View Full Version : Change Cuba trade policy

10-05-2010, 06:45 PM
casto has one foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel ( my 8th grade history teacher used to always say that to me ...lol ) so its time to end this worthless policy. when clinton opened the door for china , it made no sense to continue the cuban embargo..

This summer's massive BP oil spill took the steam out of reckless proposals to breach the 125-mile buffer zone for drilling off Florida's Gulf coast. But just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water, Cuba is lining up a Spanish company to drill next year off its coast just 50 miles from the Florida Keys.
If a well in those waters has a blowout like the one BP had, crude could start washing up on Florida beaches in three days, according to a recent New York Times report. And in a perverse consequence of the 48-year-old embargo on U.S. trade with Cuba, U.S. companies face prohibitive limits on providing the kind of equipment and expertise that could prevent a blowout, or contain the damage if one occurred.
It's yet another reason for leaders in Washington, D.C. to rethink the nation's ineffectual and counterproductive policy of severely limiting economic engagement, through trade and travel, with Cuba.
That policy hasn't promoted fundamental political or economic reforms on the island. It hasn't advanced human rights.
Cuba's communist dictatorship, imposed by Fidel Castro, maintains its grip on power under his brother, Raul. Ten U.S. presidents have come and gone in the meantime.
If anything, U.S. policy has provided the Castros with a ready scapegoat for the repression they've inflicted on generations of Cubans. It has strengthened state control by making the people more dependent on the government.
But there are hints of change — in Havana and in Washington.
Recently Raul Castro announced that his government would lay off half a million state workers, relax some controls on private business and accept more foreign investment. Meanwhile, a U.S. House committee was poised to consider legislation to end the ban on travel to Cuba for most Americans before time ran out on the latest session of Congress.
We have long opposed the ban because it limits U.S. visibility and influence on the island. It also hurts the ability of many Cuban Americans to travel to Cuba because it permits Havana to be highly selective in choosing who gets a visa. Groups that are sympathetic to the communist regime have no problem getting permission to travel there, while those that have been vocal about human-rights abuses and authoritarian government don't get in.
Most Florida politicians from both parties, wary of strong anti-Castro sentiment among their constituents, have vehemently opposed any easing of travel and trade restrictions on Cuba. But Fidel and Raul won't be around forever.
And Florida would be among the biggest beneficiaries of an opening of trade and travel between the United States and Cuba. U.S. exports to Cuba would surge, with much of them originating or moving through Florida. The Sunshine State would become a transit point for a flood of U.S. tourists to Cuba.
By engaging with Cuba, the United States would have some hope of influencing its government to take greater care in protecting both countries from the devastating impact of an offshore oil spill. Steps might include agreements that would keep some ecologically sensitive locations off limits. That could be a long shot, but with no engagement, there would be no hope.
Whether it's to guard the environment and economy of Florida or expose more Cubans to America's influence, an overhaul in the failed U.S. policy toward Cuba is decades overdue.


10-05-2010, 06:52 PM
If you need a reason to support dropping the remaining ban against travel to Cuba by American tourists, Texas rice farmers and cattle ranchers are happy to oblige.
The state's farmers and ranchers have lined up in support of HR 4645, which supporters view as a kind of trade and travel twofer.
The bill would lift the last travel ban to the communist nation. Leaders of Texas agriculture are for it because they believe doing so would also open wide the door to more sales of agriculture products to Cuba, which has been mostly closed to U.S. products since the early 1960s.
Texas A&M economists have put a pencil to the numbers and they estimate passage of the bill would create 6,000 new jobs in this country's ag sector while boosting sales of agricultural products by about $365 million. A good chunk of that would benefit Texas.
How would it happen? The particulars were laid out by Bob Stallman, a Texas rice farmer and cattle producer who is president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Stallman served them up in a Chronicle Outlook piece in late July.
The farm bureau president says a lifting of the travel ban would create both a market for products such as Texas beef and rice (via more American tourists in Cuba with appetites for both foods) and a method for paying for it (the dollars they spend while visiting in that country).
That sounds like a win-win to us. Without getting bogged down in the endless argument over whether to continue economic sanctions against Castro to the bitter end, this much seems apparent. There's an opportunity here to do two things: to offer Americans expanded access to a country of great interest to so many for cultural and historic reasons; and a chance to help American farmers open up a new market.
Supporting both of these objectives seems likely to bring about the larger policy objective of loosening the grip of communist dictatorship that has choked Cuba for half a century.
As Stallman noted in his op-ed, polls show that more than two-thirds of Americans support ending the travel ban to Cuba. The added benefit of expanding markets for Texas rice and beef producers only strengthens the case for doing so.
We urge approval of HR 4645 to achieve this worthwhile objective.


10-05-2010, 07:05 PM
Not to mention that if we were really interested in promoting anything at all in Cuba we'd be engaging them. Instead, we've been running a terrorist campaign (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Project) against them for the sole purpose of collecting several thousand Cuban-American votes in South Florida, which only guaranteed Castro a job for life.

10-05-2010, 07:11 PM
Not to mention that if we were really interested in promoting anything at all in Cuba we'd be engaging them. Instead, we've been running a terrorist campaign (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Project) against them for the sole purpose of collecting several thousand Cuban-American votes in South Florida, which only guaranteed Castro a job for life.
lol....i'm looking at it more from an economical standpoint. the government is being about as hypocritical as it gets concerning cuba. they continue to site human rights violations as a reason to continue this nonsence, while they open up the doors for the likes of china , venezuala ,and saudi arabia. ....:doh:

10-05-2010, 07:19 PM
The U.S. trade embargo against Cuba has gotten tougher under U.S. President Barack Obama, not more lenient as many had expected when he took office, a top Cuban official said on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, in the Cuban government's annual update on the 48-year-old embargo, said the United States is levying bigger fines, applying sanctions more firmly and pursuing embargo-busting financial transactions more vigorously under Obama.
"The embargo policy in the last two years, which is to say under the government of President Obama, has not changed at all," Rodriguez said in a press conference. "In some aspects, it has even hardened."
In terms of U.S. policy toward Cuba, Obama had performed "below expectations that had been created in the international community and American public opinion," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said the embargo has cost Cuba $751 billion over the years, adjusted for inflation and the changing value of the dollar.
"It is, without any doubt, the primary obstacle to the economic development of our country," he said.
The United Nations is scheduled to hold its annual vote on a resolution condemning the embargo on October 26. Last year, only three countries -- the United States, Israel and Palau -- voted against the measure.
The embargo, said Rodriguez, "is a museum piece of the Cold War. It is, moreover, a failed policy."
The embargo was fully imposed in 1962, with the aim of toppling the communist government put in place by Fidel Castro after he took power in a 1959 revolution.
The embargo prohibits most trade with Cuba, with exceptions for agricultural products and medicine.
Obama spoke early on of improving relations with Cuba, but insisted the embargo -- which Cuba calls a "blockade" -- would stay in place until the Caribbean island improved its human rights and released political prisoners.
He has eased the embargo slightly by removing restrictions on Cuban Americans traveling to the island and the amount of money they can send to their family members in Cuba.
There has been more leniency, too, in granting of licenses for visits by U.S. performers and academics, but progress has stalled since Cuba detained a U.S. contractor in December on suspicion of espionage.
The contractor, Alan Gross, remains behind bars in Cuba, without formal charges. The U.S. says he was not a spy, but was in Cuba installing Internet services for Jewish groups.
Rodriguez was questioned about Gross, but he responded only that the embargo is a unilateral act by the U.S. and must be lifted immediately and without conditions.


10-05-2010, 10:52 PM
aw man, i was hoping change would mean Cuban cigars would be available for sale in the States...

10-06-2010, 12:56 AM
aw man, i was hoping change would mean Cuban cigars would be available for sale in the States...
no cigars ...just more cubans

10-06-2010, 10:46 PM
If they bring cigars to share with us, I will not complain...