15 thoughts on “Your my.barackobama.com quote of the day”

  1. Henry, at the risk of another onslaught by Val. I am going to agree with Charles Penny. But before any heart attacks take place, kindly lay out the virtues of the embargo being in place for 50 years.
    Of course, I am not interested in rubber stamp answers or explanations. Your explanation of the present crisis would serve as a great example.
    My personal take is that the embargo was applied as a justifiable tool initially. It seems like a very rational reaction on the part of the US towards a government who woke up one morning and decided to nationalize [steal] all foreign owned property, as well as locally owned.
    My question has always been whether in an effort to support the ire of our parents and grandparents, we have inadvertently contributed to castro’s staying power.
    A government like castro, in my opinion, is like a religion to its followers. Any religion, dogma, belief, ideology, needs an enemy. An enemy is the only tool that unites a people in a cause. War, terrorism, natural disasters. Humans have a historical record of uniting against a common enemy. Populist governments recognize this and use this to garner support and unity. For castro, this has been great.
    Next step is this fallacy that we are all equals. The only way to make humans totally equal is to make us all poor. The embargo, from my point of view, has served castro well. His ideals were never firm, he changed colors and allegiances as he saw fit. His only and main concern was staying in power.
    Whether the Cubans who support the embargo meant it or not, in a twisted and deformed way, castro has been able to utilize it to his advantage in every way shape and form.
    Is the solution to lift it? Maybe. Maybe not.
    As easily as I can control Val’s emotions by saying a few words he hates, “dialogue” for one, don’t you see how castro could sway exile opinion by his actions and words.
    My opinion is we have been played. And the sooner we realize this, the faster we can take control of our country’s future. Refusal to listen to people who have a different opinion is a refusal to new ideas and a new future.
    If something doesn’t work, change your actions. We’ve been banging our heads against the same wall for fifty years, it hasn’t worked, you think maybe, just maybe, that it may be time to reevaluate our strategy?

  2. topapito,
    Dude, why must you insist we have this argument with you when we have debunked and discussed every single one of your points for going on five years now? Go through the fucking archives and school yourself before you come here with such sophomoric commentary from the periphery.
    There’s search box on the sidebar. I suggest you use it as the more you post these ridiculous boilerplate comments, the more unlearned you appear.
    I mean, look at the comments above. Not only are they all over the place, but, in a nutshell, all they say is “we have to do something different.” But, as is usual and the MO of the anti embargo crowd, you dont bring anything new to the table. Nothing. Nada. Nil. Zilch. IN all the pedantry above, nothing is really said.
    And, off this topic, one other thing. You criticized me in another thread for “blowing up” and taking you to task, including calling me a dictator much like fidel castro. YOu also stated something about how my reaction would be perceived by my readers. Fair enough. yeah. I did bow up and yeah, I did take you to task. Here’s the thing, tho. Our readers know exactly who I am and how I am ad they are more than familiar with my stance on every single topic. They may not always agree, but thats the nature of this business.
    For the record, let me introduce some of your commentray from your blog to our readers:
    You fucking idiots, nine tenths of the Cuban population won’t rise up because they expect to be able to imitate your fucking asses and leave! You fucking bunch of hypocritical pieces of shit! You sit at your computers in a cushy job at a cushy couch and extoll the graces of standing up to castro and his cronies. Just like you did huh? Yeah, I bet you stood up, but only to leave.
    Hyocritical two faced bastards. You don’t care about those who in Cuba are now hungry, desperate to feed their kids. With nowhere to go. You tell them to rise up and shake themselves free of their oppressors. You fucking disgust me. All of Miami should be up in arms now to have the US send help to Cuba without conditions and without end. Flood fucking Cuba with food and clothing and aid, and let the government explain to the people why they will not pass it out, or why they are selling it at the state owned stores.
    Fuck you piss me off! Fuck you all!
    Oh, btw, the Cuban government sent 100 roof shingles to Pinar del Rio, a triumphant achievement when you consider the price of fuel. Those ungrateful fucks in Pinar del Rio then used machetes to fight each other for a single shingle. Go figure…
    Go figure, eh?
    Seems to me you just hate Cubans altogether.
    No vengas a bailar en la casa del trompo, comemierda.

  3. Sorry, a little off subject but Henry are you ready to see the SarahCuda unleash the Pit Bull tonight on Uncle Joe Bin Biden, D-Tehran???
    The MSM, Nut Roots,(even though Huffington Post has a video w/ her skills) the moronic Couric & John “I know what the Bush Doctrine is” Gibson and Gwen “The Obama Goose Stepper” Ifill are going to be in, just like on Sept 3rd in Minnesota, for a big supriseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
    I am in the process of posting some tips for Sarah tonight, not that she needs any…
    Call me Machiavelian, but knowing Steve Schmidt, I think they knew all along about her book and now Ifill becomes the story….an Obamamunist and a blowhard beating up on a Hockey Mom!!!!

  4. Topapito,
    Val is right in that we have written tens of thousands of words about the embargo. I can post some links to some of the more important posts.
    But here’s the thing. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the regime want the embargo removed and they want it removed now. They wouldn’t want it removed if they felt it somehow helped them stay in power. They spend a lot of resources trying to get the embargo removed. Remember when the U.S. first started allowing cash sales of food and medicine to Cuba as a humanitarian gesture? At first Cuba said “no, we want normal trade relations.” Then Cuba changed course and began buying. They began hosting trade delegations from different states. They have an annual trade fair each year where they bring Americans representatives from different states and wine and dine them and who knows what else? When they sign contracts for purchases from the different states they require them to lobby congress for removal of the embargo. They buy the same crops from different states so as to spread more influence. Why have a governor from Nebraska in your pocket when you can have him and the one from Iowa too?
    The regime wants the embargo removed so it can “buy American goods on credit”. Cuba will never pay back the money loaned because it never pays back the money it owes. Part of that is they don’t want to and part of that is that they can’t because their Marxist economy doesn’t work (surprise!).
    The regime also wants American companies to come in invest in Cuba but under Castro’s rules which means we can only be minority partners and we can’t hire workers directly etc. Foreign companies that do business in Cuba are compelled to carry out the regime’s directives (like the tourist apartheid). I don’t want American companies working as minority partners, in Cuba, doing the regime’s dirty work, like Sol Melia and Sherritt International do.
    And lastly the regime wants American tourists to fill the hotels.
    Here’s my question to you. What makes you think that the regime will share the fruits of all of this economic activity with the people? Has there been a big change of leadership in Cuba? Is raul castro the Cuban Gorbachev? He hasn’t shown that he is so far. No, raul is the Cuban Kruschev. Trying to fix a few things but moving more or less along the same path.
    To me its simple. Capitalism has some power to liberate the Cuban people but the door has to be opened to capitalism. What exists today in Cuba between the regime and the foreign countries that do business with it is not capitalism. In capitalism people choose where they want to work. They get to negotiate with their employers. There is private property. There are independent labor unions. There’s private enterprise. None of those conditions exist in Cuba.
    Lowering the embargo under the current set of rules in Cuba would not result in capitalism it would result in a continuation of the current collectivist polices being funded by enterprises that are capitalist outside of Cuba.
    I don’t know why that’s so hard to understand.
    I can’t abide by the logic that “it hasn’t worked therefore removing it must work.”
    The embargo has worked because for 45+ years the regime has had less resources than it would have had. And we know what the regime does when it has resources. It buys tanks and jet fighters and sends armies and advisers to other countries to foment insurrections.
    You want to give a drug addict the keys to medicine chest. It just doesn’t make sense.
    There will be a moment to lift the embargo. That moment will be when we see irreversible moves toward a real market economy in Cuba.

  5. Henry,
    Well put, but I fear your words will fall upon deaf ears.
    My comment to topatipo is much more concise:
    Fuck me? No, dude. FUCK YOU!

  6. I’m really embargoed-out. We’ve explained long enough and often enough the reasons for the embargo and why it should stay in place. You need only to check Babalublog’s archives.
    As to the asinine statement that “The tiny, but enormously influential Cuban-exile community in Miami has held American foreign policy hostage long enough. Fortunately, Barack Obama doesn’t seem to owe it anything.”
    It’s called Democracy you dumb leftist anal retentive jerk! The “tiny” -two million strong- Cuban-American Community always vote at 85% if not more. On one thing I do strongly agree with you THANK GOD… obama don’t owe US and WE don’t owe him ANYTHING!

  7. Thanks Henry,
    But have you ever thought that he has been using reverse psychology? Oh of course he claims he wants it removed, but his actions during the past 50 years have consistently proven otherwise.
    Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, the embargo gives him the right excuse to justify the troubles he puts the people through? Have you been to Cuba after ’59? Have you talked to castro supporters outside of Cuba? And I mean people who visit Cuba, take the state sponsored tour, and leave convinced that the damned embargo is at fault for everything when we know that it is not the embargo that’s at fault.
    You see, I agree that the embargo doesn’t harm the upper echelons, I agree that Cuba violates it at every turn. I just don’t agree he is being deprived of something he really wants. I think he has fooled everyone into thinking the embargo is what is wrong with Cuba.
    I am not too sure that the Cuban people would be so complacent if they knew the embargo had been lifted. No, I’m not too sure that they would willingly stand in line for that ice scream cone, or be willing to live in the squalor they now live in if they knew there was no longer an embargo.
    Further, I would not be too sure that Castro would appreciate having all hotels full of Americans who certainly would be shocked at the way things are done in Cuba. Not really sure of that.
    We all know we were hoodwinked by Castro, we just don’t really realize how much.
    1980 — a Democratic President who would have lifted the embargo, Carter, but wait, castro released Mariel. Can’t lift the embargo now can you?
    1996 — Clinton, another democratic president who would have not minded lifting the embargo, but wait again, castro shoots down the brother’s to the rescue planes. Certainly you can’t lift the embargo now!
    I see a pattern. But would understand if you don’t. Honestly Henry, no justification for the embargo I have read anywhere is any different than the justification for lifting it. Certainly I understand that the embargo has served its purpose, I just believe that it’s purpose has been to keep the fucker in power and those who support it have been underestimating this psychopath for too long.
    And by God you’re right! Of course castro and his cronies would share not one iota of any benefits coming from the lifting of the embargo! To say otherwise is just plain ignorance. But I am not a starry eyed fan of castro, I just think I see his game, and believe me, the embargo has not hurt him or his government. Ever.
    Raul is irrelevant. Raul is just smarter than castro believe it or not. I believe he understands that his term will be short. He runs nothing, he’s just a figurehead. A waste of space, a filler for the void while big brother festers away.
    No, I personally have little faith in any of the leadership in Cuba.
    Btw, I agree with you that lifting it for the sake of lifting it, “because it hasn’t worked” is a bad move. But tell me if you don’t see my arguments above. And tell me why you think I am wrong.
    Thanks.

  8. Of course I’ve thought of that, that argument has been made many times by many people.
    I think Fidel is conflicted about the embargo. The U.S. is his mortal enemy as he sees it as his life’s work to combat the U.S. and humiliate the U.S. At the same time he wants nothing more than get U.S. dollars. He wants to lure American money into Cuba and then do what’s done before. Never pay it back.
    As for your pattern, in 1980 the embargo was simply a rhetorical device because Cuba was being massively subsidized by the Soviet Union and compared to today things in Cuba were not bad economically.
    I believe in 1996 that the threat posed by BTTR combined with the plans of leading dissidents to meet in Cuba posed more of an immediate existential threat to the regime than the embargo.
    Two occasions does not a pattern make.
    The regime wants the embargo removed. I’m certain of it. The thing is that they are not willing to condition its removal. They prefer to keep the Cuba in its sad state of affairs than to make a concession because the enemy is the U.S. and nothing short of a complete capitulation by the U.S. is acceptable. So they want something and they want to dictate ALL the terms. That’s not diplomacy. That’s why we need to keep the embargo. When someone steps forward in Cuba and says “You know what I’m willing to release all the political prisoners in order to get the embargo removed” is when we know reasonable people are in charge.
    And the embargo has certainly hurt Cuba’s revenues. Imagine the hundreds of millions of dollars that Cuba would generate in tourism from the U.S. in the first year alone. Where would that money go. To buying roofs for the folks who lost them in the hurricane? Or buying weapons and otherwise funding the repressive forces.
    You know the answer.

  9. BTW I’d like to know exactly how “removing the excuse” would help bring Cuba closer to freedom.
    Let’s say Barack Obama is inaugurated and the next day he sends a proposal to Capitol Hill to repeal Helms-Burton and remove the embargo. The overwhelming Democrat congress passes it and he signs it. The embargo is removed.
    What happens next?
    We can assume that:
    1. American tourism to Cuba will be wide open and Americans will travel there just like Canadians and Spaniards and British folks do.
    2. American companies will enter into joint ventures with the regime as minority partners in the energy, telecommunications, energy, mining etc. just like Canadian, Chinese, Spanish and French companies have done.
    3. Cuban products like cigars will be exported to the U.S.
    4. Cuba will have credit from U.S. companies and institutions like they have obtained from Russia, Japan, China and other countries.
    5. There will be no limits on remittances to the island. Which is to say the very weak existing barriers to remittances will be removed (I don’t expect actual remittances to rise by very much).
    How will American activity added to all of this existing foreign activity tangibly change the lack freedom in Cuba?
    Also consider that Cubans would probably no longer receive preferred immigration status. We’d have normal relations with Cuba and illegal Cuban immigrants would be deported regardless of their feet being wet or dry.
    How is this the recipe for freedom? Let’s say Cuba gets all this new money and as you have admitted, most of it goes to the castros and their henchmen.
    What happens in five years when we see that the regime acts the same way it has acted for the last 50? The excuse was removed and nothing changed.
    Are the Cuban people THEN going to rise up against the (well armed thanks to a flood of tourist and investment dollars) government?
    Is the international community suddenly going start sympathizing with Cubans?
    Are American companies going to advocate for more Cuban freedoms unlike their European predecessors?
    Is the media going to suddenly recognize that Cuba is a totalitarian dictatorship?
    I want you to give me your best case scenario about how this could actually work. I’m serious. I’m open-minded.

  10. Thanks Henry, I know you are open-minded. These are hard questions to analyze. There is no easy answer except the what ifs. I am not going to tell you you are wrong. The mere fact that you are willing to actually have a conversation about it proves you are open minded.
    So here goes a scenario based on your points above:
    We can assume that:
    1. American tourism to Cuba will be wide open and Americans will travel there just like Canadians and Spaniards and British folks do.
    The government will control travel. Can’t have too many of the Miami Cubans who are now Americans coming in, they will create dissent. This will ultimately lead to internal dissent.
    2. American companies will enter into joint ventures with the regime as minority partners in the energy, telecommunications, energy, mining etc. just like Canadian, Chinese, Spanish and French companies have done.
    My God they would be stupid to. But ok, if these companies are stupid enough to ignore Cuba’s credit record, then let them lose their money. 🙂
    3. Cuban products like cigars will be exported to the U.S.
    Not necessarily, they would have to invest heavily into penetrating a market swamped with the finest cigars money can buy. They could not possibly compete with the cigar makers in Miami and the Dom. Cuban cigars are famous now because of the allure of the illegal. once that’s removed, they lose their luster and become what they really are, second hand smokes.
    4. Cuba will have credit from U.S. companies and institutions like they have obtained from Russia, Japan, China and other countries.
    I doubt these companies would so easily give credit. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume they are stupid. Certainly the government would default on these loans in a very short time. I don’t really think this would last long.
    5. There will be no limits on remittances to the island. Which is to say the very weak existing barriers to remittances will be removed (I don’t expect actual remittances to rise by very much).
    Agreed, not much more remittances will arrive.
    How will American activity added to all of this existing foreign activity tangibly change the lack freedom in Cuba?
    I think that on it’s own, it will not have any effect at all. I think it is a combination of things. Americans are not what I believe to be the true key here. people like you, like me, people who go there and show our friends and family that it IS possible to have a better life. I sincerely believe that the biggest harm caused by the embargo is that Cubans cannot visit the island. Cubans see foreigners as if they were from another planet. But they look at us with a certain sense of pride, they realize that if they had the chance, they too could live like we do.
    Also consider that Cubans would probably no longer receive preferred immigration status. We’d have normal relations with Cuba and illegal Cuban immigrants would be deported regardless of their feet being wet or dry.
    That in itself may not be a bad idea.
    How is this the recipe for freedom? Let’s say Cuba gets all this new money and as you have admitted, most of it goes to the castros and their henchmen.
    Of that, there is no doubt
    What happens in five years when we see that the regime acts the same way it has acted for the last 50? The excuse was removed and nothing changed.
    This is where I would disagree. Everything HAS changed. In five years time, the castros would have shown their inability to make anything work. raul’s government is shaky right now at best, but raul is a solid administrator, he has single handedly turned the military into a money making operation. But their credits will have certainly defaulted. The only thing that would grow is the army’s size and power. Not to mention the possibility that someone from within the ranks decides enough is enough. Raul is old, castro is either dead or dying.
    Are the Cuban people THEN going to rise up against the (well armed thanks to a flood of tourist and investment dollars) government?
    I think generally the Cuban people are tired. No civil war is going to break out. I think their knowing the embargo has been lifted will mean a certain death knell for the castros. Like I said before, many Cubans really believe that the embargo is preventing them from getting ahead. The propaganda machine inside Cuba is like a steam roller. There are very few left in Cuba who actually lived there before castro. Kids are taught in school that the embargo prevents the government from doing any better. They don’t know any different. But knowing there is no embargo coupled with the fact the things won’t necessarily get better is certainly a possible catalyst for an uprising or peaceful protest.
    Is the international community suddenly going start sympathizing with Cubans?
    Most definitely. I have traveled the world extensively. Spoken to lots of socialists, castro supporters, straight up communists. They all sincerely believe Cuba would be a utopia if there was no embargo. Unbelievable I know. But it is what it is. Chileans think castro is the shit. So do Argentinians. I’ve been to Czech, Bulgaria, Spain of course, Italy, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, am Canadian by citizenship, Spanish as well. Still have family in Cuba. Some communists, others not at all. I’ve had arguments in airports with people who support castro. people who go to Cuba to fuck our women cause they could not get laid to save their lives in their own country. They think castro is the shit. From all of this, the only fucking thing I hear is that if the embargo were not here, Cuba would be the example of the world. Honestly? I would remove the fucking embargo just to show them what a fucked up country we have. What a fucked society castro has created. We have let him create. In my opinion, the embargo is the curtain that keeps all of this hidden from the rest of the world.
    Are American companies going to advocate for more Cuban freedoms unlike their European predecessors?
    On this topic, I would really, really, really love to watch trials of foreign companies for actively participating in modern day slavery. Did you see the trial being held in Curacao? Didn’t you feel a sense of justice? Imagine this happening one day. I can’t wait. The only definition is slavery. yet the world ignores it. The screams of the embargo are too loud.
    Is the media going to suddenly recognize that Cuba is a totalitarian dictatorship?
    Tell me they would not. How could they not? The lifting of the embargo finally legitimized the government. And the government is acting illegitimately still. That would be an outrage. castro claims the Cuban government is under siege, of course they have a right to suspend civil liberties.
    After a lifting of the embargo I would predict the government goes into attack mode. Claiming that how could they possibly be expected to right 50 years of a blockade in such short time. And of course, they would be given the benefit of the doubt by the rest of the world, for a while. But look how China has had to change in order to become an active participant in the world economy. Founding communists would be turning in their graves. They are more capitalist right now than ever. Their people have more rights than ever. This works in China because in and of themselves, they are a very, very closed society. In Cuba, without that curtain of the embargo, their bloomers would quickly show. The luster of the romantic revolutionary would wear off quickly, the world would grow tired of the old men who have suddenly had the rug pulled out from under them.
    I don’t advocate lifting it simply because it hasn’t worked, I advocate lifting it because I think lifting it would cause the type of vacuum that the government could not stand.
    Hey, maybe I am wrong, I don’t want to own the truth. I want for people like us to be able to show the world that we are above the rhetoric.
    You have done this. You have impressed me. And I am sorry I can’t count you as a friend. But I am glad for this contact.
    BTW, one of my partners is an MIT graduate in Boston. He graduated in the 70’s. He is a lifelong banker. He corroborated and agreed with your take on the crisis. I didn’t tell him about your story, I asked him to give me his take on it, then told him about your story after I saw he matched your opinion. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  11. Correction for Val.
    Is the media going to suddenly recognize that Cuba is a totalitarian dictatorship?
    Tell me they would not. How could they not? The lifting of the embargo finally legitimized the government. And the government is acting illegitimately still. That would be an outrage. castro claims the Cuban government is under siege, of course they have a right to suspend civil liberties. <---- This is sarcasm. It is what they would claim, not what I think.

  12. My last comment failed to load properly. The part where I say that the bold is sarcasm. Not my opinion, but a claim by castro and his cronies.

  13. Topapito you didn’t really answer the question of how freedom comes from a policy which you admit would benefit the rulers of Cuba and not the people. It seems that you are more concerned with convincing people that will never be convinced. Reasonable people know that the embargo is not the cause of Cuba’s economic woes. Unreasonable people are, well, unreasonable.
    As for trials for companies that exploit Cubans, how could you be in favor of that if you’re advocating for a policy which will make it legal for them to do exactly that.
    Here’s what you don’t understand about the media. Ssshhh. It’s a secret. The media is not objective. They will not admit that they have defended a totalitarian regime for 50 years.
    China doesn’t have an embargo on it today because China made the kind of changes to their economy that I am suggesting that Cuba needs to make. I believe in the power of capitalism to liberate people in the long run but the regime wants the embargo lowered so they can keep operating a non-capitalist state.
    I could dissect a lot of other things you wrote where you take issue with my description of the conditions that would prevail but I don’t want to. I have things to do. I can tell you that every one of those criteria already exists with Cuba’s other trading partners today so we have no reason to believe they would change with American investors/tourists/etc. as compared to British/Canadian/Spanish/French etc.

  14. Hey Henry,
    And of course, you are right. It is, we all know, impossible to decipher, guess, or predict what would happen in what I think we have agreed would be a series of events unleashed by the lifting of the embargo.
    I am a business developer, not by title, by chance. I am a partner in a group of companies and my role is to generate new businesses and opportunities for our group.
    To me, this is just another challenge. I approach it with the same logic that I approach all my deals. Deals in which not all parties are willing to make concessions. However, having said that, winning a concession from a particular party is not always the correct approach. The better part of the deals I’ve struck, one just recently, entailed the signing of a contract none of us on the board agreed with, but a contract which silently allows us to extract what we want. Happy to say the new business venture, is doing surprisingly well.
    I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. I just know that these types of discussions are what make my businesses successful. They stretch the limits and sometimes cross into the absurd, but as long as we have to deal with people, the absurd is never far from around the bend.
    From my point of view:
    1- There are two parties, generally, us and the castros
    2- We want freedom for our country, they do not
    3- They hold complete control over our country
    4- We hold the embargo
    5- There is a 50 year impasse
    6- We want action
    7- They do not
    We know they are not going to give in one inch. We also know that us not giving in one inch has resulted in our waiting for them to die, basically. From a business standpoint, to me, that is a failed strategy. Or one destined to fail.
    When I ask for discussion from our group, I want to hear an analysis of what drives the parties involved, I am not above requesting a psychological profile of an adversary in order to get a deal done. What drives this person? What’s in it for them? How do we influence the circumstances in order to get what we want?
    I have seen none of this in the exile community. No cold hard facts that point us in the right direction. Only lots of no’s all around, and a finger pointing to the other side as the party at fault.
    So basically, my question is, you mean to tell me that we as a group of obviously intelligent people. People with the necessary resources to carry out businesses in a manner we can be proud of. We can’t sit down and have a brain storm session, or a million of them, to put an end to this once and for all?
    We are deciding to act in imitation of the other side simply out of spite? We do not allow ourselves the luxury of analyzing and reanalyzing and changing our strategy in order to get what we want? How rigid we are. No wonder the deal has failed.
    I am not advocating to simply give up and drop the embargo. I am advocating we sit down and reanalyze our strategy. Develop a new one. Reshape the old one. Do whatever it takes for us to win. Deals are always live, they evolve. We simply refuse to evolve this one.
    Concessions. Lifting the embargo is definitely a concession. Looks like a concession, feels like a concession. But does it have to be one, really?
    We give the castros too much credit, I don’t think they are wired to exist without the embargo. I don’t believe they have the strength to deal with a unilateral [surprise] lifting. I really believe that it would throw them for a loop. They would, I guarantee you, claim that the lifting of the embargo is nothing but a ploy on the part of the US to destabilize them at such a time when the country is facing its worse tragedy. I can see the headlines, “the US thinks that lifting the embargo will destroy us”. They will attempt to vilify the US for acting so. Of course they want the credit, the money, the sense that the embargo will legitimize their government. But make no mistake, they know what comes after, and they know it isn’t pretty.
    The trials for slavery will come. Don’t know when or where, but they will come. You and I may not live to see it, but they will come.

  15. 1- There are two parties, generally, us and the castros
    2- We want freedom for our country, they do not
    3- They hold complete control over our country
    4- We hold the embargo
    5- There is a 50 year impasse
    6- We want action
    7- They do not
    Number 1 is flawed because the fundamental conflict is between the Cuban people (on the island that can’t speak freely and those of us off the island that can) and the Castro regime.
    Number 7 is flawed too. They want action, they simply want different action than we want. They want to remove current constraints on the Cuban economy (caused by the embargo) so they can perpetuate power for a little while longer (and maybe a long while longer).
    What happens when you lift the embargo without gaining any meaningful concessions in return is that you give them license to continue with their current policies indefinitely. Look Raul Castro is not going to allow a McDonald’s to be built on every corner and let the company pay employees a living wage in U.S. dollars. He’s going to allow American companies and American tourists to play in Cuba but only if they follow the rules that they make other foreign companies and people follow. That’s why your argument fall flat. We’ve seen other countries try the approach you suggest and it fails. Europe has no embargo on Cuba yet Cuba still antagonizes Europe left and right. Cuba antagonizes Canada, its largest source of tourism. The regime’s anti-American rants aren’t going to end if we lift the embargo and Cuba’s allies aren’t going to suddenly see the light.
    The embargo is the only card we hold because the U.S. is not going to intervene militarily. The embargo by it’s very nature is a diplomatic card. Diplomacy is about negotiation. And negotiation requires good faith from both parties.
    Neither of the Castro brothers has ever done anything in good faith. It’s an error to think they will now. But the truth is that there’s a lot of people in the upper echelons of power in Cuba that perhaps would negotiate in good faith. I think our strategy should be to wait for the Cuban Gorbachev. We will recognize him by his actions. When that person (whoever he she is) steps to the fore he will be able to rightly claim to the Cuban people that he did what the Castro brothers couldn’t which was end the embargo and it will have been because he/she released the political prisoners and took bold steps toward dismantling the repressive apparatus and the failed Marxist economic machinery.
    We should not give the present regime such a reward for doing nothing but destroy and repress. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest that removing the embargo will be the trojan horse that topples the regime. Imagine if the trojans knew exactly what the the horse contained and allowed it through the gates but were ready to neutralize the greek soldiers as they emerged rather than being surprised. That’s what you’re peddling. That somehow American trade with Cuba will short circuit the regime despite the fact that they already know how to make sure that doesn’t happen from their dealings with other Western democracies.
    As for the slavery trials, your logic does not compute. How can you be in favor of a policy that allows Hilton Hotels to go into Cuba and exploit workers and then think that you are going to bring the executives of that company to trial for doing just that? You are legalizing what should be a criminal act and then you want to prosecute them for doing what you just made legal. How does that work?
    You still have not explained your best case scenario for what happens when the embargo is removed. How do we get to Cuban liberty using your map?
    I’ve told you that mine is to use the embargo at the negotiating table when there is a reasonable good faith negotiating partner on the other side of the table. It’s a passive approach, yes. We have no other choice. The military option is off the table. But your active approach has a lot of potential and likely downside which is that it strengthens the very people and institutions in Cuba we are trying to weaken based on the idea that the rest of the Anti-American world is going to miraculously come to its senses and recognize what honest people have known all along: Cuba is not what the regime pretends it is.

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