Jose Ramon Cabañas , the chief of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., a very active spy den, flew down to Tampa to talk to its Chamber of Commerce.
The Tampa business community has been aggressively forging links with the Castro Kingdom lately –with the help of their Democratic congresswoman Kathy Castor — and now it has gone as far as to host a visit by the top Castrogonian official in the United States.
Some reflection, based on a recent experience:
Having just met with some Tampa business people who are gung-ho about deals with the murderous Castro regime, I came away with the impression that some of them were hopelessly naive, not just about the risks, but — even worse — about the effect these deals have on repression within Castrogonia.
Ultimately, what some of these merchants I met have in mind is making money. That is their first priority. Change in Castrogonia is not really on their minds. It seemed to me that their boilerplate argument ( “increased business is the best way to bring change to Cuba”) was no more than a pre-packaged response to obvious ethical objections. In the final analysis, when pressed on ethical issues, some of these business people actually showed admiration for the so-called Revolution and a willful blindness to its many crimes and injustices.
When one tries to point out to these merchants that dealing with Castrogonia is akin to dealing with the Third Reich, and that all business deals involve stolen property and slave labor, and are smeared in blood –on top of it all — their eyes tend to go blank. It’s something that they simply refuse to consider. Ultimately, they are content with the prospect of an eternally totalitarian Cuba, as long as they can make a buck.
Sometimes, they actually throw the ethical onus back on the person who is pointing out this injustice to them: the fault, they say, lies with those greedy resentful Cuban exile bastards who refuse to let go of their petty grievances. These selfish dolts, they argue, are the ones really inflicting pain on the Cuban people through the “blockade.”
Some of this attitude is reflected in the article below, where those who oppose doing business with Castrogonia are subtly (and not so subtly) set up to play the villain’s role.
So, let’s get ready for more of this nauseating crap. Read it and weep.
Hope and fear accompany top Cuba diplomat in Tampa visit
TAMPA — The top Cuban diplomat in the U.S. paid a visit to Tampa on Thursday, in part to talk business with members of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
It’s enough to make anti-Castro interests wonder whether the travel and trade embargo even applies here, coming as it does on the heels of other signs of a thaw — direct flights from Tampa to the Communist island nation, a tour of Cuba this month by the University of Tampa baseball team, and an agreement rooted in Tampa allowing the two nations to cooperate in oil spill cleanups.
Ralph Fernandez finds it all profoundly disappointing and hopes this isn’t the handwriting on the wall.
“It’s betrayal from within,” said Fernandez, a Tampa attorney and longtime embargo activist who has represented former political prisoners of Cuba. “It has breached friendships of a lifetime with me.”
Fernandez remains firm in his belief that public opinion supports the embargo, as it has since it was imposed in 1960 after Fidel Castro overthrew the government in Cuba and brought Communism to the island just 90 miles off Florida’s shores.
Rather, Fernandez insists, more people in Tampa and nationwide are putting business above ideals.
“It’s betrayal for money,” he said. “Anytime you throw money into something that has to do with principles, politics or morality, I get a real sick feeling.”
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