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realclearworld

It was supposed to be funny – UPDATED

An export industry attorney in Washington D.C. wrote a little satirical story on his blog titled, “How the OFAC Stole Christmas.” The phony news story reports how the US will not allow Santa to fly his sleigh into the US if he is carrying any toys for children in Cuba since this is a violation of the US embargo laws. I have to hand it to the author; it was an interesting twist to the embargo dilemma, and if it were not for the fact that most Cuban children don’t get toys during Christmas, it would also be funny.
So, trying to remain in the same comedic spirit as the author’s post, I left a comment. I expressed my surprise that Santa was now allowed in Cuba since his Christmas greetings and good cheer would certainly be considered imperialistic propaganda and anti-revolutionary, and would most likely get him thrown in jail or put up against a wall and shot. I thought it was a light-hearted response, but the author of the blog apparently took it a little more personally. Here is part of his response:

And you’d have a point, Alberto, if the unilateral embargo accomplished regime change in Cuba. Sadly, after more than 40 years, it hasn’t. All it has accomplished is to keep people like you happy and to keep you voting for politicians who continue to advocate the embargo. [emphasis mine]

So much for satire.
It gets even more interesting when the next guy comes in and starts labeling Cuban-Americans as “Cuban Colonists.”
You can read the story and comments HERE.
UPDATE:
DC attorney and Cuban-American, Jason Poblete, has posted a great response from Santa and his legal staff. Be sure to read it HERE.
H/T Claudia4Libertad

9 comments to It was supposed to be funny – UPDATED

  • Funny, I wasn't laughing when I read it.
    So, I left a comment.

  • But that's the perception I was talking about. They have us all wrong. We are against even Santa. We need to pull of some PR maneuvers that change this to make Raul the Grinch who stole Christmas. So we propose easing the restrictions on car parts. In reality I believe this will change nothing except our perception in the world. Headlines: Exiles Advocate Removing Restrictions on quaint antique car parts. So we get positive PR even though nothing in reality will change. It's hard enough to get those kind of old parts here. Good luck to them finding the parts then Raul is sure to put a huge tax on them making him the bugger and not us. The news stories continue: Sadly though most Cubans cannot afford to pay Raul's tax.

  • Tomas, first of all, we should have little concern for what people like those on this export blog think. They have no concern for Cuba or Cubans; they only want to make money will deal with whoever is in power to do so.
    Secondly, while I understand your premise, I think you are overly optimistic that the exile community will get any positive spin on such a proposal. Your headline, "Exiles Advocate Removing Restrictions on quaint antique car parts," would then be followed up with: "but hard line anti-castro exiles refuse to allow anything but cash transactions, effectively making this apparent concession useless to the Cuban population who has toiled in 1950's cars during the past 48 years due to the US embargo."
    They are not going to suddenly come to our support just because we loosen the embargo a bit. It doesn't work that way. They don't hate us because we're for the embargo, they hate us because we are not left leaning and fit into their idea of Latinos.
    I'm sorry, Tomas, but I don't think you're looking at all the angles here.

  • No body gives Castro credit if they want to be paid, Alberto. That's not cruel exiles. That's smart businessmen. Exile would only insist taxpayers not back anything up. I realize the regime will make wild claims but they sound more and like Boris Badenough. Surely you don't think that people will believe it is the exiles who are making the car parts manufacturers demand cash? How could we do that when it is unnecessary. Business people would do it on their own
    Of course we do not care about those blog links with an axe to grind. They are making money as you said. We need to reach the thousand and millions who have no axe to grind and read they crap. I'd like them to read the headlines I previously described. We have never had a PR victory with the embargo. We need one that really changes nothing for the regime. It's not what we do that is important in information war. It is what the masses think we do. Now most think we do bad things and Castro good. That's crazy and must be fought. Castro is fighting the information war and the regime is following this dialog closely. They know I have this equation nailed! They are weak and I want to give them a shove and us a boost. That's all. I want to help things and just this discussion does just that.

  • Ray

    I left a comment too.
    By the way, I agree with Thomas that we need to get our message out, that we are in need of public relations campaign. However, I don't necessarily believe that lifting the embargo is the way to do it, simply because I know that Fidel or Raul or whoever is in charge of Cuba does not lack for an imagination and that even if the embargo is lifted, he/they will come up with another lame excuse for Cuba's problems. What I believe that Cuban exiles should do is to start a public relations campaign in order to explain to the world why it is Castro and not the embargo that is to blame for Cuba's problems. Every opportunity that the regime has to hammer in the notion that they are the victims of the "cruel embargo," they do so and they have international platforms [embassies around the world, international news agencies, film festivals, book fairs, professional conferences, cultural attaches, invited VIPs, etc..]while we just sit back and let them lie. Remember, a lie repeated a thousand times becomes truth and that is what the Cuban government has done with this embargo canard.
    Cuban Americans are very good at giving money to political candidates, at electing congressmen and senators, but we have no sense of how important it is to reach the average American. The Cuban regime does and they do so ceaselessly and intelligently.
    How do we get our message out? Paid advertisements in newspapers, TV, funding an institution that supports Cuban artists, paying for Cuban American chairs in universities, creating an anti-defamation league, etc..

  • Just throwing out ideas guys... How about a "smart embargo?" What's that you say? First it's Constitutional. Congress has the power under the Constitution to impose tariffs, imposts, and excises. Congress could Constitutional set tariffs on anything at any level from anywhere including Cuba. Depending on what the products were, who they directly benefited and if the regime would do well could all be considered. So for example Congress could state that the embargo is over but here is the export tariff that Castro has to pay for this item or that under these set conditions. So with respect to things like car parts, which mostly individual Cubans could benefit from, should Castro charge Cubans a tax to buy our parts then three time that amount would be added to the things that the Castro government wished to buy. We could also lower and raise tariffs depending on regime behavior. All of this completely Constitutional and not in the realm of any president to oppose.

  • Ray

    So much for democracy, the folks at that blog deleted my message.

  • That's why I don't care what those bastards think about us either. I care about what they say about us to regular people who don't have axes to grind. The other side is working WITH these creeps 24/7 to put the average joe six pack under the notion that we are bad and they are good. It's their full time job while you are at work or at play. Say what you will...they've done an outstanding job of perpetuating their myths. I'd like to change that fast! I'd like help...

  • narciso79

    I was reminded of how singleminded the trade lobbies are when I wrote a international law
    paper in graduate school. It was about about
    Natsios v. National Trade Council; it was ostensibly about Burma( excuse me, Myanmar) sanctions. This of course, was back in 2000; so this has no relevance to today; right?. I
    researched how previous sanctions regimes had faired as compared to the Cuban Embargo and at the time the Burma sanctions. The revelations about the Iraqi 'oil for food' program loopholes were in the near future. Needless to say, the most enforced sanctions regime seem to be against
    South Africa and before that Rhodesia. This gave
    us in no short order; 'Baghdad on the Cape, or
    New Orleans'; Mandela, the AIDS illiterate Mbeki, and the corrupt socialist Zuma; and Robert Mugabe's inflationary famine starved kleptocracy.
    (A minor footnote; Natsios, the Massachussett's official in charge of the enforcement action; moved on to head AID and just recently resigned
    from his post as special envoy on the Sudan issue.