Saturday, December 20, 2014

Embargo Logic

The logic of the Cuba embargo has always been marked by illogic. The Twitter exchange between Marco Rubio and Rand Paul drivers that point home. Rubio argued that the embargo didn't hurt the Cuban people. The problem with this argument is that the embargo is supposed to hurt the Cuban people, so that their support for the Castros would decrease.

Since the Castro brothers have been in power for so long, we already know that the embargo doesn't hurt the government. As far as I've seen, no one has even bothered to try and suggest it does anything to the Castros. What Rubio and others do instead is argue that removing it would help them. This is really a hard scratcher because it is not possible for the regime to be any more entrenched than it is now.

You might argue that we need to look to the future, that Raul Castro is looking nervously at Venezuela's implosion and this is a lifeline. But the regime has proven in the past it can survive even while its people suffer terribly. Maintaining the embargo in that context means hurting Cubans without much hope of hurting the government.

If it doesn't hurt the government and also doesn't hurt the people, you are saying it has no effect of any kind on Cuba. If it has no effect of any kind on Cuba, then we might as well make a policy change that helps Americans. Right?


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