Ulterior Motives

When the embargo is discussed between two individuals or groups who have deep and honest convictions behind their positions, the debate, although heated at times, is all but guaranteed to be an honest one. However, when one of the two individuals or groups have ulterior motives behind their position, and they do everything in their power to conceal these motives, it then ceases to be an honest debate and it becomes a disingenuous exercise in futility.

Unfortunately, the anti-embargo crowd has a disproportionate number of disingenuous supporters who claim to base their anti-embargo position on empathy for the Cuban people. But in reality, the only empathy they feel is for their own wallets. It is all about the money, and when you allow your motivation to be money, the fate of the powerless matters little to you.

In the end, the ones who end up paying the price for fattening of the wallets of these “anti-embargo” crusaders is the Cuban people. Not only are they powerless to decide their own fate and partake of these deals, to add insult to injury, their brutal repression is financed by the multi-million dollar deals the regime regularly makes with these opportunists.

Capitol Hill Cubans has an excellent post on these disingenuous opportunists who care only about themselves and are willing to sacrifice the Cuban people for a couple of extra bucks:

Peterson-Berman Should Come Clean

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS) are circulating a letter to President Obama — similar to the one last week by U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) — asking him to modify regulations on agricultural sales to Cuba, particularly those dealing with the definition of “cash-in-advance” and direct banking for payments.

Both provisions are also (partly) the subject of H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, known as the Peterson-Moran bill.

Basically, Peterson-Moran now want the Obama Administration to change — through regulation — the agricultural sales provisions that were tightened — through regulation also — by the Bush Administration in 2004.

It’s nice to see Chairman Peterson finally coming clean.So why the year-long push (through H.R. 4645) to legislatively modify these two agricultural provisions, instead of simply pressuring the Administration to do so through regulation in the first place?

Because it has never been about the agricultural provisions. It has always been about the non-agricultural provision in H.R. 4645, which the Obama Administration cannot change through regulation — tourism travel.

Thus, the year-long charade of H.R. 4645, including the strong-arm tactics used to prevent the tourism travel provision from being stripped-out (by amendment) during the Agriculture Committee markup.

This legislation is nothing more than a ploy by Peterson-Moran and the Farm Bureaus to provide billions of tourism dollars to the Castro brothers, in the hopes that they’ll turn around and buy more agricultural products from the U.S.That’s quite a leap of faith — but why not just say so?

Because if you think lobbying for subsidies for American farmers is tough, then imagine lobbying for subsidies funneled through the Castro dictatorship. Obviously, that argument would be a tough sell. And if instead, the Castro regime used those billions to strengthen its repressive grip, they simply wouldn’t care, for it’s of no consequence to them or their loved ones.That’s just selfish.

So when will House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) come clean also?

Chairman Berman has been a ideological proponent of tourism travel to Cuba for many years — and we respect his views. However, he has publicly admitted that he’s not focused on the agricultural provisions.

So why not just markup H.R. 874, the Delahunt-Flake bill (two Members of his committee), which would solely address the tourism travel provision?

Why the obsession and intense lobbying against addressing each issue on its own merits? Why the insistence on agricultural diversions (which the Obama Administration can address without Congress)?

The answer is simple.Because — thus far — Peterson-Berman have had trouble moving H.R. 4645 altogether, agricultural provisions and all, so just imagine dealing with each on its own merits.

That’s just plain disingenuous.