We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Once again, ignorance in foreign affairs rsaises its juvenile head to endorse rewarding Cuba for its consistent anti-American, as well as Anti-Israel, fulminations, and it acting as a cats-paw for Iran and Russia, and its trouble-making in Latin America. See http://acdemocracy.org/cubas-anti-israel-pro-plo-activities/ OR see http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/us-policy-to-address-anti-americanism-in-latin-america-needed OR see http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/19/iran-is-cultivating-closer-ties-with-anti-american-countries-in-our-hemisphere/ OR see http://www.worldpolicy.org/journal/spring2012/ch%C3%A1vez-rhetoric-made-havana OR see http://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/analyses/2014-07-23/putins-latin-anti-american-offensive.
I support easing economic sanctions against Cuba as long as the easing benefits the Cuban people rather than the Cuban government. While Fidel was running things, I read the Cuban government was the primary beneficiary of economic activity. If that is not seriously reformed (and I doubt that it has to any great degree), I'm not interested in sending a dollar to Raoul, Fidel, or any of his merry band of thugs.
mudbug I support easing economic sanctions against Cuba as long as the easing benefits the Cuban people rather than the Cuban government.
Good luck on that. Who benefits the most from all the European and Canadian tourists who visit Cuba? The lion's share of all those dollars go to the Cuban government.
Certainly the hotel workers are glad to get their $20/ month,or it is $40/month salary. The MAXIMUM salary for those who are not Nomenklatura types is $40/month.
Mencken once cracked that a Puritan is afraid that somewhere someone is having fun. The Castro brothers are afraid that somewhere someone is getting rich- or becoming less poor from one's own efforts and not from state handouts.
As long as the Castro bros. are around, I consider any lifting of the embargo to be a waste of time and money. Currently, Cuba may purchase medical and agricultural goods from the US, provided it pays for them in cash. Which means that Cuba cannot purchase much in the way of medical and agricultural goods from the US, because Cuba doesn't produce much of anything.
"I think he is, and I'd support the idea of easing relations with Cuba."
Beyond cigars, hookers, and blackmail, Cuba has absolutely nothing to offer the United States. It has no industry, no cash, no credit, no nothing. It is financially and intellectually bankrupt. From an international trade perspective, the best scenario is that the EXIM bank arranges for loans to Cuba for shoddy products made by GE. And when Cuba inevitably defaults on the loans the American taxpayer is on the hook. Sound good, Comrade?
I could look past all that if aid to Cuba was conditioned on Cuba flipping camps and falling back into the American sphere of influence, but there's no indication that will happen, particularly under the Obama administration. Why in God's name would you think the Marxist Obama administration is going to bring the Marxist Cuba into a free-market sphere?
Why in God's name would you think the Marxist Obama administration is going to bring the Marxist Cuba into a free-market sphere?
Your point about the Gulag continuing even with more trade is well taken. But it is even worse. It is very doubtful that future trade with Cuba of the Castro bros will be in a free market mode. The hotels that the Europeans and Canadians go to are highly controlled by the government. The hotels pay the government 5-10 dollars per hour per employee. The government pays the employees 20-40 dollars per month.
Any trade with foreign entities is controlled so that the government gets the lion's share.
A specious argument Bird Dog. Nixon's opening to China was to pressure the Soviet Union, a much greater threat at the time, and it worked. However, although over the past decades China has adopted a mercantile economy it has provided the wherewithall to vastly expand its military and encroach upon its neighbors in the South China Sea and beyond. Also, does it justify abandoning our pressure on a tyrannous state that we have done so on others? Cuba remains an oppressive state that does whatever it canm, which is much, to undermine the US and Western interests. US policy toward Cuba has worked to restrict its ambitions and actions. There is no reason to slack up unless Cuba practiuces widespread civil liberties for its population and ceases foreign trouble-making.
We win the contest with Cuba if we lift sanctions. Same way we got the Berlin Wall knocked down and the same way its going to happen with North Korea. When the citizens of those countries see how prosperous our ways have been, they will want what we have. The Castros wont be around much longer.