Bloomberg argues for end of Cuba sanctions, offers only contradictions
As a news outlet, Bloomberg has never been known to be on the forefront of Cuba and U.S. Cuba policy issues. Nevertheless, their editorial board decided to venture into this realm with a very forceful appeal for the U.S. government to end sanctions against the ruthless and totalitarian Castro dictatorship in Cuba. As to be expected, the results of this foray by Bloomberg into unfamiliar waters turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.
In an editorial littered with debunked arguments in favor of the Castro dictatorship, what calls the most attention are the conspicuous contradictions contained within these arguments and the use of long ago discredited information. In fact, the contradictions are so obvious, the editorial can be perceived as a strong argument in favor of sanctions against Cuba.
Here are a couple of those contradictions:
Is Cuba really America’s most serious national security threat? You might think so from the sanctions the U.S. imposes on it, which are more onerous than those on Iran and North Korea.
Cuba is hardly benign. It beats and imprisons dissidents, commits aggressive espionage, cheers on Iran and Syria, and supports some of the Western Hemisphere’s most democratically challenged regimes. Still, it is fitfully changing for the better, and the U.S. can help speed along the process.
Right out of the box, the editorial argues it is ridiculous to consider Cuba a threat to the U.S. Then, they list all the things Cuba does that makes them a threat to U.S. national security.
President Raul Castro, the 81-year-old brother of Fidel, has laid out plans for economic reform and is passing power to Cuba’s post-revolutionary generation. The impending demise of Hugo Chavez, whose country supplies Cuba with about two-thirds of its oil in a sugar-daddy barter arrangement, is another potential catalyst for change.
That said, there’s an even better reason to alter U.S. policy toward Cuba: It isn’t working. A half-century after John F. Kennedy slapped sanctions on the Castros, they’re still in power. The U.S. embargo has little global support; no other country puts sanctions on Cuba.
As the editorial clearly states, the Cuba sanctions policy of the U.S. has been unsuccessful since JFK. Furthermore, it is unpopular with all other nations, none of which have sanctions against the Cuban dictatorship. This, of course, raises a question that Bloomberg fails to answer: How successful has the policy of engagement and business ties with the Castro regime been in achieving liberty and respect for human rights in Cuba?
The answer to this question is that engagement with the regime has been an unequivocal failure. With billions pumped into the island by governments all over the world, the only changes that have occurred are fatter Swiss bank accounts for the Castro family and a better armed and funded machine of repression in Cuba.
Where Bloomberg really shows they have no grasp or understanding of Cuba policy is when they cap their argument by citing a 1998 U.S. government intelligence report that claimed the Cuban government was no longer a threat to U.S. national security:
The first thing Obama can do is take Cuba off the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. It no longer trains or arms revolutionary movements, and the U.S. intelligence community decided as far back as 1998 that Cuba posed no threat to national security.
The 1998 intelligence report they are citing was actually written by Ana Belen Montes, a top-level Cuba analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency who was arrested in 2001 for spying against the U.S. government for the Castro dictatorship. For years Montes not only fed the Castro regime classified U.S. intelligence information, she also actively worked to change U.S. policy against Cuba and portray the criminal Castro dictatorship as a non-threat to the U.S.
I imagine it cannot take more than five clicks in a Google search to discover this extremely important bit of information regarding Montes, but Bloomberg did not bother doing that. Neither did they bother to put forth an argument that does not contradict itself. All in all, Bloomberg's attempt at addressing Cuba/U.S. policy was, for lack of a better term, lazy journalism. They recycled information they found here and there, slapped it together, and suddenly felt they were "Cuba Experts." My advice to them is that they stick to economic and stock market news stories.
You can read the entire editorial HERE.