California dreaming

You can add California to the list of state governments eager to do business with the butchers in Havana:

California Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura will be leading an agricultural trade delegation to Cuba, January 21 – 24, 2008, to market California agricultural products to the Cuban government, creating future sales opportunities for California exporters.
“Cuba represents a good potential future market for California agriculture and is one that will directly benefit California companies,” says Secretary Kawamura, “Our experience has been that consumers, in every country we have visited, want access to California products.”

On its face, letting the Cuban dictatorship buy American farm products is not so bad; after all, it represents money leaving, not entering, the island. The cash paid for California fruits and nuts — the edible ones, not, unfortunately, the Hollywood kind ‚ is cash out of castro’s pocket.
But the fact is that in Cuba, consumers will not have access Kawamura describes to California products, or products from any other states that do business with the dictatorship. How exactly will the typical Cuban, who earns an average of only a few dollars a month — especially after the government re-sells some of the items through the black market — afford a bag of mixed nuts?
California and its businesses will enrich themselves. And the Cuban people, enslaved by a tyranny that reserves for itself all economic decisions, will continue to starve.
By any definition, that is a bad deal.

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