Joel Brinkley pens another fallacious “End the Cuban Embargo” editorial in Politico filled with inaccuracies and quotations by Castro dictatorship defenders presented as “Cuba Experts.” How can you argue for the lifting of sanctions against the Castro dictatorship when you do not even know which U.S. president initiated it or understand why those sanctions were enacted in the first place?
Cuba embargo isn’t working but isn’t going away
America’s embargo on Cuba began its 53rd year this fall, and it’s hard to find anyone who thinks it’s working. Even Cuban-Americans who hate the Castro brothers and fervently insist that the embargo remain in place generally agree that it has accomplished little, if anything.
Still, said Jaime Suchlicki, a Cuban émigré who is the director of the Cuba Transition Project at the University of Miami, “do you give away a policy that has been in place for 50 years, whether you think it’s right or wrong, good or bad, effective or not — for nothing? Without a quid pro quo from Cuba?”
Suchlicki came to the United States in the first wave of Cuban refugees in 1960 after the communist revolution. His hardline views mirror those of many in his generation. And for decades, it dominated the Cuba discussion in Florida, a state presidential candidates have long believed they need to win to be elected.Cuba experts say many business leaders, particularly, are making the same case, especially now that the American economy has remained in the doldrums for so long. They add that it’s an obvious second-term issue; Obama doesn’t have to worry about winning Florida again.
Of course, the U.S. embargo of Cuba arose from a totally different set of circumstances, in 1960 at the height of the Cold War and Washington’s unremitting opposition to Communism. Cuba was allying itself with the Soviet Union. Fidel Castro also nationalized American property on the island. (Even as he announced the embargo, President John F. Kennedy sent his aide, Pierre Salinger, to buy him 1,000 Cuban cigars, Petit Upmanns, in the hours before the full embargo took effect.)
After the Soviet Union fell in 1991 that reasoning fell away, but at that time the Cuba lobby in Miami was at its strongest. Looking at the embargo today (Cuba calls it “the blockade”), its principal accomplishment is that “it has given Fidel Castro and Raúl Castro the perfect scapegoat on which it can blame all their problems,” argued Ted Henken, a fervent Cuba expert at Baruch College in New York. A few days ago, Cuba’s Ministry of Education asserted that “the 50-year trade embargo imposed by the United States has severely undermined the country’s education efforts.”
Read the entire piece HERE.