‘The embargo is Castro’s best friend’: Cuba’s old and debunked myth lives on in the U.S.
When confronted by the atrocities committed in Cuba on a daily basis, it is the favorite fall-back position for those opposed to the current U.S. policy towards the island's murderous and repressive apartheid dictatorship: The embargo is the Castro regime's best friend, it gives them an excuse for their failures and license to be violently repressive.
This argument is as ridiculous as it is fallacious, but that has never seemed to bother those who use it. But what makes its use even more disturbing is how easily and blissfully its proponents -- especially those who hold positions of power and influence -- completely and totally ignore the constant and never-ending stream of evidence to the contrary. Either they are nowhere near as bright as they think they are, or they are being extremely disingenuous to achieve a particular goal. Neither of these possibilities are very encouraging.
If the Embargo is "Castro's Best Friend"...
Last month, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton frivolously stated that “the embargo is Castro's best friend,” during a presentation at the Council on Foreign Relations of her new book, "Hard Choices."
Clinton adopted this talking point from some of her friends, who habitually make this counter-intuitive argument against U.S. policy and are apparently (or willfully) unaware of the great lengths to which the Castro regime goes in order to have sanctions unilaterally and unconditionally lifted.
For the moment, let's put aside the quiet, constant and intense lobbying that Castro regime officials (through the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C.) conduct on Capitol Hill to persuade lawmakers to oppose Cuba sanctions.
Instead, just based on yesterday's Washington Post story:
If the embargo is "Castro's best friend," then why would the Cuban regime seek to conduct a smear campaign against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), in order to try to prevent him from becoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he would become an insurmountable obstacle to having sanctions lifted?
If the embargo is "Castro's best friend," then why would the Cuban regime try to recruit agents to generate scandalous information about Menendez and other Cuban-American Members of Congress, whom it blames for "tough U.S. policies towards Cuba," as former undercover FBI agent Rober Eringer details in his 2008 book, "Ruse: Undercover with FBI Counterintelligence"?
It the embargo is "Castro's best friend," then why would former high-ranking Cuban intelligence official, Enrique Garcia Diaz, corroborate that it's precisely the "modus operandi" of the regime's agents to fabricate scandals, lies and distortions in order to tarnish pro-embargo, Cuban-American Members of Congress?
Or based on some recently-apprehended spies:
If the embargo is "Castro's best friend," then why would the Cuban regime task its spy Ana Belen Montes, a former high-level official at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, with manipulating and intentionally downplaying U.S. threat assessments against Cuba (which she authored), in order to persuade the Clinton Administration to ease sanctions in the late 1990s?
If the embargo is "Castro's best friend," then why would the Cuban regime's U.S. State Department spy, Walter Kendall Myers, work to discreetly pursue the lifting of sanctions? As a matter of fact, the FBI operation that busted Myers in 2009 specifically sought his guidance regarding the new Obama Administration and its Cuba policy.
Someone should ask Secretary Clinton.