Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Embargo on Cuba Makes No Sense

This week, a delegation from the Congressional Black Caucus traveled to Cuba to meet with Fidel and his brother Raul, letting the dictators know not all Americans support U.S. policy and they will do what they can to reverse our policy.

Even though I share the view of our travelling party about American policy, I'm saddened that this clique of pro-Castro American leftists delivered the message. They do more harm for the cause of ending the embargo than good. The chance that U.S. policy will change is set back when our ambassadors coddle a merciless, unelected potentate who has repressed his people for fifty years with no free elections, no civil liberties, no rights to organize or demonstrate or in any real way determine the policies of their nation.

The communist regime that is so lauded by members of the CBC has sent almost 25 percent of its population into exile, murdered tens of thousands of opponents and incarcerated hundreds of thousands of others for opposing the policies of Cuba's despot.

I don't favor ending the embargo because it will be a favor to Castro and his miserable sycophants in power. I favor ending the embargo because it has done no good in getting rid of the dictatorship which has tortured the people of Cuba for 50 years.

We put our embargo in place in 1962, and Castro's evil regime has used it as an excuse ever since for the poverty of his people. It's just an excuse, though. In reality, there never has been a complete embargo against Cuba. Every country -- save us and Israel -- trades freely with Cuba. The reason Cuba is poor is due to Castro's socialist economic policies. When he ousted the previous dictator, Fulgencio Batista, Cuba was the richest country in the Caribbean and one of the richest in Latin America. Today, it's among the poorest. That's what good socialism does.

Think about China. Under Mao's socialist enterprise, a billion people lived on the precipice of starvation. Since adopting a market economy 25 years ago, hundreds of millions of Chinese have risen out of poverty and into comfortable lives.

If we begin trading with Cuba, I wouldn't expect much will change soon. It still will be a dictatorship. It will still be ruled by a repressive and unpopular communist coterie. However, trade will make Cuba a little bit less poor. And if the ordinary people have a little more money and a little more opportunity, they may start demanding changes from their feudal lords. When the Castros die off, regular Cubans might even call for free elections and some semblance of civil society.

One member of the American delegation, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, was on point in saying that our embargo will never have the effect we seek.
"We’ve been swimming in the Caribbean sea of delusion for 50 years,” Cleaver said from Washington. “We’ve deluded ourselves into believing if we isolated Cuba that the Castro regime would collapse and the U.S. version of democracy would be established. And it has turned out that we are the isolated country” because every other nation in the Western Hemisphere has diplomatic relations with Cuba, he said.

But Cleaver was wrong in almost all other respects. He didn't stand up for civil rights. He didn't call for free elections. He didn't meet with dissidents or demand that Castro's infidels be freed from prison. Cleaver sucked up to the son-of-a-bitch.
Cleaver’s six-member delegation ... dined Monday night on fresh lobster with Castro. He said delegation members did not discuss Cuba’s checkered human-rights record, although Cuban government members raised the issue and said they would talk about that and any other topic if the U.S. wanted to open discussions.

Sucking up to a murderous thug is not likely to change the minds of the American middle. It took an anti-Communist like Richard Nixon to change our policy toward Communist China. It will take a courageous moderate or conservative to change our misguided Cuba policy. We won't get any kind of change when our ambassadors are knuckleheads like Congressman Cleaver:
“To see all of these myths melt right in front of my eyes was something to behold,” he said. “We’ve been led to believe that the Cuban people are not free, and they are repressed by a vicious dictator, and I saw nothing to match what we’ve been told.”

We elect people this stupid to Congress?
“(Fidel Castro is) one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met,” Cleaver said.

I'd hate to know what he would have thought of Mao and Mussolini and other murderous thugs of the past.

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