The media’s “Best and Brightest!” (The Atlantic mag) can’t figure out what kind of hammer the U.S. holds over Cuba
Turns out, the U.S. pressured Cuba to snub Snowden. From the Atlantic Mag.
The paper then added even more to the tale, by stating that Snowden's failure to reach Havana was not because Russian interference, or the loss of his official status once the U.S. revoked his passport. It was Cubans who kept him from getting on the plane. Kommersant says the Cubans balked under pressure from the U.S., which threatened "undesirable consequences" for any country that took him in. It's hard to imagine what could be more undesirable than the decades-old embargo the Americans already have on its island neighbor.
Ground control to The Atlantic: Most estimates put the cash-flow from the U.S. to Cuba (remittances, travel, etc.) at about $4 billion annually. In comparison, Soviet subsidies to Cuba during the 70-80's were about $3.8 billion annually. Are you implying that the Soviets couldn't have "pressured" Castro at the time?
Much of this windfall from the U.S. could end with a few strokes of the U.S. presidential pen. So there's your "undesirable consequences." Note how the Castro regime snapped to attention and stepped and fetched on the Snowden issue. They know who butters their bread.
Not that we would expect such a high-brow publication to know any of this. Recall the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg from a coupla years ago:
“I judge his (Castro’s) revolution against what it replaced, namely, the thugocracy of Batista, who was a friend only to a handful of oligarchs and American mafia leaders.”