press in Cuba while our attempts to propagandize Cubans through the U.S.-government-run Radio/TV Marti have wasted $600 million in American taxpayer dollars.
    It’s time to stop talking solely in terms of what’s best for the Cuban people. How about the wishes of the American people, who are consistently in favor of diplomacy with Cuba? Let’s stop the hysterics about the freedom of Cubans – which is not our government’s responsibility – and consider freedom of the American people, which is. Americans want the freedom to travel and trade with their Cuban neighbors, as they are free to travel and trade with Vietnam and China. Those Americans who do not wish to interact with a country whose model of governance they oppose are free to boycott. The point being: it is Americans who live in a free country, and as free people we should choose whom to buy from or where to travel – not our government.
    Our current administration is perceived as irrelevant, at best, in Cuba and the message is falling on deaf ears there. If the administration really wanted to extend the hand of friendship, they would allow the American people the freedom to act as their own ambassadors through trade and travel. Considering the lack of success government has had in engendering friendship with Cuba, it is time for government to get out of the way and let the people reach out.

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  21. rapier says:

    Helms Burton says that the US recognizes pre revolution land titles. All quite indirectly of course,which was the beauty of it.That means Americans own most of Cuba’s land. This is the foundation on which all US/Cuba discussion and policy rest.
    While congress quietly rescinded all title and debt claims against the USSR to pave the way for the its dissolution,and did similar I think to pave the way for ‘free trade’ with China, you can bet that nothing of the sort will happen with Cuba.
    Isolating Cuba is a way of reducing as much as possible the chance that any precedent, legal or defacto, is set regarding the legitimacy of Cuban citizens or the Cuban governments claims to ownership rights over their own country. Cubans are squatters in their own country.

    Reply

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