Some attorneys that run a blog promoting unfettered business with the murderous Castro regime got their feathers all ruffled by the luncheon held yesterday by the US/Cuba Democracy PAC. With all four candidates vying for the senate seat vacated by Mel Martinez in attendance, the authors of this blog were apparently flabbergasted by what they deemed to be no less than a contest to see which candidate wins the PAC’s campaign contribution prize. Notwithstanding the fact that this PAC is one of the hundreds all candidates, in all states, running for all levels of office regularly entertain, this particular PAC is considered uniquely objectionable by these lawyers.
As a response to the event, these promoters of exchange with slave masters posed a series of 15 questions, which in their not-so-humble opinion exposes the lack of judgment exhibited by the senatorial candidates. As we will see, however, the questions, which they believe to be so clever, are instead witless declarations that expose almost every fault in their argument.
1) Have you ever been to Cuba ?
2) When was the last time you visited Cuba ?
3) Do you have any relatives living in Cuba now?
These are merely a set-up for the next 12 questions, but they do immediately give away the direction they are moving in.
4) Were your family or relatives related to, or employed by, either Fidel Castro or Fulgencio Batista?
[Some Cuban American legislators have family/political connections to Castro or Batista. Why must American foreign policy and the U.S. taxpayer fight their battle to settle their score with the Cuban government, especially when it has not worked in 50 years and has cost the taxpayer over One Billion dollars over the years? Diplomacy 101 – Do not shape foreign policy to settle a political score or for vengeance.]
Their qualification for this question basically says that the only reason you can support the embargo is that you have a “score to settle.” The tens of thousands that have been murdered, the hundreds of thousands of political prisoners, and the millions of Cubans that have been driven from their country could never, ever, be the reason. And if it is, by their omission of this fact, they imply it is not a reason worthy of consideration.
5) Do you accept campaign contributions from people or organizations who support the Cuban embargo?
This is not illegal. But if you do, why do you accept contributions from these groups if you have not gone to Cuba for yourself to assess the policy as an elected official?
An interesting twist of logic. So, if you are a candidate that, for instance, supports gay rights but happens to be straight, you should never, ever, ever, accept an invitation or support from a gay rights PAC.
This will come as disturbing news to many straight politicians, and gay rights PACs that depend on those straight politicians.
6) Why would you support restricting Americans their right to travel to Cuba, when you have not visited the country yourself to evaluate the policy and the experience?
-If you have not visited Cuba yet, why do you believe you do not have a responsibility to evaluate the impact of these restrictions and the embargo by personally visiting Cuba as an elected public official?
Well, few people in this country today have lived as slaves on a plantation, but do we need to go there ourselves to know it is an affront to humanity?
7) How has the embargo been effective in bringing democracy to Cuba? If it has not been effective in bringing democracy to Cuba, why would you continue to support it?
This is one of my favorites because it is such an easy target. Quite simply, how effective has engagement and conducting business with the regime by the rest of the world been in bringing democracy to Cuba? If it has not been effective (and it hasn’t), why do you continue to support it?
8 ) If Cuban Americans can now visit their family in Cuba with unlimited visits, why shouldn’t that freedom apply to all Americans? How does restricting and limiting people the right to visit and support their family and friends in Cuba support democratic change in Cuba ?
This question is one of those that makes you scratch your head. First it says Cuban Americans now enjoy unlimited travel to Cuba. But then it says the US is restricting Americans from visiting and supporting their families in Cuba. Well, which one is it?
It is a senseless question, but then again, so is their argument. Let’s just move along to the next one.
9) How does the political and economic isolation and humiliation of Cuba through the embargo serve our national American interests?
Notice the choice of words here: “humiliation of Cuba through the embargo.”
A couple of questions I believe would be more realistic are:
1. How does legitimizing and accepting a brutal dictatorship that has the blood of over 100,000 Cubans on its hands serve our American interest?
2. Who do you think feels more humiliated: the murderous regime that has plundered the Cuban national treasure, or the tens of thousands of Cubans who have had their loved ones executed by the regime?
10) Do you believe with the reality that there are five million Cubans living on the island who have relatives residing here in the United States, that through normal travel, communication, and basic trade the Cuban people will benefit and be inspired to change things on their own in Cuba ?
Are we talking about the same 5-million Cubans that have been receiving aid, money, and visits by their American relatives who for the past 20 years have been flaunting the travel embargo?
If so, show me how much political change those visits have brought to the island.
11) Why is it up to the United States to force Cuba to change into a democracy like us? What other countries do we do this to? What has been our track record and costs in imposing “regime change”? Isn’t this something that the Cuban people should be doing themselves? Isn’t it more powerful for the United States to be an influence for democracy in Cuba through our citizens, products, and services reaching the Cuban people while respecting their sovereignty as a foreign nation? Didn’t President Obama state that we will not impose change on foreign countries?
Yes, of course. Who are we to tell a despotic dictator he can’t have his own island slave plantation? Just because this country has been the beacon of freedom in this world and has given more lives to free peoples all over the world than anyone else, doesn’t give us any special privileges.
While we are at it, who ever said we had a right to go to Europe and liberate it from the Nazis? Who were we to impose regime change in France when the Nazis were controlling it?
12) Why is Cuba one of the most expensive countries to call by telephone, averaging more than a dollar per minute in cost?
– Will you be willing to support efforts to lower the cost of basic communication between the United States and Cuba by allowing and licensing telecommunications companies to negotiate with the Cuban government and telephone companies to reduce telephone call rates to make it more affordable to call Cuba? It will require the removal of Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terror List. Will you call upon the President to reassess this designation regarding Cuba?
Perhaps they’re ignorant, or they’re just playing dumb, but if they want to make any headway lowering the cost of calls to Cuba, they need to talk to the slave masters in Havana who control the price of every single thing on the island.
13) The Cuban government has stated publicly that it will arrest and jail any Cuban who receives money from the U.S. government for the purpose to subvert and overthrow their government. We may not like nor agree with the Cuban system of government. However, isn’t U.S. government funding of dissidents in Cuba then tantamount to subjecting them to being arrested and jailed?
So I guess we should adopt the alternative: let the dissidents rot in jail and be executed. Who cares anyway? They’re only Cubans.
14) We say we want political prisoners freed in Cuba now- why won’t we negotiate with the Cuban government for their freedom then?
Again, I don’t know if they are just plain ignorant, or they’re playing stupid. But I’m beginning to think it’s the former.
15) Cuba is a haven for a number of American fugitives from justice – why won’t we negotiate with the Cuban government to obtain their extradition?
Now I know for certain they are ignorant.
My main concern is and has always been achieving freedom for Cuba. And I am willing to listen to any idea that has that goal as its objective. I know there are many people out there that love Cuba and want to see it free that hope and believe a relaxation of US policy towards the regime might bring us closer to that goal. I may not agree with them, but I respect their opinion.
But when you pose a series of questions, as these individuals have, that show a blatant disdain for the Cuban people, all you gain from me is disgust.