Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cuba policy (and, oh, is Fidel dead?)

Once again, rumors are flying about Castro being dead. Cubans, however, were unperturbed:

On official Cuban television, there was no hint of trouble Friday. A rerun of the hit NBC series "Friends" played late in the afternoon.

Is the message that Castro can’t be dead if Cubans are watching David Schwimmer?

This coincides with the policy debate sparked by Barack Obama, which I railed about the other day. One positive outcome of his comments has been more discussion about the (in)effectiveness of the embargo and related policies. The LA Times published an editorial agreeing with him, as did a south Florida paper, while the Chicago Tribune agreed with me about how a much fresher approach must be taken:

Anyone who expected the Democratic takeover of Congress to make a difference on Cuba must have been hallucinating. House Democrats have done everything possible to show they can match anyone for blind obstinacy.

I have no illusions about this prompting any policy change regardless of who is elected, but the mere existence of a national debate about Cuba policy is welcome.


Anonymous,  3:08 PM  

Obama is campaigning in Miami today. Unlike all previous politicians, he ISN'T pandering to the rightist militants who've dominated Miami politics for so long. That's a good thing, whatever comes out of it in the long run.

When Obama says he's for freedom in Cuba, instead of arguing with that, I'd say take his view as a jumping-off point instead.

The best contribution we can make toward freedom in Cuba is to practice it ourselves. Let's start by permitting Cubans in the United States the freedom to travel to Cuba to see their families. Then let's let everyone in the United States travel freely to Cuba.

We can go to China, we can go to Vietnam, and they're one-party Communist countries, aren't they? Beyond that, why not allow U.S. businesses to buy and sell to Cuba, just like they do with China and Vietnam? In addition, let's allow Cubans on the island to freely come and visit their family and friends here in the United States.

In the last four years, Cuba has purchased over TWO BILLION worth of agricultural commodities from the U.S. U.S. law requires they pay cash in advance and Cuba has never been a day late or a dollar short.

Cuba is our neighbor and we should act in a neighborly way toward it.

NoZe 11:00 PM  

They show "Friends" on official Cuban television?

Greg Weeks 8:30 AM  

Definitely, "Friends" seems a weird thing to show on TV, as it is a celebration of conspicuous consumption.

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