Growing some teeth?

As reported by The Real Cuba and Cuban-American Pundits, the Bush Administration is adding some well needed teeth to the US/Cuba sanctions:

MIAMI The Bush administration announced the formation of a new law enforcement task force Tuesday that will aggressively pursue violations of trade and travel sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Cuba for more than four decades

42 thoughts on “Growing some teeth?”

  1. This administration has done nothing but maintain the Clinton policy towards Cuba, send Coast Guards to do the work of Castro, while attempting to patronize the exiles with ‘symbolic’ BS policies that doesn’t move Cuba one inch closer to freedom, and keeps families apart for 3 years at a time.

  2. You are right. But imagine what the Dems would do. It would be infinitely worse, with Senators taking junkets, opening the financial spigot fro fidel & raul by lifting the embargo, permanent repudiation of us, the exiles, because in the end we will have been the losers in the fight. I am as frustrated as you, Piruli, but never forget that it was a Dem that, on April 17, 1961, started the sad, long series of betrayals.

  3. One question: Wasn’t it this administration that allowed US agricultural products to be exempt from the embargo, thus allowing the US to become perhaps THE largest exporter of such products to Cuba?

    This exemption has just fueled the debate by US business to abolish the embargo, and Bush ain’t a Dem.

  4. Oye, este disco ya lleva 50 a~nos co~no! Para cambiar el sistema crea yo que hay que cambiar el tema primero. China estara bien jodida politicamente, pero cualquier cubano cambia su situacion economica por la de los chinos.

  5. The problem is not the emabrgo, fellas; it’s the regime. Repeat after me: it’s the regime, it’s the regime, it’s the regime, it’s the regime.

  6. George,
    You’re correct. Its the regime, period..
    To “One_Question”
    It was NOT the administration that exempted food from the embargo. It was congress back in 2000 or so, that exempted food from the embargo as long as the goods were purchased in cash by the regime.

  7. George, I don’t argue with anything you state. In fact, it is because of everything that you state (which is all true) that the honchos at the top of the other Party know they have us by the balls and will do the ‘dance of a thounsand dances’ and the absolute minimum while trying to make us believe that they are actually doint ALOT! I am just frustrated because it is TIME TO CALL THEM ON IT. I don’t give a CRAP about the commie-loving RATs, and I will never vote for any one of them, but for Cuba’s sake, let’s get PUT THE HEAT on those that can do the most.

    If they are really SERIOUS and want to topple the regime, here’s what they SHOULD do:

    1. Let the CLAIMS begin against all those foreigners trafficking in stolen Cuban property.

    2. Let all exiles visit to/fro CUBA…AT WILL, with no conditions, absolutely NONE.

    3. Let the drug-trafficking endictements go forward, and anyone indicted will be hunted and wind-up in a jail cell next to Noriega.

    That’s only for staters.

    If they don’t cough up the perps, guess what? We come after them, and clean the whole house once and for all. To hell with Iran / China / Russia / Venezuela / France / Spain and any other monkey country that wants to take us on over a country 90 miles from our shores.

  8. I agree with 1 and 3, but not 2. That just props up the regime with cash. I have been in favor of a naval blockade for decades. Rein ’em in until the regime explodes through actions of the people, or from within the nomenklatura itself. Hand down the indictments, unsealed. Name names. Then arrest whoever you can wherever you can. It’s time to get medieval on their asses.

    Hard-line? You betcha. No playing around. This is a regime that gleefully told the world that they urged Kruschev to fire nukes at us. Enough is enough.

    ¡Ya no mas, coño!

  9. We complain that Castro has a ‘fence’ preventing Cubans from having freedom of movment out of their country, but on the other hand ‘we’ want to put a fence preventing our country-men from having freedom of movement to get into their own country.

    I know the arguements, but I ask everyone to PLEASE REALLY THINK ABOUT THIS, if you really care more about CASTRO then the Cubans, you will do ANYTHING to go against CASTRO at the expense of everything else. So, I respectfully have come to disagree on the Cuban-exile travel aspect of this.

  10. Piruli,

    Cuban exiles have been allowed to travel to Cuba since 1979. That’s 27 years. What has it accomplished?

    Complacency from many who otherwise might be more vocal towards their own lot in life but arent because it might impede their remittances from abroad.

    Expectancy from the Cuban government and other quarters knowing that family abroad will send money to those still on the island.

    A separation of class between those with family abroad receiving remittances and those without receiving nothing.

    I mean, how much longer do exiles need to be travelling to Cuba or sending money before some change comes?

    The Cuban governmnet knows full well what its number one export is. Its not rum, it’s not tobacco, it’s not nickel. Cuba has only one export that guarantees it a yearly income of close to a billion US dollars: the Cuban exile.

    Ive stated many times here before that as a Cuban it’s difficult to tell other Cubans not to visit their families on the island. But IMHO, that’s just a bandaid over a gushing wound. It wont change a damned thing in the long run and will keep the people of Cuba living off the dole.

  11. Oh Boy, I tried to keep myself from this topic and I know I will stir the water a bit, but…
    I will never vote democrat unless he is a fiscal and moral conservative. With that said, please don’t insult my intelligence by submitting this petty (band-aid as well) new policy. We all know that it is nothing but a political statement. As for passing the buck to congress for the Ag sales to Cuba, there is such a thing as a veto. Would it have been over-ridden? Possibly, but it would have made a statement especially since most of our Cuba policy is just a statement in my opinion.
    I love the USA, the GOP, and my President, but I feel that our policy gets us nowhere. As Val has said and I agree, the only thing that will free Cuba are the Cubans on the island. With that said cracking down and restricting “family” and”true humanitarian” visits to Cuba is merely unproductive fluff. As George said the regime is the problem, I agree. But these petty unproductive calandar year programs are of NO help. Vote Republican and Conservative because its right and not because someone tosses you an election year bone.

  12. Here comes the Circus again preparing their acts for the new elections. I don’t call it growing some teeth more like making more bogus crap. For 47 years, American presidents from Eisenhower to Bush have tried to oust Fidel Castro.For 47 years, the U.S. has barred Americans from traveling to cuba or Trading with cuba. Yet for 47 years, Fidel Castro has remained in power. It’s time to admit that the Embargo Policy has been a failure and a farce.If we haven’t gotten rid of Castro in 47 years, what makes us think this new add-on’s is going to do the job now.Sorry, to say but this little Embargo game is getting old. Face it, Castro has survived 9 U.S. presidents, Numerous assassination attempts, a U.S. Backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs and an international missile crisis. That Bastard is not leaving until he dies.

  13. Nice post Pototo. Here one question to Val Prieto. By dismissing restrictions of family travel to Cuba as a “band-aid over a gushing wound”, arent’t you totally ignoring the fact that many Cuban families have loved-ones that they wish to see, REGARDLESS of the political context?

    I’m starting to think that you have no loved ones living far off in another country. It’s a pretty cold statement if you ask me.

    Like it was said: regime change will come from the Cuban population if they truly want it, not from their family visits. Those visits would be totally irrelevant, as well as the remittances I believe.

    One doesn’t give up a chance for democracy because their uncle in Miami bought them a new fridge.

  14. Two points –

    Val, you make your point well..

    – “Cuban exiles have been allowed to travel to Cuba since 1979. That’s 27 years. What has it accomplished?”

    – “how much longer do exiles need to be travelling to Cuba or sending money before some change comes?”

    However, my point is (and I have come to the conclusion) that using “exile travel” back-and-forth as a “tool” in this war is (IMHO) far worse to the “our Cuban families” than to the regime itself. This issue will have absolutely no impact on the viability of the regime by 1 single day. If the intention is to punish and starve the citizens to make them rise up, well look at N.Korea now, Russia in the 1930’s. It will not work.


    -“Vote Republican and Conservative because its right and not because someone tosses you an election year bone.”

    I totally agree. But, what I hate to see is ‘complacency’ to the ‘actions’ done so far by the Replublicans towards Cuba, because these actions have done NOTHING to bring an us closer to seeing the end of this regime. My point is IT IS THE REPUBLICANS (‘our’ representatives, and not the RATs) who we should be holding the feet to the fire to actually do something MEANINGFUL.

  15. Great! ahora si vamos a tumbar a Castro! never mind the ganaderos and agricultores go to Cuba to sell their products… but i’m not allowed to go and visit sick grandma. That’s why i violate the law and go to Cuba as often as cuando me sale de los …

  16. Piruli,

    I agree. We should hold the feet to the fire, but I think that part of the lack of action comes from how little support the government would receive from the rest of the nation. Look at the Middle East and all the tension it has stirred up. I don’t think the non-Cuban-American public really cares enough to support any further action.

  17. Potato if the family visits and humanitarian aid to Cuba are only unproductive fluff then why does the regime allow it? Hasn’t it been castro’s mantra from the beginning that he doesn’t need and won’t accept anything from the evil Yankee imperialists? Like it or not, the visits and humanitarian aide subsidize and legitimize the regime.

  18. Deja vu. And more deja vu as Nov. approaches.

    Enforcement? It ain’t gonna happen. Hasn’t happened since the laws were put in the books. You can’t keep people from using ingenious methods to circumvent the rules and go see their relatives, sick or not, close or distant. This govt. has never grown enough nuts to enforce the law, even if it’s a stupid law. As we all know, economic and political interests and their ca$$h RULE on this side of the Fla. straits.

    Give me a break. Aaargh!

  19. I wonder why it’s so difficult for people to look at history and understand that the US has pretty much done all it is going to do to free Cuba. here’s a clue folks: no US administration will risk political suicide by overthrowing fidel castro. It just isnt going to happen.

    And since every political party has come to Florida and made promises galore and pandered to the Cuban American community for their votes for over forty years, why do these “timely” press releases clearly aimed at us during an election year surprise anyone? Seriously, is anyone really in shock that this announcememnt was made? Does it matter that theres a GOP governmnet right now and not a DEm one? of course not. the empty promises will come regardless. So please, those of you that are complainig about this are doing so merely for the sake of complaining. History proves that not much more will be done. take what they give us, from both parties, and accept it as the token gestures that they are.

    As for the “embargo”, Ive been here over three years and in three years time, Ive yet to hear a single, reasonable, well thought out argument for the removal of same. Nothing but the “its been 47 years and hasnt worked” and “its a failure” and “outlasted 9 US presidents” and all those other typical complaints. Look, if fidel castro has managed to export his revolution to venezuela, Bolivia, and a few other countries WITH an economic stanglehold in place from the US, can you even begin to imagine just how many Cubazuelas there would be in this world at this moment if fidel castro had all the revenues from no emabargo plus access to the Billions in the Wolrd Bank? There would be tinpot dictatorships everywhere around us and across the world. And if that doesnt bother you then imagine all those huge evil US corporations exploiting the average cuban Jose by striking deals with the Cuban governmnet which in turn supplies the workforce for a fair price to said corporation and then pays a pittance to teh Cuban worker. And the “flooding of Cuba with US goods and services” is another joke. What Cuban will be able to afford all these goods and services on 10 bucks a montho?

    And whoever it was that said they go to Cuba all the time, more power to you man. If you can live withthe fact that you left a country and entered a new one for political purposes and then hop on a plane and travel back to the first country every chance you get, then hey, who am I to grow a conscience for you? You may think youre helping your family, and again, you very well may be, but as long as you keep going back and adding to the coffers that keep your family living like slaves, your family’s chance of ever being your EQUAL and travelling here to visit you continues to dwindle.

    You all may think of me as whatever you want because I support a full travel restrictions for all Cubans, and you may think I have no family left in Cuba and you may think Im heartless and cruel. But truth of the matter is that until I can go to Cuba and have my Cuban family be my equals and not some rich Uncle from la Yuma, have them be individuals able to work for their own progress and well being just like me, have them be able to voice their opinions while Im there and SPECIFICALLY when I leave, and have them live with the dignity that every free human being has to right to then I refuse to go.

  20. Piruli,

    Yes it’s a month out from an election but it’s not like any of our congressmen are in danger of losing their seats. And the senate race is a done deal. So what does the administration have to gain from the announcement? Besides what’s the point of having the sanctions if they aren’t enforced?

  21. conductor,

    Exactly. The race for the remaing seat in teh Senate is a shoe in for the incumbent democrat. Charlie Crist I believe has pretty much an insurmountable lead for the governors race. None of our representative seats are going to be lost, so, again and exactly as you said, what is there to gain? Other than criticism, of course.

  22. The Cuban Embargo is a joke. It is nothing more than spineless politicians bending over to lick the boots of a group of whining Assholes and those that listen to their bs. Every politician knows that to win any votes in Florida he must support the embargo. That is the only reason it is still in place.

  23. You don’t know me Val, how can you tell i entered this country “for political purposes”? I had a family reunification visa, nothing to do with politics. But that’s not important. The FACT is a few weeks before elections we get news of a “task force” to make sure OFAC laws are follow, etc… lol, now stupid do these politicians think we are? In the mean time i’ve seen pictures of some republican governor smoking a fine Havano with Fidel’s oldest brother IN HABANA! Yet i’m being told i can’t go back to Cuba to see my family, right! That’s why i go 2-3 times a year using Cancun, Nassau, Santo Domingo… and don’t care what some law says. Bring it on OFAC, i can’t wait to see how you will prove i went to Cuba! jejeje.

  24. CubanHellRaiser,

    Again, you offer your “opinion” without regard to evidence laid before you and without offering any proof, with the added bonus of an ad hominem attack and generalizations against your fellow Cuban exiles calling them “assholes.”

    I have pretty much ahd it with you as we are attempting to have a civilized debate here and the last thing we needs is someone like you coming here and ignoring everything else presented and attempting to stir the shit. If you want to discuss something, fine. You wnat to debate something, fine. But do what you just did again and I will not only ban you from commenting, you will have the honor of being the first person banned from even entering the site.

    respeta pa que te respeten. Si no, take your shit somehwere else.

  25. The administration has plenty to gain from those who were undecided. This seems a move to remove any doubt about inaction in a post-Fidel Cuba , or just a plain “empty” thank you, keep voting Republican.

    No surprise. But, one question:

    Val, do you usually have such a defeatist attitude? Your statement that “History proves that not much more will be done. take what they give us, from both parties, and accept it as the token gestures that they are.” is so depressing!

    I’m starting to think you don’t care at all about whether the US brings change to Cuba. You are all wrapped up in some kind of isolationism.

  26. SMEB,

    That being the case then, you are perhaps the perfect example of fidel castros greatest money making export: the cuban exile. he created the conditions that led to at one point the division of your family and now he has you as the mule in between, hoping from country to country, bringing him his earnings from his export. See how that works?

  27. Some comments on this blog are living proof that if you tell a lie enough times people begin to believe it.

    OK let’s say the Republicans are announcing these measures now because of the upcoming election (meaning that they wouldn’t have formed the task force if there were no election coming), well which candidate are they trying to help?

    Please enlighten me as to whose race in jeopardy.

    Charlie Crist? Don’t think so, he’s crushing the opponent on all polls to date.

    Katherine Harris? Hell the GOP literally opposed her in the primary. She has a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Nelson.

    Lincoln, Mario, Ileana? Give me a break!

    Besides even if this were done strictly for political points, I say so what?

    Politicians promise and voters vote. It’s the American effing way silly rabbit.

    So they implement a measure that is popular with out community. So what? If it wasn’t popular it wouldn’t be such a great political move huh? So regardless of the so-called erosion of support for the embargo it’s popular enough among voters to keep them happy by strengthening it. Democracy in action I say.

    It would be worse if they promised and didn’t deliver.

    As for those that go to Cuba all the time. Enjoy yourself but you are part of the problem. I want the family separations to end too and the sooner we stop undermining the policies that will help to happen the sooner we will be with our families in a free Cuba.

    I don’t have immediate family there anymore but my mother never saw her father after 1962. He died in Cuba and I never met him. Thanks Fidel. Don’t tell me that I haven’t suffered.

  28. One Question,

    Im not defeatist, Im just pragmatic. What else could the US do to free Cuba? Invade the island? Do you honestly think thats going to happen?


    freedom of speech is fine and dandy, this is the US after all, but just like I have the right to throw you out of my house if you disrespect it, so do I have the right to not have you come here and be rude, crude and profane.

    You were the first one in this thread to resort to ad hominem attacks. And, por que me sale de los cojones, you are now banned. Either respect the venue I give you or get the fuck out.

  29. True Val, that may be the case. But i’ve also learned that there is NOTHING more important in life than family and no law is going to keep me away from mine. But i also think than going to Cuba i do more for the freedom of my country than all the policies in place for almost 50 years. I can tell people how life is in a free country, i can tell how if you work hard you can have a good life… etc. It also feels good to watch the face of “el jefe del comite” that old hijo’e puta when i drive by him on my brand new rental car.

  30. SMEB,

    If you have been reading this blog long enough you know that I have always said that I am noone to keep people from visiting their families.

    That said, do you really need to travel to Cuba three times a year to tell people how great life is in a free country? Just how much family do you have there?

    I find your argumnent, however ideal it may be, quite thin.

  31. Ziva,
    IMO castro allows it because its great PR. Why does he allow those hypocrite pastors for peace? Because its great PR. He doesn’t have a religious bone in his body, but allowed the pope in why? Its great PR. In Cuba its the battle for the minds not the bucks and castro’s propaganda machine is hard at work. Regrettably we have played into his hands on many occasions.
    The embargo is a source of pride for us and will never stop castro. He LOVES the embargo, why?
    Its great PR. No matter who trades with Cuba the cubans will never eat what is imported. I am for family visits and direct humanitarian aid as we ride out the regime. If I can alleviate just a little pain from the hostages of castro then I am happy. I would prefer that our embargo were truly an embargo, but if its okay to profit financially from the regime why can we not help our loved ones. I want castro gone, but what we are doing ain’t gonna make it happen. Do I want to reward him? NO Do I need to starve out my relatives? NO

  32. The embargo was a mere political tool for Castro that’s true but not anymore. He desperately wants it removed so he can sucker the US into giving him more bucks that he’ll never pay back. Bucks that give him more power because he derives his power from the ability to distribute what little goods and services there are in Cuba. Believe me Castro wants that embargo gone. That’s why he has enlisted the aid of legislators and governors from all over the country to lobby congress by spreading his food purchases among almost every state. That’s a fact not conjecture.

  33. conductor,

    each and every single trade agreement between castro and the whatever us entity has a caveat that said entity must lobby for the lifting of the embargo.

  34. We may not agree of many things Val but at least you respect people, you don’t attack them like others do (como los comunistas y otros aqui hacen). I like that, eres un tipo chevere.

    Anyway, except my parents (they live in NYC) the rest of my family is back in Cuba. I don’t go 3 times a year, more like 1-2. My cuban passport is “habilitado” meaning i can enter and leave the country as i want. Why i go? well why not? is my country, is my $$$ that i work hard to earn, let me spend it the best way i can, having fun with my loved ones! if american farmers can go and sell their stuff, make $$$, why can’t i go?

  35. SMEB,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I agree with you that it’s your money and you can spend it however you want. What I have a huge problem with is deception. Specifically when someone comes here and makes altruistic comments, tugging at heart strings about missing and visiting family and loved ones and how they absolutely must travel to Cuba to see them because they miss them so much and its so inhumane of the US to prevent them from doing so, then travel to Cuba, rent an Audi, fill it with jineteras, write “solo monto putas” on the windshield of said Audi and then proceed to screw every single jinetera and puta they can find and then, when they come back, posting said pictures along with the story on the internet.

    Doesnt that bother you too, SMEB?

  36. Those were not jineteras, those were cuban friends. If while living in Cuba i and other guys could get any girls we wanted can you imagine now when i go back? I have a hard time keeoing girs away from me. Not becasue the new Audi i drive, not because all the $$$ i have but becasue i’m a goodlooking, nice guy who treats women the right way.

    If while living in Cuba and riding an old russian bike could get any girl i wanted what can i say now?

    Btw, those pics were to bother your friend Enero, that nutjob “cuban”, jejeje. Relax Val life is short.

  37. SMEB,

    You’ll forgive me if call out your complete and total hypocrisy displayed here on this thread. Travel to Cuba to visit long lost family, eh? Por favor asere. Vas a hechar palo y na mas. It’s people like you that make things difficult for those who really need to travel to see relatives all the more difficult.

    Todo se paga en la vida bro. todo.

  38. Yeah you treat women “the right way”. By calling them “Putas”. Nice. Very classy! I’m sure you’re beating the women off with a stick they want you so badly. ROFL

  39. Well, Val, if anything, from reading all these posts, you sure get lots of readers.

    I agree that sadly we are not going to see the Marines landing in La Habana anytime soon (at least not this week). Maybe we can send the Maine there again. Take all those Gitmo ragheads, dress em up as good ol’ sailors, tie em up, and let er rip right there in La Habana harbor.

    Seriously, though. I’m just tired of seeing the same old stuff (minipee efforts) that hasn’t done squat in 45 years of getting 1 single inch closer to getting rid of that regime.

    When will we say it’s time to try ‘something’ that means something. I am not for doing business with the tyrant, I am for letting Cubans and Cuban-Americans freely travel from/to Cuba, that’s all.

    Again, like I said, I see so much hatred towards Castro (which I have myself) reflected with support for this “3 yr family travel restriction”, so much so much that we blind ourselves to the collateral damage that it causes to the Cuban people.

    This is getting close to the old Vietnam saying…”we had to destroy the village to save it”!

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