Thursday, March 29, 2007

CUBA EMBARGO: LEAN MEAT (Palm Beach Post editorial)

Palm Beach Post


27 March 2007

The Palm Beach Post

Few U.S. foreign-policy initiatives have come with more contradictions than
the trade embargo against Cuba, and even fewer have been more ineffective.

For 45 years, the United States has tried to bring down Fidel Castro through
economic isolation. Castro has remained in power because, almost since its
inception, the embargo has been a political prop that empowers American
politicians, not the Cuban people.

While the embargo has remained a failure, it has grown as a fraud. Most
Americans probably had no idea, before reading the story in Monday's Post,
that the United States is Cuba's No. 1 food supplier. This year, American
farmers will ship more than $300 million worth of beans, rice, corn, canned
foods and chicken to the island. Corporate executives, lawmakers and state
governors have streamed in and out of Havana looking for deals since 2000,
when Congress authorized cash-only sales of food.

The Bush administration has done its part to play the Cold War charade by
toughening restrictions on travel and cargo. Cubans can buy more Coca-Cola
than ever, but they can't see their exiled relatives as often. Forget
soybeans. Our biggest export to Cuba is hypocrisy.

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