Time to end the Cuban embargo

“I challenge Mr. Bush to tear down this embargo,” said Mississippi cotton farmer John Newcomb, borrowing Ronald Reagan’s famous 1987 line to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the Berlin Wall.

I am usually suspicious of the agriculture lobby but dropping the embargo makes a lot of sense. At this time, Fidel is pretty much rendered invalid, I doubt that ending the embargo would result in a more powerful, richer communist government. The influx of Cuban-American emigres would take care of that. Interestingly, the article points out that the US already exports more food to Cuba than any other. Cuba needs trade partners. If the US won’t let US businesses sell to Cuba, then China, Vietnam, and Venezuala will benefit from the Cuban market.

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Jay Nordlinger mentions our fair governor Blanco’s decision to kiss Castro’s butt

Posted at 11:35 am by Johnny B

When Ideology trips over itself

First a story about “our” governor Blanco:


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7147701/

Basically, she opened up trade to Cuba via New Orleans. Supposedly only for sugar and agriculture. Now, since this is Kathleen Blanco, I’m immediately inclined to think she’s making a mistake…bolstering the Cuban gulags with Louisiana sugar and the like. But is trade with Cuba such a bad thing?

This reminds me of a link I caught- I can’t find it now- about a teenage right wing talk show host who has a big hit at Northwestern and was going to dominate the airwaves by aping Rush Limbaugh. “Social Security is in a crisis,” he’d say, or whatever the talking points were. I’ve caught a lot of guys on ClearChannel sound the exact same way. I never felt at home with the Mike Bayham wing of the republican party (Jordan knows what I am talking about). Anyway, I’m sure this kid would say, “Castro is a communist dictator, you can’t trade with him. The Cubans in Miami would riot, etc. He’s evil etc. Cuban missile crisis blah blah blah.

Granted, all that’s true, except for the riots in Miami. Castro is a nasty dictator, and the human rights abuses in Cuba are well documented if not often propagated. But didn’t Reagan argue that sanctions hurt the lower class and secure the ruling class in a country. He did, when he argued against sanctions in South Africa. Now, maybe sanctions “worked” in bringing about change in South Africa and the Balkans, but they clearly aren’t working in the case of Cuba. America has used the stick long enough, it is time to use the carrots. All the carrots Cubans can afford.

This is the same policy Bush/Clinton…Nixon employed towards China. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em. China has it’s share of human rights abuses too, and they are much more an economic and military threat to America than Cuba. Yet since the eighties trade has gone up considerably. Can anyone cite any restrictions place on economic trade to China after Tiananmen Square. I think there were only restrictions on weapons sales, which the Europeans are thinking of lifting. Those blessed ankle biters.

A big doc, just check out the graphs:
http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/library/downloads/keyWorkplaceDocuments/CRS/CRSChinaUSTrade3Oct03.pdf

On one level it makes sense. If a billion disgruntled poor huddled masses get upset enough, they may want to start building ships and tanks. Now, for the most part, they are making cheap and shoddy electronics, shirts, and other crappy trinkets we all buy at Wal-mart, and securing a living doing so. Why can’t we let the Cubans do the same?

Citations on Human Rights abuses pending.

Posted at 09:34 am by Johnny B