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Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuban Embargo on 02/12/2013 14:12:06 MST Print View

Not really, Nick. Given that California has about the same GDP as Canada, 'we' are still a little fry economically speaking.

Canada, England, Italy, and Gernamy have a combined GDP of a little more than 1/2 that of the US.

Just imagine what the US could do to help Cuba.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Holy thread drift, Batman! on 02/12/2013 16:12:04 MST Print View

But the Entire Rest Of The World's GDP beats the US handily. Significantly- since someone mentioned a "glut of goods"- China trades with Cuba. All of Europe trades with Cuba and, as mentioned, the EU has a GDP almost identical to the US.

It is FARCICAL to claim that the US embargo significantly hurts Cuba's economy. Communism hurts Cuba's economy, not the US embargo. The US State Department's own analysis admits this! This is actually one more reason to stop the embargo- it doesn't work, it's pointless. And, as mentioned, it gives the Castro dictatorship a rallying cry. Ending it would remove the embargo as an false excuse for the poor state of Cuba's economy- when it becomes obvious that the problem is simply their government's policies rather than some Americano boogeyman then perhaps the Cuban people will throw the bastards out. But trying to make the US out as some sort of bad guy for economically hurting the poor Cubans is disingenuous, Dave. Even with the embargo the US is the world's fifth largest exporter to Cuba!

It's also worth noting that the original embargo wasn't placed until two years after the Communists came to power- when they nationalized the property of Americans. It was retaliatory, not preemptory. It's also an EMBARGO and not a BLOCKADE as the Cubans and their apologists (e.g. Chavez) insist upon calling it.

But that was all long ago and we could effect much more political and economic change by ending the embargo and going in with our checkbooks blazing.

I mean- can you imagine the market for resort property? It boggles the mind. That's assuming, of course, that the Cuban government would even allow outside investment and property acquisition on that scale- which seems doubtful. They're pretty determined to stay backward, at least until the old guard revolutionaries die off. They just want us to buy their sugar.

Edited by acrosome on 02/12/2013 16:22:26 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Holy thread drift, Batman! on 02/12/2013 16:26:04 MST Print View

Drift indeed. But I think we have agreement here that the embargo is pointless. I'd say that's progress right there.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Holy Thread Drift on 02/12/2013 16:47:14 MST Print View

Yeah, this might be a record for thread drift...

But back to where we'd drifted...

"That's assuming, of course, that the Cuban government would even allow outside investment and property acquisition on that scale- which seems doubtful. They're pretty determined to stay backward, at least until the old guard revolutionaries die off."

I have a good friend who has traveled dozens of times to Cuba. I asked him why Cuba didn't just open up to investment and become a tourist destination. The basic answer I got was that they wouldn't know where to start, even if they wanted to reform. They've been doing socialism so long (and relying on USSR money during the cold war) they don't know where to start changing. Sad.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re Re Che on 02/12/2013 17:08:42 MST Print View

"I don't want to be to argumentative. Drop the embargo I say. It definitely isn't hurting the people we want to hurt (the crooks in charge)."

Me neither. I'm just adamantly opposed to economic embargoes in general. They always end up hurting the common people, because the guys we're after just find other ways to get what they need. We're about the only country that initiates them, only occasionally twisting the arms of other nations hard enough to get them to go along. The embargo we imposed on Saddam in the 90's, for instance, is generally held to be responsible for the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children, mostly due to lack of clean water because the importation of chlorine was proscribed on the flimsy pretext that it is a precursor for some toxic gas. Madeline Albright publically admitted it during a 60 minutes with Mike Wallace a few years back. One can only wonder how the current embargo is affecting Iran. The results for Cuba were economically crippling, but not as bad as for Iraq.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Che ... on 02/12/2013 17:15:13 MST Print View

"But what about Fulgencio Batista?
Squeaky clean, he was a man America could work with."

Yeah, sort of like Somoza, Trujillo, Montt, and Pinochet. Hale fellows well met, the lot of them. The kind you'd like to have a beer with.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: The Misery That Che Helped to Bring on 02/12/2013 17:20:35 MST Print View

"Interestingly though, I didn't meet any Cubans telling me their system could have worked beautifully if the US hadn't thrown up an embargo -- which I believe was the official government line."

Perhaps, perhaps not. But I have this quaint idea that intelligence is more or less equally distributed across the various peoples of this planet and that, therefore, they should be allowed to figure out how they want to govern themselves and distribute the fruits of their labor without outside interference. It would have been interesting to see how things worked out in Cuba, had they been given that opportunity. Probably the Castros would have been history long ago and the Cuban people would have been thriving under another system by now, but we'll never know.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: The Misery That Che Helped to Bring on 02/12/2013 17:22:42 MST Print View

"Cuba's famed medical system has deteriorated badly since the heady days of the late 1980's -- due mostly to the wholesale withdrawal of Soviet aid. The know how is still there (so I was told) -- but much of the equipment is now outdated or out of order -- and various supplies of medication low or nonexistent."

Another casualty of the embargo. This is one we can really be proud of.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Tourism in Cuba on 02/12/2013 17:34:36 MST Print View

"I have a good friend who has traveled dozens of times to Cuba. I asked him why Cuba didn't just open up to investment and become a tourist destination. The basic answer I got was that they wouldn't know where to start, even if they wanted to reform. They've been doing socialism so long (and relying on USSR money during the cold war) they don't know where to start changing. Sad."

Cuba is a pretty major tourist destination. There's huge, modern resorts (mostly foreign owned) just like anywhere else. Not many American tourists because of our travel ban, but there's tons of foreign tourists in Cuba (mostly Canadian, lots of Europeans). Verdadero looks like any other resort beach I've ever been to. A cursory google search shows Cuba had more tourists than Jamaica and the Cayman Islands combined last year.

Edited by brendans on 02/12/2013 17:36:21 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Cuban Embargo on 02/12/2013 17:38:58 MST Print View

"That said, I very much agree that the embargo is now pointless. But it is also high farce to blame the state of the Cuban economy on the embargo- they trade with the rest of the world. Their system is simply f-ed up."

Apparently the UN disagrees with you, as does the Cato Institute, of all organizations. Both cite the extension of the Helms-Burton Act to foreigh companies doing business with Cuba in 1996 as having a serious negative impact on Cuba, and contravening international law. The UN general Assembly recently called for the end of the embargo for the 21st consecutive session. The vote was 188-3, with only Israel and Palau supporting us. There were also 2 abstentions, The Marshall Islands and Micronesia. Hardly the stuff of farce, I'd say. As to whether their system is f-ed up or not, we'll never really know, now will we? It never really had a chance to f up on its own.

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2012/ga11311.doc.htm

http://www.cato.org/publications/speeches/four-decades-failure-us-embargo-against-cuba

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuban Embargo on 02/12/2013 17:40:37 MST Print View

"Cuba has been involved in many wars in Latin America and Africa."

Against some of the most abhorent dictators on the face of the earth, who were supported by guess who?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Cuban Embargo on 02/12/2013 17:42:56 MST Print View

"Remember they were ANTI-America. Seems they got what they wanted."

Does the name Fulgencio Batista ring a bell?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuban Embargo on 02/12/2013 17:45:05 MST Print View

"Then the US embargo should be of little consequence, right?"

The damage was done long ago, when our allies were much more reluctant to offend us than they are now.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Comparing Chinese and Cuban Diaspora on 02/12/2013 18:03:08 MST Print View

"Contrast that with the Cuban Diaspora. While most all of them eagerly sent remittances home to family and relatives and sometimes friends -- most were also adamant against any kind of investment or trade relations! A big part of the continued US embargo came about because of solid Cuban-American support!"

There were, and still are, tight restrictions on investing in Cuba in any significant way, so even if the Cuban Diaspora had wanted to invest, they would have been blocked by Treasury Dept restrictions. Remittances to family and friends has very little effect on the economy as a whole.

I heartily agree that opening up to cuba would be a far greater generator of political/economic change in Cuba. Iran, too, for that matter. Embargoes and isolation just don't cut it.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
Cuban embargo on 02/12/2013 18:06:49 MST Print View

Interesting and timely article in the WSJ today.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324590904578293790195650224.html


When will folks, including BPL posters, figure out that centralized control doesn't work?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Cuban Embargo on 02/12/2013 18:07:08 MST Print View

I love how we go to great lengths to denounce Castro and Che for human rights abuses against the Cuban people post-revolution, as if the Untied States had some great interest in Cuban rights prior to the revolution.

Of course ol' Fulgencio was good enough for America, or at least good enough for American businesses, draining the Cuban economy dry and exporting the profits from the sugar and nickel industry. Cuban peasants work the land, American companies take the profits.

Funny that America's new found compassion for the rights of the Cuban people doesn't begin until after Cuba nationalizes its farms and kicks American businesses out...

All a coincidence, I'm sure.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Comparing Chinese and Cuban Diaspora on 02/12/2013 18:10:51 MST Print View

"There were, and still are, tight restrictions on investing in Cuba in any significant way, so even if the Cuban Diaspora had wanted to invest, they would have been blocked by Treasury Dept restrictions."

Tom, my point is that Cuban-Americans themselves are the ones who support these restrictions.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Cuban Embargo on 02/12/2013 18:14:45 MST Print View

Funny that America's new found compassion for the rights of the Cuban people doesn't begin until after Cuba nationalizes its farms and kicks American businesses out...

Craig -- America cared every bit as much about the plight of the Cuban people as it did the Iraqi people! It's ALWAYS about defending freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law -- wherever in the world they are threatened. C'mon, get with the program!

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Holy thread drift, Batman! on 02/12/2013 18:14:55 MST Print View

"That's assuming, of course, that the Cuban government would even allow outside investment and property acquisition on that scale- which seems doubtful"

There are Canadian, German, and Italian resorts there and have been for 25 years. Perhaps the land is leased (likely), but the development is there.

As far as the US being instrumental in preventing Cuba from accessing goods and services for at least 40 years, well of course they were. The US had (albeit in significant decline) substantial negotiation power over the other democracies early one and encouraged other economies to stick Cuba in the corner. Nose to the wall.

The nationalization of land in Cuba is interesting, and clearly a reaction to the US backing Batista only to protect their monopolistic investments dating back to the early 1800's (by 1877, the US controlled over 90% of Cuban exports). My goodness, the US was involved in military control of the island after acknowledging its independence! Say what? Then the Teller Ammendment that no Cuban would want and no cuban agreed too. That is funny stuff there.


Cuba was never completely Communist. It, like the USSR cherry picked what it wanted, ruled by a egomaniac. To penalize the people of Cuba because of what Castro did 50 plus years ago is getting old, don't you think? The US government got spanked by Castro and then took it out on the Cubans. Kind of like a time out. Times up.

So what is it? The human rights violations or the purported $6 billion in financial assets ($6 billion my azz) still owed the US that continues to drive the embargo?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Cuban Embargo on 02/12/2013 18:34:21 MST Print View

The American governments interest in Cuba and some other parts of Latin America goes back over a century and has nothing to do with human rights or corrupt business interests (although they are involved at times).

The main goal of the US is to protect the shipping lanes through the Gulf of Mexico.
Above all it does not want hostile powers dominating any of these countries, especially one like Cuba. A hostile navy or air force their could tie up shipping in the entire Gulf or threaten the continental US (remember the Cuban Missile Crisis).

When it was clear that Castro was going to be allied with the USSR the US was quit within reason to be concerned. Our attempts to weaken Castro were a continuation of past policy.

Now that Cuba is an economic basket case and is no longer allied with any real threats to the US we could end the embargo but such things move slowly.