The Conductor’s Report Card

Marc has posted the anti-embargo Latin American Working Group’s candidate Report Card on Cuba at Uncommon Sense. He suggests that if you’re for the embargo, you could simply flip the grades around, which is pretty much what I’m doing here, wit a couple of exceptions:
Rudy Giuliani (R)
John McCain (R)
Mitt Romney (R)
Fred Thompson (R)
Mike Huckabee (R)
Joseph Biden (D)
Hillary Clinton (D)
John Edwards (D)
Barack Obama (D)
Bill Richardson (D)
Chris Dodd (D)
Mike Gravel (D)
Dennis Kucinich (D)
Ron Paul (R)
Some shifts in my ranking (as opposed to the simple inverse of the Latin American Working Group): Huckabee can’t get an A for his position now because it’s a flip flop. I prefer a candidate who not only shares my view, but has shared it all along.
Hillary. She can’t get an or A or B because of her history as first lady during one of the worst debacles regarding Cuba, the Bill Clinton presidency (BTTR, Elian, and a missed opportunity to accelerate change during the “Special Period”).
The gang of four that rate an F are easily the biggest enemies of Cuban liberty in this campaign.
That’s the way I see it.

47 thoughts on “The Conductor’s Report Card”

  1. Huckabee’s position may be a flip-flop, but it makes me feel good that he understands his need to so.
    He’s the candidate I’ve favored all along mainly because he’s the only one campaigning for the FairTax®. I was frustrated at the begining with our “hollywood politics” because he was getting nowhere, but his jump to being one of the front-runners has given me hope.

  2. What my thinking is with respect to the “embargo” question is what kind of embargo permits providing our enemy with food and medicine while to this day allowing our enemy to claim very successfully that we have them blockaded? Next I realized that Cuba has not gotten rich by trading with the rest of the world so even if we dropped the embargo they of course would still remain poor. But more importantly they are flat busted broke now and could not buy anything else more than they are already buying. Cuba has very few commodities to sell us now especially with the disastrous weather they have had recently which ruined their crops. We have a window of opportunity here.
    My point is this is not a real embargo so why permit Raul to get mileage out of the policy? Val has said many times that every American product is available in Cuba through 3rd countries and they are still poor. If this was the 1900s and we had a real blockade on the island I could support it. But we are in the 21st Century fighting an information war. Raul has us pinned down by this issue. Val rightfully has asserted that even if we traded with Cuba the people would still be poor. But what would Raul blame if the US suddenly announced a six month moratorium and suspended the embargo? He has no cash so he can’t buy anything. No credit for him either. Whatever he tries to sell us will cause big problems for US profiteers because if we do our job right we exiles keep them tied up in Court as we seek damages for the slave labor they profit from. Raul can’t sell to us in reality because of this, he has no money to buy from us and he will not have the embargo to blame.
    I just think we should leave the WWI trenches and start fighting a smart information war. The embargo had its place in the day when the Castro boys had USSR cash. But today it is completely unnecessary as a new economic reality has set in inside of Cuba – they’re busted broke and all infrastructure is used up and must be completely replaced.
    So to me the embargo is phony so it is not an issue to me. Make it a real blockade (which I also favor) or stop this embargo nonsense. There is one candidate that wants to stop the bankers from reducing your money’s value and with it the value of your labor output. Ron Paul. The economics of this is not greatly complex and I wish more of you took the time to study the fractional marginal banking system that is screwing us all good! It allows the bankers to create money out of thin air which they get to spend to purchase wealth while at the same time triggering price increases that diminish our wealth. The system was created by J.P. Morgan himself. Ron Paul believes the dollar should be worth something tangible and be based on something like gold. I agree with him. Lastly the same MSM that has screwed Cubans for half a century is totally against Ron Paul and supports the other guys who’s names I won’t mention. You know the MSM information on Cuba is bull shit but you believe them with respect to who should be our next president? But for me, mom always told me that a liar who lies to you even once is still a liar. The MSM are liars about Cuba. They are liars through obstruction and omission with our presidential race. They are manipulating many of you as well.

  3. While I respect your opinion, Tomas, I have to disagree with it and find fault with some of your conclusions.
    First of all what Cuba claims about the embargo doesn’t concern me. The embargo could be lifted tomorrow and the rest of the world would not change its opinion about Cuba or the U.S.
    Secondly, I disagree with the idea that Cuba has “very few commodities that it can sell us.” Cuba has shown that its number one commodity is Cubans themselves. A lowering of the embargo will mean a flood of American tourists showering the regime with cash, most of which will not reach the people. Instead they will continue to be indentured servants working in “mixed partnerships” with the regime, only it will be American companies not Canadian, Spanish or French ones that will be doing the exploiting. No thanks.
    To say that Raul has the U.S. pinned down on anything is fallacious. The U.S. does not need Cuba. Cuba needs the U.S. As such, the U.S. has the right to ask for something in return. And we’re asking for is not that difficult. Freedom for the political prisoners, allow political opposition to organize and end the political persecution. Which one of those would be willing to set aside in order to “remove the propaganda tool” that Cuba uses? I’m not willing to compromise any of those. On that I’m intransigent, sorry.
    I believe in a lot of libertarian principles but not on this. And it’s for one reason. Libertarian principles don’t work when there’s government interference in the economy. And I’m talking about Cuba’s economy which is one giant monopoly. I’ve written extensively about this at Cuban American pundits.
    Link to post.

  4. Ron Paul? The Ron Paul who collects donations from neo-Nazis — and then refuses to return the dollars? Tomas, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Don’t bumpin to Hillary, Chris and Barack while there…

  5. Let me follow up. As for the embargo I believe saying the embargo no longer exists will not help Raul one bit and even make things impossible for him to govern. That’s my perception of the question based on analyzing everything I know. But I’ll freely admit – I could be wrong. But I think I’m right. But the things I warn you about concerning our money system are absolutely real, definable and I might add, the very thing that has brought on the end of all previous empires. At the very least it signaled the end. The rulers inflate the money. That’s a fact. Just because the vast majority of public educated Americans were never taught about this swindle in school does not mean it is not real. It is a real as the nose on your face. Ron Paul will restore value to the dollar and value to your labor output.

  6. No no no Henry. I draw the line at travel. What you say about that is absolutely correct. I believe Cubans should be allowed to travel freely to see family buy not other Americans. Not now. We say to Cuba that we’re dropping the embargo and if they behave we will allow travel sometime in the future. Henry I’m just saying since we don’t really have an embargo in reality we say it’s lifted. Most foreign “investment” in Cuba have been losers and Castro owes billions which will never be paid. I think we should at least study the question more deeply to see if we could project an outcome. Answer questions like what more could Cuba buy from us? How would that help or undermine the regime? What would Raul try to sell us? How much could he profit if we kept his customers tied up in US Courts for slave labor profiteering? Under this new approach would the side that opposes the regime look better or worse? Would the regime look better or worse?
    Henry you say that you do not care about world opinion. But this is like past generals who stayed with traditional warfare tactics after the machinery of war made them obsolete. World perceptions are everything in a 21st century information war. Not because it makes us feel good to know they realize we are righteous – but that’s nice too. It is because perceptions are money in the information age. These are our bullets. Please do not diminish the value of this weapon.

  7. George if you go to my blog you will see that story about Nazis was done by the Israeli government. Ron Paul said he was not going to go line by line on each donor to return money from questionable donors. He’ll use their money so the racists cannot to spread his message. To smear an honest man like Ron Paul is despicable and you should not believe the muckrakers who are doing this. I know the man personally and he IS NO RACIST. You have my word on that so we should be able to eliminate that topic from a serious debate about the effectiveness of the embargo.

  8. Tomas, we’ve been off the gold standard for more than 30 years. The value of the dollar is based on the collective health of our economy. Short term fluctuations can be influenced by speculation and by incomplete information but eventually it all comes out in the economic wash called equilibrium. As long as we don’t encumber industries with too much arbitrary interference and regulation, the economy and therefore the dollar will do just fine. No apocalypse on the horizon. But hey what do I know, my degree is in Economics.

  9. Far from being just another propagandistic statement by the regime, the claim that Cuba has lost billions of dollars because of the US embargo was a calculated move. They will bring it up again and again in the next year or so with the anticipation that the new US administration will be more open to trade with the island.
    With that fallacious claim in hand, they will then attempt to negotiate a deal with the new administration using that fantasy figure as leverage.
    Ending the embargo will not end the regime’s excuses. Take out the embargo and they’ll complain that they still have to deal with its effects. Of course, giving them some financial support will help them deal with the pain all the better. And if we go that route, we become just another Spain.

  10. Henry we’re been off the gold standard since 1913 for Americans. It was actually illegal to own gold bullion for a good while in America. The going off the gold standard that you talk about was for the rest of the world after the US could no longer back the dollar in gold because foreign debt was greater than the reserves held by the US. That’s because the last great expansion of the money occurred to pay for the Vietnam war and while countries had always in the past forgone asking for gold, with the lost in dollar value they began asking for gold. Here is a short movie on this topic that shows how the bankers make money out of thin air which means today’s dollar is only worth 13 cent in 1913 value.
    Basically the fed can drive up costs but salaries always lag behind and here’s the kicker – you get to pay higher taxes because while your money buys less you are making more so you’re in a higher bracket. Remember what happen to Germany before WWI with inflation…

  11. But the fact is Alberto they could not say we were embargoing the island any longer. Don’t underestimate the financial trouble they face the more we expose that lie. One lie is Cubans are poor because of the embargo. Why are they still poor with the embargo lifted as we all agree would be the case accept for the junta of course? Now most people in the world think Cubans are poor because of the embargo. They think we are the cruel ones. Wouldn’t it be better to have them see Raul is the cruel one. As it is now all I’m saying is I believe embargo or not things economically between the US and Cuba will not change significantly. So why act like there is an embargo? Announce the embargo is lifted. Nothing much will happen until the junta goes either way. They are broke remember. Look on the realcuba about the storm damage. Do you think those people are starving because Raul wants to starve them to death? He’s not that stupid – he’s broke.

  12. Alberto,
    There’s no doubt that the embargo, even in its present (not a full embargo) state hurts the regime in its pocketbook. Access to American tourists and investors which Cuba can fleece represents billions of dollars. Cuba can shed its dependence of its venezuelan sugar daddy tomorrow if the regime makes those concessions: Freedom for the political prisoners, legalization of the opposition and an end to political repression. Again I ask which of those we should be willing to compromise on?
    Tomas, let’s keep the discussion on Cuba. Ron Paul’s ideas for Cuba will only result in:
    A) A capitulation by the United States to the most murderous regime in the history of the hemisphere without obtaining a single concession.
    B) American companies participating in joint ventures with the castro regime (the only way foreign investment is permitted in Cuba) essentially making them accessories to the crimes committed by the regime.
    C) A wave of American tourists who will enjoy the benefits of tourist apartheid while the Cuban people continue to hustle and prostitute themselves.
    D) The further enrichment of Cuba’s ruling class at the expense of Cuban workers
    E) The enlargement of Cuba’s substantial foreign debt that free Cubans are already going to have to deal with.
    F) A probable Federal bailout of companies that got bamboozled by the regime in its 11th hour.
    G) a prolonging of that 11th hour. Like I said, no thanks.
    I don’t think Ron Paul is a messiah that’s going to save us from an impending doom.

  13. Henry none of those things I advocate as previously stated. No to tourism. No to joint ventures because they have not yet paid for what they stole in the first place. No to loans. Therefore no federal bailout. I’m only advocating that we state the trade embargo is over – now what would you like to buy Raul. I believe this will expose that he is broke. My support for Ron Paul is not religious but based on the fact that he is the only honest one running (they all swore to up hold the Constitution but only Ron Paul abides by that oath) and I agree with his policy.
    But I’ll tell you this. This is a good dialog to have on the topic because many people think Cubans are unreasonable. Though we have differing perceptions on the outcome of lifting the embargo we still have a civilized conversation. In Cuba they beat you for differing opinions. So no matter how we approach the future this is a good show for us all!

  14. Tomas:
    Even if we lift the embargo tomorrow, the regime will then blame the 40-some-odd years it was in place as the reason for the problems in Cuba, all the while stating that if the US pays them the money they lost because of it–something the US will never do–all the problems will be solved. Therefore, lifting the embargo does not shift the pressure to raul and his minions. The US will be painted as the bully that beat up the poor skinny kid for no good reason and now doesn’t want to help it up.
    In addition, the world is not going to suddenly change its negative opinion of the US if we do lift the embargo. Hating America is a past-time the world will not give up with one policy decision.
    As you have said, and rightfully so, this is a war of information and propaganda, and in that arena, the regime will always have the advantage in the sense that world opinion will always side with them because they are going up against the hated Americans–no matter how many hundreds of thousands they have killed.
    I’m with you 100%. I am not willing to compromise on any of the issues you mentioned. They comprise the most basic of human rights, and if we capitulate to a regime that in truth has nothing to offer us, how will it affect future negotiations with countries that we do need to deal with?
    In the end, it is a lose-lose deal for the US. Don’t lift the embargo, and we’re cruel; lift the embargo, and we’re cruel for having done so in the first place.
    Pa’ eso, deja las cosas como estan.
    Why give up when you don’t have to?

  15. All those things you say Henry are true to one degree or another and many we can do nothing about. My only question is if we got the US government to lift the trade embargo – what would happen? Ventures by US entities would be across the board forbidden since that way we are assured no American firm is directly using appropriated property. No travel except by Cubans to see kin. No bail out by government. What would actually occur? It’s a given that the regime will try to attack us from another angle and that could be part of our approach to the lifting. We say: “We call for the lifting of the embargo even though the regime is sure to blame their corruption and inept economic performance on something else we are doing or have done. We call for the lifting of the embargo even though we realize that the regime is almost sure to perpetrate some new outrage to provoke us to reimpose the embargo because they blame all their awful ways on the embargo. But we call for the lifting of the embargo because it has nothing to do with poverty found in Cuba – communism does.”
    I want our side to look magnanimous. As we all agree the Cuban people will not benefit either way. Their lives will be the same embargo or no. But just us having this dialog enlightens those who read our discussion. That’s a plus no matter what we do. My goal is to remove the question of the embargo altogether. We can do it I believe overnight by lifting the embargo semantically speaking where in reality there is no real embargo in the first place or we can continue to discuss it which will also enlighten outsiders of the reality inside of Cuba. It will take longer though to free the Cuban people that way. There are lots of starving people especially in Eastern Cuba. We can even say we want to end it because of this suffering and maybe even do it incrementally. How about just adding construction material to the list of okay stuff to sell Cuba along with food and medicine. Legalize cement, wood, nails, shingles, etc. sales to Cuba. What would happen? Nothing! Cuba is broke and cannot afford to buy anything. If I’m wrong they would be able to buy some of these things from us, I’d eat crow and give you all your due concrats but would that undermine our side? I want to dispose of this issue as a weapon used by the junta. The status quo leaves them armed with this effective information weapon. How about it? Would any of you be okay with legalizing building material to see what would happen? Thanks for thinking about it guys. These are important questions. But I have to be honest with you all – you have not provided me with any facts yet that sway my perception to your way of thinking. But my mind remains open to new arguments of persuation.

  16. Really I’m looking for a way to show the regime is flat broke in a way they cannot deny and do it fast. That is an important perception to convey. What would happen if we said okay you can buy construction material – and they bought little or none?

  17. I think we could add one more thing to the list of de-embargoed items – car parts pre 1970 or there abouts. The Cubans who would benefit the most right away would be regular Cubans and they’d be eternally grateful to us for this policy shift. If not these things then why haven’t we demanded that food and medicine be denied? That’s because we’d really look bad. Imagine the marketing bonanza we’d reap with the car parts initiative? It would be an information coup d’état.

  18. Tomas:
    I understand the premise behind your plan, but there are too many loose items that will give the regime enough fodder to continue blaming the US for their economic mismanagement.
    I already mentioned the likelihood of them demanding repayment of the alleged billions they claim we owe them from the lost revenue caused by the embargo, but you also have to take into consideration the large amount of cash the US has in a bank account that it seized from the Cuban government when it expropriated the private US property. They’re going to demand that we release those funds also and the US is not going to release that money to a regime that hasn’t done squat to make amends for what they have stolen.
    The only way the US could completely eliminate any criticism and take away the whole embargo issue off the table would be to completely and totally capitulate to the regime’s demands and then invest billions in rebuilding Cuba’s infrastructure without making any political demands of the regime. And if they do that, they may as well condemn the Cuban people to another 50 years of slavery.
    Any piece left, no matter how small, will be magnified and pounded incessantly by the regime and its willing accomplices in the media. Throw in the fact that Spain, Italy, Israel, and the myriad of other countries that have invested big bucks in Cuba in the past 15 years will not be happy to see the US come in and take over the territory they paid a premium price for. They will not be on our side on this issue and will do whatever it takes to sidetrack or sabotage it.
    We are beyond the point of no return. We have two choices: Tough it out and fight for what is right, or capitulate to the regime’s demands. Anything less will only buy them more time.
    I respect your opinion on this, and if there were not so many loose ends that could come back and bite us, I would be in full agreement with you.

  19. This embargo has been down on food, medicine, what have you; for at least four years. Yet
    the regime doesn’t prosper because it’s communism.
    As the old joke from the humor magazine Krokodil
    put it; if Communism came to Egypt; wait fifty years and they’d run out of sand. Now Tomas, you
    blemish the name of your namesake with your excuses for Ron Paul. It’s bad enough that happened with Laredo Bru and the S.S. St. Louis in 1938. He’s let mental patients like Alex Jones, be associated with him. Don Black isn’t just a Nazi Klansman fmr. Vietnam Vet; he’s one who actually tried to mount a coup in Antigua in 1982.

  20. Why do you all argue with a closed minded “Ron Paul Fanatic?!?!?!?!?!?!?!” We all know the only one with the balls of steel is FRED THOMPSON but Fox news corp rather give him a black eye and support hillary! As for me I will be voting for FRED THOMPSON!

  21. embargo….. WHAT embargo?!??
    an elusive term that generates a lot of nice/even healthy debate and exercises those neurons to no end; but doesn’t the rest of the planet trade with Cuba?
    maybe it’s simplistic, but the US govt. chooses not to trade/throws all kinds of monkey wrenches on US businesses’ ability to openly and freely trade with the gulag down there; lets humanitarian trips and $$$$ through; even allows subversive elements to vacation and carry on educational junkets to the island; doesn’t infringe upon the right of commie red leftists to use US airwaves to rant against the US; and allows the same commies to incorporate travel and other businesses legally in the state with lots of the profits going into the Cuban govt’s pockets
    and the F-list geniuses yap about the embargo…
    le ronca

  22. If I were to say that anyone here supports Nazis would not make it so. Therefore when someone says Ron Paul somehow supports Nazis also does not make it true. Calling Ron Paul a fanatic just won’t do here. I would like to hear Ron Paul is a fanatic because… Then give me one thing he has ever done in his entire life that was fanatical. He is a Libertarian. He does not believe in the initiation of violence by anyone. Violence he believes should be reserved to respond to violence or preventing it. If that is fanatic them you must call me fanatical as well. Did you ever wonder why a Nazi who supports violence would say he supports Ron Paul who does not? Then in addition why did the Israeli government backed group get caught red handed trying to stoke that rumor? Also why has the media not ask all the other candidates to return money from some of their donors who have weird ideas? Why the double standard? The reason is you are being manipulated by the msm here and this smear campaign. My friendship with Ron Paul does nothing to my good name but make me more proud. Now if anyone here comes back and spreads this ridiculous claim that Ron Paul has something to do with Nazis or he buggered big foot in a gay dalliance please be kind enough to bring some evidence to the table. For if you do not then you are deliberately smearing an innocent man and that would call one’s own character into question – not mine or Ron Paul’s. So before we continue the debate on the merits of dropping part or all of the embargo I will kindly ask that this smear of Ron Paul’s good name cease and desist. In America we use evidence to convict with the truth. It is sleazy to tar an innocent man. It’s surprising that some Cubans who have seen what manipulation and lies have done by the Castro regime can use or not recognize at the very least the same bloody tactic. Now if you have no evidence, which you most certainly do not, I will ask you please to not attack my character or my friend Ron Paul.
    Now I’d like to get back to the embargo question. My motive is not to do something that won’t be criticized by Castro. No matter what we do we will be criticized. My motive is to expose that Cuba is broke. You only discussed cement. Take it off the table then. How about wood, nails shingles? How about car parts paid for in cash? Again, I’m not trying to please the regime nor appease their claims. I do want to demonstrate to the rest of the world that WE are the reasonable ones and not Castro. Sadly, most of the world still believes the opposite.
    Alberto those loose ends are what I’m talking about here. What are the loose ends? What would happen if we relaxed parts of the embargo? Some here insinuate that just by asking the question calls my character into question. But that’s just wrong. Ziva my proposal is not to make the Cuban people richer. It is to expose the lie that the embargo is what makes them poor. Asserting to me that it is communism which makes Cubans poor is a bit condescending and a sermon that this parishioners does not require. I know it is communism that makes Cuba poor so it is unnecessary to advise me of this. You know as well as I do that this system will collapse one day. All I’m trying to do he is figure out a way to give it a shove and make it happen faster. Our people are suffering.
    Now I do not believe anyone in this discussion feels this way but some feel the Cuban people deserve this misery for not rising up to overthrow Castro. But I think the Cuban people have been punished enough for this bad decision in 1959.
    In this discussion I have asserted that I am not talking about legalizing tourists travel. I’m not talking about joint ventures with American based companies. In fact just read what I have already written here for the rest of what I am not talking about. I have arthritis in my hands and it makes typing painful. So having me type over and over again the same explanation of what I do not support is kind of painful. Let’s talk about car parts. How would that help or hurt the regime? What would be the regime’s response? I think I know. Raul would place a tax on these parts. Who looks bad then? Who is blocking the future of the Cuban people. You see right now most people in the world think Cubans are poor because of the embargo. I’m looking for ways to crush that perception. Let me remind everyone here that addressing these questions in a rational manner with logical deductions makes us seem reasonable. Leveling wild innuendos or illogical arguments makes us look silly. I’m just saying what if? I might add that I still have not heard a persuasive arguments here that logically explains why relaxing part of the embargo to help expose this lie about it causing Cuba’s poverty. Some here have respectfully brought some concerns to the table but these have not convinced me. I like logical reasoning rather than emotion. Give me your reasons rather than your emotions.
    Thank you

  23. I’ve contacted the Ron Paul campaign again to see what we can do here to refute many misconceptions about him.
    Also, it has been pointed out that, while Ron Paul is 100 % consistent with his support of the U.S. Constitution, I am inconsistent since I advocate exploring easing the trade restrictions but wish to maintain travel restrictions for regular Americans. That’s a fair criticism. Constitutionally speaking the document gives the federal government absolutely no authority to restrict travel of Americans or how they spend their money while overseas. But I am motivated by my wish to free Cuba as fast as possible so rules were meant to be broken. The Founders didn’t realize today’s Americans would be so unenlightened about things like apartheid tourism. So millions of rock heads would go to Cuba and prop up the regime using slave labor. Naturally huge numbers would get ill and be injured too. But a solution that could be done is an amendment to the Constitution. I wouldn’t advocate it but should one pass then Ron Paul would enforce it.
    To sum up I am glad the unconstitutional travel restrictions are in place because it denies Castro multiple millions and saves lots of Americans a great deal of suffering on what is supposed to be a vacation. So you can condemn me there and I must accept the punishment. But you can look in our Constitution. Show me where it gives the federal government authority to ban travel for law abiding Americans. Don’t bother…it does not so you’d be wasting your time. That’s all Ron Paul is saying. The document would not give him the authority just like it doesn’t give the federal government the right to legalize abortion – or ban it. However, the states and localities could legally do these things under the Constitution. It’s the highest law of the land and Congressman Paul swore an oath to defend and uphold that document. So he’s more consistent than me I suppose. I’m sorry for my unprincipled behavior and I hope history will forgive me because I am motivated by my desire to free the Cuban people as fast as possible because they are suffering far too much for far too long.

  24. I think it was Ben Franklin who said the “the definition of insanity is repeating the same action expecting different results” after 40 years of “embargo” and varying degrees of travel restrictions I think the US government has raised insanity bar a few notches. As a son of Cuban exiles living in Miami I am bored and quite frankly insulted by granstanding and pandering politicians that try too tug at the heart strings of our communitty.
    Yes Guiliani talks a good game but ask any attorney and he will tell you he trampled over every legal precept in the overzealous prosecution of Ramon Saul Sanchez and Eduardo Arocena. Mike Huckabee says hes anti emabrgo now (at least while in Miami)but his actions 5 short years ago beg to differ. Thompson joke during the debate was fascetious but not excatly the way I want my president to view Cuba. McCain probably isn’t wearing the bracelet he so proudly displayed anymore (doesn’t do anything for him in Iowa). Romney’s “Patria o Muerte”gaffe speaks volumes about his knowledge of Cuba. Bush after mucho tough talk has allowed more trade with Cuba (well not necesarily for Cubans but more for Midwestern farmers and ranchers).
    Ron Paul gets an A+ in my book as oppossed to “Enrique’s” Why? First from a US perspective (these men are running for President Of the US by the way), Cuba is no longer a threat it is an economic 3rd world basket case thanks to nearly 50 years of communist tyranny. In fact it is less of a threat than China was in 73 when Nixon went there and shook hands with Mao Tse Tung who if you look at things in a global perspective makes Castro look like a girl scout(This is no attempt to make light of the real misery Castro caused many Cuban and American families,but simply putting it in historical perspective).The results though far from perfect beat the alternative (cultural Revolution, Great Leap Forward) hands down.
    Many of our “Cuban-American” elected officials here in Miami use my tax money to travel to China which is still in some forms a communist state. Yet they back laws restricting Family members visit to Cuba to once every three years (Kafka couldn’t have imagined a better law).
    To think that the exile communitty wil some how lead a revolt against Castro’s tyranny is the stuff of fairy tails. There are better alternatives to giving the Cuban people more freedom and liberty, after over 40 years of “embargo” that is beyond obvious. Those solutions are to be worked out by the Cuban people both in Cuba and in exile and not by the government of the US. Castro is dead for all intents and purposes and there is an opportunitty for a movement in the right direction. Things may not happen overnight (we can hope though) but will more than likely be nudged in that direction whether we in the exile communitty participate or not (I wish we would). Before you fire of some knee jerk response think for more than 60 seconds).
    I will vote and work for Ron Paul becuase he didn’t inuslt my intellegemce.

  25. PS
    “Enrique” not debating anyone from the Ron Paul campaign? How open minded…….. Please your mentality and thought process is exactly why Castro came to power and has been able to hold to it for an unherad of 50 years.

  26. 1. I’m frankly tired of countering the false dichotomy that the anti-embargo crowd peddles: that since the embargo hasn’t worked then lowering the embargo must work. The idea that the equation is so simple that the changing of that one variable changes the outcome, is ludicrous that it’s beyond words. The only variable that truly hasn’t changed in 49 years is not the embargo. That’s changed plenty. What hasn’t changed is the leadership at the top in Cuba. And frankly I’m not going to tolerate unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks on our politicians (Republican and Democrat) that help keep the pressure on the regime by not capitulating to the fidelistas and the big agriculture states that never saw a farm subsidy they didn’t like.
    The big fucking difference between China and Cuba (for the 4 millionth time) is that capitalism CAN be a democratizing factor in China because China has taken steps to reform its economy. As presently organized, the Cuban economy can not be a force for democratization. And China also settled with the U.S. for the property it expropriated which was significantly less than what Cuba expropriated.
    2. Oh and my name is Henry. I don’t know why it is that people can’t fucking read anymore.
    3. I don’t have to spend my Sunday re-writing thousands of words I’ve written and that are available to you in the archives just because the Ron Paul nutjobs are out in force.

  27. I not going to pretend that I don’t know how Paul’s supporters overrun any web site that prints anything critical about him.
    And honestly, that’s not going to happen here.
    If you want to keep the discussion focused on the topic at hand (how Ron Paul’s ideas about the embargo are bad ideas), then that’s fine. Once the ad hominem attacks start on others, that’s where it’s going to end.

  28. “If you want to keep the discussion focused on the topic at hand (how Ron Paul’s ideas about the embargo are bad ideas), then that’s fine.” OK Henry are you sure your last name isn’t Castro? You have not been overrun by Paul supporters, quite honestly I would not have read your empty rhetoric had my cousin Tomas not given me the link, and you should be relieved to know that I won’t waste anymore of my time reading it or responding to it. BTW Mao hadn’t taken any steps to liberalize China’s economy prior to Nixon’s visit in 73 most of that was carried out by Deng Xiaoping years later. Your use of profanity only emphasises your lack of civility and small mindness (don’t worry a great portion of humanity shares your condition)

  29. I’m glad you won’t be wasting your time here anymore. If my name was castro, you’d have a lot more to worry about than what I write on a blog. I’m not sure how anybody can take you seriously when engage in that bullshit. And if you can’t handle a few four letter words, too bad. Goodbye.

  30. Supporting the embargo means American food feeds Castro’s apartheid tourists and the medicine heals them. There is actually a better way that IS constitutional and addresses this problem while getting more to the Cuban people while making it tougher on Castro. But it can only be known through logical dialog.

  31. It’s not the embargo that feeds foreign tourists and heals them, it’s the loopholes in the embargo that were established in 2001, when nobody was effectively lobbying congress like the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC is today.

  32. Exactly! That’s why we shut them down legally and constitutionally with tariffs that reward and punish. Wouldn’t it be better if food and medicine for the tourist in Cuba was much more expensive due to the high tariffs for apartheid tourism. That would make other destinations more attractive among other reasons. But saying close the loop holes without saying how without coming off as cruel to the Cuban people I’d like to hear. You demand the federal government get involved in all sorts of unconstitutional activities for your cause while chastising Castro for ignoring the Cuban constitution. The federal government wet foot dry foots you and you hate it. But let me remind you and any other Cubans interested in a free Cuba that under a constitutional government the federal government would not be allowed to do many things – like the unconstitutional Neutrality Act that unconstitutional prevents us from raiding Cuba every week from our safe harbors here by private exile raiders. Cuba is not free because we are pinned down fighting two governments.
    I think I have Bobby Campanoni interested in this plan. I talked about it on my show tonight. It explains my motives and thinking.

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