What embargo?

Without commentary:

House votes to ease rule on food sales to Cuba

Wednesday, June 14, 2006; 8:37 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to make it easier to sell U.S. farm products to Cuba by overriding a Bush administration requirement to pay in cash before the ship leaves harbor.

By voice vote, the House adopted language allowing payment to be made before the goods change hands, a more common approach for cash sales that also speeds delivery. It became part of a Treasury funding bill passed on a 406-22 vote.

Representatives killed two other proposed amendments aimed at revising U.S. relations with Cuba, including one to end the U.S. economic embargo in place since the early 1960s.

In an exception to the four-decade-old embargo, Congress authorized food sales to Cuba in 2000 as long as Havana paid in advance. The Treasury Department announced in February 2005 that payment must be made before the ship sailed.

“What happened in February 2005 makes no economic or commercial sense,” said Kansas Republican Jerry Moran, sponsor of the amendment on food trade. “At least in the agricultural world, there is an understanding that unilateral sanctions don’t work.”

The House and Senate adopted similar amendments last year but Republican leaders deleted them during negotiations over a final version of the annual Treasury funding bill. The White House threatened a veto unless the language was dropped.

Moran and other critics said the White House’s 2005 interpretation put roadblocks in the way of U.S. sales. Havana has to pay for the time that ships sit idle after loading while waiting for payment or pay a fee to use a letter of credit.

In an interview, Moran said his amendment had “broad support” in both chambers.

On the two other Cuba-related amendments, the House:

— defeated, 245-183, an amendment to end the U.S. economic boycott. Rep. Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, unsuccessfully tried similar amendments in the past.

Rangel called the embargo a “failed policy” that has not improved human rights in Cuba, “while causing injury to ordinary Cubans, as well as Americans whose freedom to travel and to pursue business opportunities on the island are restricted.”

–rejected, 236-187, amendment that would have made it easier for students to study in Cuba.

And let’s not forget, folks, that with each sale of food, the US government representative involved must sign a document – an “advocacy agreement” – promising to lobby Congress for the lifting of the embargo.

H/T: Mike Pancier.

2 thoughts on “What embargo?”

  1. That’s what happens when a thug cuts your electricity and water to your interest section in Havana. The house of representatives -whose salaries we pay- get to work…. On behalf of a tyrant and offers him a new lease in life. At least, Chawlie Rangel got his ass whupped, and that puts a smile in my otherwise morning stern face. Students to study in Cuba? Those morons should ask Cuban students, like the ones busted for USING THE M’F’KING internet! I bet that they would love to come to the USA to study, drink, eat, live, and yes, to use the internet in total freedom!

  2. Yes, we’re paying those pimps to do castro’s dirty work. How does it feel to know that fidels fingers are in your pockets?

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