Category: History

Vodka Ain't Good for Cuba Libre
by Dr. Robert A. Galloso

Chapter 6

The myth of the embargo

Much has been said about the embargo. Maybe you would think that you have heard it all and you do not want to be bothered any more with this subject. We do not blame you for thinking that way. However, chances are that there are some aspects of the so called embargo you are not aware of. Please bear with us. Briefly we shall give you an overview of this widely debated subject. Despite all the rhetoric for and against the embargo, some very important truth is always missing. Those in favor of lifting the embargo as well as those opposed to lifting the embargo steer the argument in favor of their own agendas and skip some important points that we should ponder here.

First of all, right at the outset, it is beyond comprehension that the media, the legislators and other parties that so emphatically proposed and supported the embargo against South Africa, have always opposed the Cuban embargo. We do not want to go into the reasons for this questionable behavior. One would think that what is good for the goose should be good for the gander, so to speak. We will let you draw your own conclusions. Remember, we report, you decide, as the popular news channel’s motto goes.

Having said that for the record, let us analyze the subject a little bit further. Cuba post tyranny had an embargo long before the USA decided about its own. The first, most brutal and relentless embargo was imposed by the tyrant and his gang of thugs. They, treacherously and with premeditation, came in with a design to strangle the Cuban economy and make everybody depend on the government for everything (if you wanted to eat you were going to “cooperate”). This was nothing new to the Communists. Remember the Stalin era when millions were forced to starve to death in a country that was the granary of Europe, all in order to imposed the “system”. Translate the same concept to Cuba in the hands of these disciples of Stalin who applied Marxism-Leninism from day one (this was said by the tyrant in 1962) and draw your own conclusions. This is the real embargo, not the one imposed by the USA. The tyranny wants the latter lifted because of a number of considerations, the least of which is to feed the people of Cuba, who would receive zilch from the lifting. We shall review them briefly later. Look at all so-called Socialist countries and you will see the same pattern of economic ruin planned and orchestrated by the government. The examples are there in Europe for you to see. At the fall of the Soviet empire the Eastern European nations, East Germany and all others, had rundown economies. A few years later most of them have recovered and are again prosperous and revitalized.

We have yet to see those who want the embargo lifted mentioning anything about the real reasons of the deplorable state of the Cuban economy. For instance, how come the tyrant is reported (by Forbes Magazine nonetheless) to have an estimated wealth of 2.5 billions while the country is starving? How did he become so wealthy? Another question, why does the tyranny squanders a lot of money in exporting revolution, training, aiding and abating terrorists and running a huge spy organization (just to mention a few “expense items”)? Maybe they should question the tyranny regarding the high charges made to anybody sending food or even medicines to the Cuba (we shall give you a rundown later)? The tyranny must first lift its own embargo on the Cuban people. Why does not the tyranny put its money where its mouth is, making it easy and inexpensive for the people of Cuba to receive shipments of food, medicines and other bare necessities? That would certainly alleviate the situation of the Cuban people reducing or practically eliminating the impact of the USA embargo on the “poor people of Cuba?” (not that that is the concern of those opposing it). Some of the apologists are responding to strong lobbies of powerful economic interests that “want part of the action” in Cuba. We fail to see what action because Cuba is bankrupt and owes money to every body in the world, is not honoring any debt and still asking for “credits and renegotiation of debts”. We may wonder if they are hoping to get the embargo lifted and then, after everybody forgets about it, they sell to Cuba “on credit guaranteed by the USA”, leaving the American taxpayers footing the bill. Other apologists have different agendas but they all have the same aim: lift the embargo and let the American industrialists, big farmers, etc., give the tyranny more money which will be used for the same purposes as before, not to feed the people. They could care less if the whole population starves to death.

One of the arguments we have heard against keeping the embargo is that the Cuban exiles are the first to violate the embargo sending to Cuba food, medicines, necessary items for surgical treatment, prosthetics and other medical equipment, as well as visiting the island. True that the Cubans do that. Also true that in so doing, they are helping the tyranny’s economy, but they send items of basic necessities, such as food and medicines and other health items, etc. They send them almost invariably to relatives, sometimes to friends. True that there might be some exceptions with people who are profiting from this activity, but it seems that in most cases these people are among those favoring the “dialog with the tyranny”, support the tyranny in a very emphatic way and generally speaking, are aligned with it and backing the lifting of the embargo. There are many Americans violating the embargo, openly, cynically and with the help and support of some powerful media. (We recommend you read the article by Mr. Glen Garvin in the Miami Herald reporting a CNN travel show that was telling people how to go to Cuba illegally, The Miami Herald, Tuesday, February 10, 2002, Page 2E).

There should be a condition “sine qua non” for the lifting of the Cuban embargo. Just like it was required from South Africa to end the apartheid policy, we must ask from the tyranny to call for free elections, release all political prisoners and allow freedom of the press. The tyrant has been ruling Cuba with no elections for over four decades. There still thousands of political and conscience prisoners and no freedom of the press at all. Ah, and do not forget, Apartheid “a la cubana” is practiced under the tyranny too. First he must lift his own embargo on the Cuban people and then we could begin to consider lifting our so called embargo.

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