Maybe So, But…

The editorial board at the Naples Daily News on Florida’s southwest coast are evidently trying to be the “west coast” alternative to the traditional Miami-area (i.e. hardline) line of thought when it comes to U.S. Cuba policy.
As their editorial published on Tuesday pretty much states, Cuba’s abysmal human rights record really doesn’t matter, as long as the monies are flowing. Everything else is just “politics”.

Editorial: Cuba
Agribusiness trumps politics

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
U.S. relations with Cuba are just marking time until the departure of two leaders, Fidel Castro (from this Earth) and George W. Bush (from office in January 2009).
After that, many, not the least of them American exporters, expect that 45 years of sanctions on Cuba will be eased and perhaps removed altogether. Leading the charge through whatever gaps appear in the embargo will be American agriculture.
Proof of that was much in evidence at the recently concluded annual Cuban trade fair where more than 100 U.S. businesses and representatives from at least four states were there to sign deals and to position themselves to sign even more deals when sanctions are eased.
President Bush, well-attuned to the political influence of Cuban-Americans in the state of Florida, has been a hard-liner on Cuba, greatly restricting travel, tourism and financial transactions with the island.
But right before he took office the powerful farm lobby won an exemption for food and agricultural products. From nothing, those sales have grown to $500 million a year. And trade is trumping ideology. David Heineman, governor of the resolutely red state of Nebraska, was present to sign an $11 million deal for wheat.
The farm trade has grown in spite of intentional obstacles the Bush administration has placed in its way. Cuba must pay cash in advance, and there are onerous restrictions on shipping.
And, late last month, Bush reiterated his determination to continue the sanctions — trade would be “giving oxygen to a criminal regime” — and gave his vision for post-Castro Cuba — “the dissidents of today will be the nation’s leaders tomorrow.”
Maybe so, but the president is up against economic forces growing stronger as Castro grows more feeble. The United States was once Cuba’s largest trading partner and there are those on both sides who want to see it that way again

Oh well. At least our very own Ziva set them straight in the comments to the editorial.

5 thoughts on “Maybe So, But…”

  1. Precisely. It’s just a business matter. This sort of mentality, which is obviously quite common, reduces the Cuban people to a kind of human wallpaper, or inanimate objects. They’re obviously beside the point, which is turning a profit. Of course, if Cuba had a right wing regime, this attitude would be far less brazen, since then it wouldn’t be politically correct. However, maligning “those people” in Miami is always fair game, and screwing Cuba over is a very old sport of the “liberal” set.

  2. Is anyone taking any names down? Remember even the article printed the quote “the dissidents of today will be the nation’s leaders tomorrow.” It would be nice to for these dissidents to remember which business and politicians got into bed with their oppressors

  3. I can understand people wanting to trade with Cuba; don’t agree but can understand.
    I can understand people calling hypocrisy when the US doesn’t trade with Cuba citing human rights violations but trades with China; I myself wouldn’t trade with China.
    But that people would blatantly state that dollars are more important than freedoms that I CANNOT understand nor agree with.

  4. What embargo? The U.S. should announce that the embargo is lifted for Cuban individuals for trading (not on the list of crooks) and let Cuban Americans visit relatives in Cuba provided they can stay with relatives. This calls Raul’s bluff. It will be he that officially blocks these openings because he knows his two-bit regime could not stand under this weight

  5. Don Tomas –
    You might be on to something here. Question is, policy on the island being what it is – HOW DO YOU TRADE WITH INDIVIDUALS AND NOT THE REGIME? If it could be done, imagine – individuals get credit and the regime pays cash, talk about the Dictatorship of the Proletariat fading away! -S-

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