Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Time To Lift the Embargo on Cuba?

 

This is my first post on Ricochet — though I am a long-time lurker — and have come to greatly enjoy all the great personalities and the exchange of ideas.

To bring something a little different into the conversation, I would like to hear some of your ideas regarding the US embargo of Cuba.

My take is that if there was ever a good reason for it, the time has long passed and we should be looking to normalize relations with the island.

The day of the Castros will inevitably come to an end in the not-too distant future. Maintaining the present stance toward Cuba, which certainly bears no greater threat toward the USA than any other Latin American country (and probably less than some), seems only to impoverish Cuba and, in a certain sense, the USA as well.

I have been in Cuba legally, but was not even allowed to bring back a bag of their delicious coffee, let alone the cigars, which some of my friends asked me about.

I don’t want to say too much about my experiences just now because there are some potentially sensitive issues. Maybe some day, when conditions improve, I can do that.

Canadians are able to travel to Cuba without restrictions that I am aware of, which is a degree of freedom we Americans don’t enjoy.

What do you say, my friends? Group hug to all.

Image Credit: Flickr user Doug Wheller.

There are 99 comments.

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  1. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    No problem. Bomb the palace and be done with it.

    • #1
    • September 6, 2014, at 8:30 AM PDT
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  2. JoelB Member
    JoelB

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    No problem. Bomb the palace and be done with it.

     Thanks for being my first commenter BDB

    • #2
    • September 6, 2014, at 8:34 AM PDT
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  3. Jason Rudert Member

    We probably should have when the USSR fell apart. What’s keeping it going now is that no American politician wants to deal with all the Cuban-Americans who would want their property back. That constituency is just big enough to keep the embargo in place, but there’s no payoff, only headaches for anyone in office in this country.

    • #3
    • September 6, 2014, at 8:39 AM PDT
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  4. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    JoelB:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    No problem. Bomb the palace and be done with it.

    Thanks for being my first commenter BDB

     Pshaw. Welcome aboard.

    • #4
    • September 6, 2014, at 8:49 AM PDT
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  5. JoelB Member
    JoelB

    Jason Rudert:

    We probably should have when the USSR fell apart. What’s keeping it going now is that no American politician wants to deal with all the Cuban-Americans who would want their property back. That constituency is just big enough to keep the embargo in place, but there’s no payoff, only headaches for anyone in office in this country.

     I don’t disagree with you, but is it realistic after more than 50 years to expect that restoration of the property will happen under any scenario?

    • #5
    • September 6, 2014, at 8:51 AM PDT
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  6. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    JoelB:

    Jason Rudert:

    We probably should have when the USSR fell apart. What’s keeping it going now is that no American politician wants to deal with all the Cuban-Americans who would want their property back. That constituency is just big enough to keep the embargo in place, but there’s no payoff, only headaches for anyone in office in this country.

    I don’t disagree with you, but is it realistic after more than 50 years to expect that restoration of the property will happen under any scenario?

     I’m sure Zafar will argue tirelessly in favor of Cubans right of return.

    • #6
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:02 AM PDT
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  7. Eric Wallace Inactive

    I support ending the embargo but what’s your basis for claiming that “The day of the Castros will inevitably come to an end?” I’ve been hearing that line for years, still hasn’t happened. “[A]fter more than 50 years” why will it now happen “in the not too distant future?”

    • #7
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:02 AM PDT
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  8. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    Cuba is holding an American aid worker prisoner.

    • #8
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:03 AM PDT
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  9. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    Eric Wallace:

    I support ending the embargo but what’s your basis for claiming that “The day of the Castros will inevitably come to an end?” I’ve been hearing that line for years, still hasn’t happened. “[A]fter more than 50 years” why will it now happen “in the not too distant future?”

     Maybe we should normalize relations with North Korea, too. The day of the Kims will inevitably come to an end.

    • #9
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:05 AM PDT
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  10. Jason Rudert Member

    JoelB:

    Jason Rudert:

    We probably should have when the USSR fell apart. What’s keeping it going now is that no American politician wants to deal with all the Cuban-Americans who would want their property back. That constituency is just big enough to keep the embargo in place, but there’s no payoff, only headaches for anyone in office in this country.

    I don’t disagree with you, but is it realistic after more than 50 years to expect that restoration of the property will happen under any scenario?

     No, it’s not realistic, but that doesn’t stop a lot of Cuban Americans from holding onto the dream of getting their houses back. And it will be a huge contentious mess when Cuba opens up again.

    • #10
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:06 AM PDT
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  11. Profile Photo Member

    Welcome to the Member Feed!!! 
    It is hard writing your first post. I hope you enjoy the back and forth in the comments.

    • #11
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:07 AM PDT
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  12. Jason Rudert Member

    The day of Fidel will end in the not too distant future. His brother Raul will be dead in a few years, too. Do you guys think the Communist government there will survive after the cult of personality has died out? I doubt it. They’ll probably stay left wing like Venezuela or Bolivia are now, but is that enough to keep the embargo going? We don’t embargo those countries.

    • #12
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:11 AM PDT
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  13. MarciN Member

    I hate sanctions. I don’t get the logic. Cripple the little people and they will somehow topple their AK 47 bearing leaders?

    You’ve got my vote. Get rid of them!

    • #13
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:12 AM PDT
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  14. Eric Wallace Inactive

    I look forward to possible inside info from JoelB because I haven’t seen (admittedly, from my armchair) any evidence for these claims of change just around the corner. Geez, that sounds like a campaign line from a Democrat President 15 years from now . . .

    • #14
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:19 AM PDT
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  15. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Jason Rudert:

    The day of Fidel will end in the not too distant future. His brother Raul will be dead in a few years, too. Do you guys think the Communist government there will survive after the cult of personality has died out? I doubt it. They’ll probably stay left wing like Venezuela or Bolivia are now, but is that enough to keep the embargo going? We don’t embargo those countries.

     Say, there’s an idea!

    • #15
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:22 AM PDT
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  16. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ball Diamond Ball: Bomb the palace and be done with it.

     NO BLOOD FOR, uh… NOTHING!

    • #16
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:51 AM PDT
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  17. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    10 cents:

    Welcome to the Member Feed!!! It is hard writing your first post. I hope you enjoy the back and forth in the comments.

     It wasn’t hard for you, though, was it? I mean, didn’t you just sort of lean on your keyboard? I seem to remember your first post was:

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    ERIUAEWKJDHSFNVCAO EHUEwrpj:KWHErdfniclkjdsbkjbdfgivjbdsfiujkhc ns93oiwe7ryh923irwe fchmn
    ]] repufdjhkxcnwaepsuzdjkhgfnv
    weaspdfjkmhvcn aedsxzcv ewDSLKFJHVM
    AWEDISFLCJKVH

    • #17
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:55 AM PDT
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  18. Brad B. Inactive

    I am in favor of thawing relations with Cuba. The embargo is silly. It obviously Never worked. How is it that we have free trade with communist China but somehow rationalize an embargo of a country that is our next door neighbor?

    We ought to flood the country with all of the vices and skinny jeans that we can. They might find they like capitalism.

    • #18
    • September 6, 2014, at 9:58 AM PDT
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  19. Larry Koler Inactive

    Castro wanted to nuke America and would have done it if the Soviets had given him the chance. I think a little embargo is called for. If we lift the embargo, then it says that all is forgiven. I don’t forgive mass murderers and genocidal pretenders. 
    I do feel bad for the average Cuban and if the rest of the world had joined our embargo (a la South Africa) Castro would have had to do something. As it is it’s been in place for moral reasons and some practical reasons having to do with property (as said above). 
    What do you think about the take down of the South African government? That had world-wide support and was effective. Another question: if the whole world was against the sanctions and boycotts of South Africa and you were the only one in support would you drop your support or know that it is the right thing to do?
    If embargos, boycotts or sanctions are not effective is that the only reason to do them? Think about South Africa and answer that question.

    • #19
    • September 6, 2014, at 10:13 AM PDT
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  20. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jason Rudert:

    The day of Fidel will end in the not too distant future. His brother Raul will be dead in a few years, too. Do you guys think the Communist government there will survive after the cult of personality has died out? I doubt it. They’ll probably stay left wing like Venezuela or Bolivia are now, but is that enough to keep the embargo going? We don’t embargo those countries.

     I agree with this. Although I’d be fine with the sanctions ending, one of the nice things about the current situation is that they mean that when they get a new, relatively decent, regime we can give it some big, free (indeed, with a negative cost) boosts to the economy. I’m guessing there’ll be some expensive aid, too, but everything that can boost the legitimacy of capitalism and democracy, thus making it stick, will be very helpful. 

    • #20
    • September 6, 2014, at 10:53 AM PDT
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  21. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    Here’s how I’d like to end the embargo: let’s overthrow the government in Cuba and take the island back as US territory.

    • #21
    • September 6, 2014, at 11:18 AM PDT
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  22. Brad B. Inactive

    So Larry, are you also in favor of stopping our free trade policies with China? The current regime is the unbroken successor to the one that murdered over 60 million of its own citizens through famine and death camps. I would argue that China became slightly more civilized with capitalism. And Cuba could do the same.

    • #22
    • September 6, 2014, at 11:24 AM PDT
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  23. JoelB Member
    JoelB

    Larry Koler:

    ” If we lift the embargo, then it says that all is forgiven. I don’t forgive mass murderers and genocidal pretenders…”

    That is a very interesting perspective on this issue Larry. Would it be acceptable from a moral standpoint to begin to approach the lifting of the embargo with the successors of the elder Castros if they seem to be a little less strident? I don’t think that we will ever get an apology.

    I’ll have to think about South Africa for a while. I am not really prepared to discuss it at the moment. Sorry, don’t mean to dodge, I have tried to come up with something and can’t quite manage it.

    Regarding Cuba, I wonder if our sanctions presently are seen internationally as moral rectitude, a bullying posture against a smaller nation, or something like the Hatfields and McCoys feud that has gone on beyond all reason?

    • #23
    • September 6, 2014, at 11:29 AM PDT
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  24. John H. Member
    John H. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I am in favor of more Cubas, not fewer. (See how handy it is to post on Ricochet, JoelB? When you need a policy statement later, you just check your own archive!)

    • #24
    • September 6, 2014, at 11:29 AM PDT
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  25. JoelB Member
    JoelB

    John H.:

    I am in favor of more Cubas, not fewer. (See how handy it is to post on Ricochet, JoelB? When you need a policy statement later, you just check your own archive!)

    I’m under the impression that things were much better under the first dictator and super-power than they were under the second. Thanks, John H.

    • #25
    • September 6, 2014, at 11:37 AM PDT
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  26. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Welcome to Posterhood, JoelB. I can’t see what good the embargo is doing for us or the Cuban people. There’s practically nothing the Cuban government can’t buy due to the embargo, as we’re the only country doing it. The people that benefit from it are the Castros. They’re free to trade with the entire rest of the world but can use the American embargo as the excuse for their terrible economy.

    Nobody is suggesting that the State Department should move Cuba to the Best Friends list. Just allow individuals and companies to trade.

    • #26
    • September 6, 2014, at 11:43 AM PDT
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  27. Larry Koler Inactive

    JoelB: Regarding Cuba, I wonder if our sanctions presently are seen internationally as moral rectitude, a bullying posture against a smaller nation, or something like the Hatfields and McCoys feud that has gone on beyond all reason?

     The international “community” means the international press. These people are usually 180 degrees out of sync with America and all that is good about America. If anything — a rule can be established that if the international community doesn’t like it, then I’m for it. You simply cannot go wrong using this approach. These people are despicable and as topics get more controversial their moral and ethical pronouncements have less and less to do with any world that I want to support.

    • #27
    • September 6, 2014, at 11:45 AM PDT
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  28. Richard O'Shea Coolidge

    We should have normalized relations years ago. When the first McDonalds opened in downtown Moscow, people would wait in line for hours to try a Big Mac. I think it cost them a week’s wages. It was the beginning of the end for the Soviets.
    If you want to see the Castro Brothers meet the same fate as Mussolini, normalize relations, and let KFC open in downtown Havana.
    The current policy is an ongoing failure.

    • #28
    • September 6, 2014, at 11:47 AM PDT
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  29. Larry Koler Inactive

    John H.:

    I am in favor of more Cubas, not fewer. (See how handy it is to post on Ricochet, JoelB? When you need a policy statement later, you just check your own archive!)

     Great post, John. Sorry I missed it. Very well written, pithy and a little humor thrown in. Thanks for the link.

    • #29
    • September 6, 2014, at 11:51 AM PDT
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  30. ctlaw Coolidge

    Byron Horatio:

    So Larry, are you also in favor of stopping our free trade policies with China? The current regime is the unbroken successor to the one that murdered over 60 million of its own citizens through famine and death camps. I would argue that China became slightly more civilized with capitalism. And Cuba could do the same.

    But you have no ability to give them any capitalism when you end the embargo.

    All trade will pass through the government and the government will use it to maintain power. Ironically it may lead to less capitalism. With an embargo or other pressure on the government (see below), there is pressure on the government to start to open to capitalism (see Glasnost). With the government controlling your expanded trade, it will be able to self-support. When such a government is able to self-support (as previously done via aid (e.g., Soviet or Venezuelan aid to Cuba) or international criminal activity (NorK counterfeiting of everything)), there is not such pressure.

    The big mistake was that after the fall of the Soviets we did not turn the embargo into an actual blockade and crush Castro. He held on, supported by Canadian sex tourists* until he could get Chavez’s Venezuela to be a new benefactor.

    *This is speculation. I have no proof that Canadians have sex.

    • #30
    • September 6, 2014, at 12:10 PM PDT
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