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realclearworld

Cuba’s Castro dictatorship sends a message to investors and business partners

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Castro Sends Message Through Imprisoned Canadian Businessman

Cuban state media has announced that "in the coming days" a decision will be announced regarding the fate of Canadian businessman Cy Tokmakjian, who was one of the Castro regime's closest and biggest business partners.

In 2011, Tokmakjian's business was suddenly confiscated and he's spent 2 1/2 years imprisoned in limbo awaiting "trial and sentencing." He now faces a 15-year prison term.

As we've said before, Mr. Tokmakjian and other foreign businessmen should have though about "the lack of due process, transparency and independence in the Cuban system" (as his lawyers now claim) before they decided to partner with -- and profit from -- Cuba's repressive dictatorship.

But the most interesting part of the "official" note by Cuban state media is the reminder that Cubans are third-class citizens who can only be directly hired and paid by the Castro regime, which skims an overwhelming portion off-the-top.

According to Cuban state media:

"Cy Tokmakjian was accused of using fraudulent and corruption-oriented mechanisms to benefit from trade negotiations with Cuban entities, thus causing considerable damage to Cuban economy; he was also accused of unauthorized operations related to financial intermediation ... as well as of giving money to several workers, who were involved in activities foreign to those legally authorized or were not hired by Cuban entities."

In other words, this is a message to foreign businessmen that they cannot directly hire Cubans.

Moreover, that Cubans are prohibited from directly partaking in foreign trade and investment.

Cuba's workers are exclusively the domain of the Castro regime, whose monopoly must be paid directly for labor in foreign currency. It will then only pay the workers a small fraction's worth in local currency.

All of this in violation of international labor law.

This is also the "slave labor" practice that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and those unscrupulous businessmen who seek to lift U.S. sanctions are more than willing to exploit.

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