Kerry vs. Cuba: The Table is Served

Vicente Morin Aguado

John Kerry y Bruno Rodríguez en La Habana, 14-08-2015.  Foto: cubadebate.cu
John Kerry y Bruno Rodríguez en La Habana, 14-08-2015. Foto: cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES — “(…) we will continue to urge the Cuban Government to fulfill its obligations under the UN and inter-American human rights covenants.” – John Kerry

Asking Raul Castro’s government to fully guarantee freedom of expression, information and association is not interfering in the internal affairs of Cuba, nor does it encroach upon the nation’s sovereignty in and of itself. It is equally just to demand that the United States put an end to the blockade, return the territory occupied by the Guantanamo naval base and negotiate financial compensation for the more than fifty years of conflict, characterized by blood, sweat and tears.

Speaking at the Hotel Nacional, a smiling Cuban foreign minister made this statement:

“Cuba feels proud of its record in terms of guaranteeing full, indivisible, interdependent and universal human rights, as well as civil liberties, political, economic, social and cultural rights for all Cuban men and women, and, we hope, for every citizen on the planet as well.”

Proclaiming collective human rights – the paradigm of a decadent authoritarian socialism – is a joke when the average salary, according to official figures, is barely 25 dollars a month, infectious and contagious diseases propagate across the country unchecked, high-performance athletes are leaving the country en masse, State-owned cattle are dying by the thousands and, to cut a long list short, hundreds of thousands of Cubans in several provinces cannot even be supplied with drinking water on a daily basis.

With characteristic Anglo-Saxon straightforwardness, Kerry summarized the paranoia of communist propaganda regarding the United States:

“I hear it from a number of other countries in the world when we talk to them about human rights (…): ‘Well, you guys have Ferguson, you guys have Brown who was killed.’  (…) It’s not on a par, it’s not the government … not an administration, not a pervasive government policy that we effect. It’s just not.  (…) That’s a huge distinction.”

Trapped in its existential predicament, forced to eke out a living every day (one is tempted to coin the expression “the Cuban way of life” to describe this state of affairs), the majority of the population is distanced from the kind of civic awareness that was taught at schools in the first fifty years of the Cuban republic, that longing for freedom that helped Fidel Castro’s cause against Fulgencio Batista so much. Such values were subsequently curtailed by more than fifty years of a command system, under a single Party and a democracy that boiled down to raising one’s hand on request.

On the one hand, the socialist abomination has failed and salvation comes from abroad. On the other, public awareness is dormant and only gradually being awakened.

The country’s dependence on what lies beyond its borders amplifies its internal contradictions. Thanks to inevitable exchange, the number of Cubans who are exposed to the democratic values they are denied at home grows every day. US demands would be satisfied with the adoption of the rights that have been accepted by the new left-wing constitutions of Latin America, characteristic of the Cuban government’s best allies today.

“There’s no way Congress is going to lift the embargo if you (Cubans) do not move in terms of matters of conscience,” Kerry said in Havana.

Forgetting about recalcitrant spirits like Rubio, Bush and others in Miami, the United States’ gesture is serious and well-founded. It stems from the curtailment of an aggressive policy and the ditching of numerous political banners that had justified repression in Cuba till now, practices inherited by the current pragmatic and reformist administration, whether Raul Castro likes it or not.

A few votes in Congress would suffice to dismantle all claims surrounding the blockade and territorial aggression. Compensation for damages would involve a long, nearly endless discussion, but the lifting of restrictions on tourism would mean an unprecedented boost for the Cuban economy.

Will Raul Castro and his supposed successors be willing to negotiate what the United States had refused to till now, in exchange for a fully democratic country? What sort of socialism lies ahead of us? Will the experiences of Latin American governments who have become Fidel Castro’s step-sons be of any use?

An end to the blockade. The return of the Guantanamo naval base. Just compensation for economic damages caused by fifty years of aggressions against the Cuban people.

Full and inalienable rights (of expression, information and association).

The United States has the real capability, economic prowess and political will to address the demands of the Cuban government.

The other answer is in the hands of the autocracy that governs my country today.

To put it using a Cuban idiom: “the table has been served.”

Vicente Morín Aguado: [email protected]


54 thoughts on “Kerry vs. Cuba: The Table is Served

  • February 28, 2016 at 5:41 am
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    Just stating facts that you can’t refute, as always.
    I see you don’t even try to deny that before Castro Cuba was the third developed country in the Americas.

    “Armando Hart, a member of Castro’s innermost ruling group, made the extremely significant observation that:
    . . . it is certain that capitalism had attained high levels of organization, efficiency and production that declined after the Revolution. . . (Juventud Rebelde, November 2, 1969; quoted by Rene Dumont, Is Cuba Socialist?)

    Castro himself admitted that there was no hunger in Cuba:
    Cuba, the “Pearl of the Antilles,” though by no means a paradise, was not, as many believe, an economically backward country. Castro himself admitted that while there was poverty, there was no economic crisisand no hunger in Cuba before the Revolution. (See Maurice Halperin: The Rise and Fall of Fidel Castro, University of California, 1972, pgs. 24, 25, 37)

    From this other Socialist website the developed status of Cuba before Castro (and the immediate effects of his take-over) are clear:

    “Firstly Cuba was already relatively developed before 1959, probably third in Latin America. Secondly, Cuba compares well but not is not markedly better than examples of capitalist countries on a similar level, like Taiwan and Costa Rica. Thirdly, since the withdrawal of the Russian subsidy there has been a terrible decline in living standards.

    Cuba’s annual growth figure of 4% over the first thirty years, even if it is credible, which I doubt, does not reveal the whole picture. Cuba fell from third place in Latin America to fifteenth for GDP per capita between 1952 and 1981, and the growth figures that were achieved did not arise from increases in productivity. The economy shrank from the mid-1980’s and plummeted 35% between 1989-93, back to 1970’s levels. GDP per head is now lower than Jamaica. From 1963 Cuba became a sugar monoculture within the Soviet empire. But the real crisis in Cuban agriculture is shown by the fact that half the food for Havana (three million people) is currently produced by the army, which owns just 4% of the land.”

    See: http://archive.workersliberty.org/wlmags/wl54/cuba.htm

  • February 27, 2016 at 7:23 pm
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    wow you are in denial. Viva la Revolucion Cubana

  • February 23, 2016 at 6:02 am
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    Cuba does not “fare well” compared to many countries and certainly compared to the countries it beat or equalled before Castro. Castro turned the third developed country in the Americas in to a third world food dependent country with no real economy.
    Even Raul CAstro questioned Cuban statistics.

  • February 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm
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    Yet Cuba fares well compared to many other countries according to the Human development index….. VIVA FIDEL

  • November 26, 2015 at 6:57 am
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    That makes a lot of sense as Castro destroyed the middle class and ruined the economy (from agriculture the industrial production) with the inefficient state controlled and Stalinist system.

    Corruption is rife. Food is scarce. Lots of unemployment and under-employment.

  • November 25, 2015 at 8:53 pm
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    that doesnt make any sense…. Think about it..

  • November 25, 2015 at 8:49 pm
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    Thats the problem with Gusanos… They ask questions and answer it themselves…. How intelligent is that?

  • October 25, 2015 at 11:15 pm
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    That won’t help bring democracy to Cuba.

  • October 25, 2015 at 11:13 pm
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    That “solution” is far from simple. Simple is telling me which part of my comment is wrong. Answer: nothing.

  • October 25, 2015 at 6:01 pm
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    Simple solution!!!! Lift the Embargo… No preconditions….. And let’s see who’s wrong

  • October 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm
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    Simple solution!!!! Lift the Embargo… No preconditions….. And let’s see who’s right

  • October 25, 2015 at 5:50 pm
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    lift the embargo… no preconditions…….

  • October 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm
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    hahahaha you put up a propaganda website that has about as much
    credibility as a three dollar bill and you have the nerve to call me a
    liar….. these websites you cite are made in Miami!!!!

  • September 22, 2015 at 8:30 pm
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    I agree. My plan would be to lift the embargo as soon as possible. If only the Castros would do their part by legalizing the independent media, opening the market to free enterprise, setting a date for open elections and then leave town. The embargo could be lifted the next day.

  • September 22, 2015 at 5:42 pm
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    There is a simple solution…… Lift the Blockade and let’s see what happens withing a few years time…..

  • September 5, 2015 at 11:38 am
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    Reread the pertinent part of my comment causing you such heartburn. “Cuban deficiency is as much, if not more, caused by the Castros than the what can reasonably be blamed on the US embargo.” This is not a dismissal of the impact of the US embargo. I merely allege that Cuba’s bigger problems are self-inflicted.

  • September 5, 2015 at 11:15 am
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    The implication of your argument is wrong.. you fail to acknowledge… the harm the embargo has caused on Cuba….You simple dismiss it and you continue to blame it on soley the Cuban government despite all the evidence to the contrary…

  • September 2, 2015 at 10:49 pm
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    The real question is what crap is America going to dump on Cuba to start corrupting its proud culture….

  • August 29, 2015 at 4:04 pm
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    See my post above re the biotech companies.

    Just what will Cubans be able to buy from the USA? The average Cuban, that is, the one with a monthly salary of what, $26.00, not the Castros and their pets.

    Maybe some film work would be possible, but so many of the buildings that would have been a vintage setting are falling down- though people seem to be living in them still.

    Medical tourism from the USA to Cuba? Mmm, sure, get a doctor and nursing staff that not only learned on outdated machinery and outdated procedures, but with the poor infraastructure causing even water to not be delivered on a regular schedule?!! No, not happening there either.

  • August 28, 2015 at 6:28 pm
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    You are right. The Government can either set up a system where it can collect a healthy tax from a vibrant sector or it can own near 100% of earnings of a much smaller sector. The government is getting more sophisticated. They just announced Internet banking for small business.

  • August 28, 2015 at 3:53 pm
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    Not to be ugly, but what is it that Cuba thinks it will sell to the USA?

    Services? No tech companies are going to go where the basic utilities are so poorly run, such as water, and certainly will not have housing for the tech workers – who would be mostly imported as most Cubans are not up to speed on computers and the latest tech stuff.

    Food is strictly rationed in Cuba- another no no for people used to having several well stocked grocery stores close by.

    A certain charm, local color and some of the adventurous travelers or younger budget minded college kids may or may not come from the USA, but even if they do come, where is the soap, hot water, and good linens going to come from? The older and more affluent tourists will pass on someplace that cannot keep toilet paper supplied, along with other comfort items.

    Just what was it that Cuba is going to sell to the USA again?

    I think a lot of the “talks” going on between Cuba and the USA is hot air. The embargo may or may not be lifted, but not a penny to the Cuban government will be paid over it and the Castro’s imagined billing practices about it.

    I do not see much of a benefit to the USA if the embargo was lifted,.

    Guantanamo base will remain in USA hands as the perpetual lease is in effect.

    The Castros screwed Cuba and helped ruin the Cuban economy. Blame them if you want to blame someone.

  • August 27, 2015 at 12:18 pm
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    I wonder what the return on that i vestment would look like …lol. No, I don’t think so. We may, at some future point, provide some “assistance”, but compensation? No way!

  • August 27, 2015 at 7:47 am
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    That’s the problem with Obama’s foreign policy. He has projected such an image of weakness that folks like you think a piss-ant government like the Castros can put the squeeze on the most powerful republic that has ever existed. If I had your anti-US ideals, I would be all tingly inside at this point too. I won’t take the bet while Obama remains President but if it doesn’t happen over the next 14 months, it won’t happen.

  • August 27, 2015 at 7:42 am
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    Obama has been chipping away at the embargo & he may yet get congress to lift the last pieces of the embargo. However, to pay compensation to Cuba will require a large spending bill, which can only be passed by congress. The US President cannot do that by an Executive Order. For these reasons, there will never be any compensation paid to the Castros from the US.

    Keep in mind, it’s the Castros who need the US investment. If US investors don’t get a fair deal in Cuba, they will take their money elsewhere. There are no shortage of good investments in the world and there is no reason to take a risk on a investing in a country with a proven track record of non-payment, loan default and seizure of foreign owned assets.

  • August 27, 2015 at 4:49 am
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    I’ll bet you a large cup of your frothy Starbucks sh** that they will and pretty soon as well. It will be part of a general financial settlement in order for the US to invest in the tourism industry on the island and for Donahue to get his beachfront property.

  • August 26, 2015 at 10:39 pm
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    Javier, rather than engage in ‘drive-by’ comments, please share what part of my comment is wrong. The price of the Peugeot? The cost of Internet access? Do tell?

  • August 26, 2015 at 10:29 pm
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    The benefits you have listed and a few others I have heard rumors of are indeed possible but only with a completely cooperative government. As far as the costs, I’m not so sure that those countries with whom the US had (has) friction would not have had the same relationship with the US anyway. The embargo was just an easy excuse.

  • August 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm
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    I never wrote anything about repayment, I commented that the Bacardi building is recognized by many architects as the best example of Art Deco architecture. Do you deny that?
    Practically all the buildings in Cuba preserved by UNESCO grants are pre-revolution and a consequence of individuals using the monies they had earned, not the State. Can you name a single building built in the period of dictatorship by the socialist Castro family regime which attracts tourists? Would you claim that Alamar is a good example of social(ist) planning?

  • August 26, 2015 at 6:35 pm
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    With an educated work force, services top the list. Once the Cuban’s figure out that high Taxes substitute for direct Gov ownership very well, game on.

  • August 26, 2015 at 6:20 pm
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    Biotech research services with low regulatory barriers. Outsourced data programming. Low cost television programming for advertising commercials and low budget films. All of these ventures are already in play. The Cuban’s have figured out how to monetize medical professional services, don’t under estimate their ability to bring in cash once unleashed.

    The biggest cost has been friction with South American countries that want the family feud over. Actual costs for pro-democracy activity such as radio broadcasts are not so high, but more than ignoring Cuba.

  • August 26, 2015 at 4:59 pm
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    Wrong again Moses!!!! That’s why I say just drop the whole Blockade for one year and you will be proven wrong and ifyou are not proven wrong… I will join your side….

  • August 26, 2015 at 3:33 pm
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    That’s hilarious: you take Fidel Castro at his word when he says he lives a frugal life.

    I recommend you read “The Double Life of Fidel Castro”.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Double-Life-Fidel-Castro-Bodyguard/dp/1250068762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440624575&sr=8-1&keywords=%22The+Double+Life+of+Fidel+Castro%22

    It was written by his former personal bodyguard of 17 years. For the crime of asking if he could retire early, Fidel had him tossed into prison and tortured. When he got out he fled Cuba and wrote this book. He describes Fidel’s wealth, his secret bank accounts, his private yacht and private island, Cayo Piedra.

    To be sure, Fidel’s houses are not luxurious when compared to that of a Saudi prince or Donald Trump. But compared to the average Cuban, Fidel has lived a pampered and comfortable life.

    You deny facts when they don’t fit your preferred narrative. I accept facts when they are properly documented. The narrative called truth is revealed.

  • August 26, 2015 at 12:06 pm
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    Since I am unconvinced that you can count to ten (joke), list one so-called “invalid point” from my post. Two, if you dare.

  • August 26, 2015 at 9:54 am
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    Thank you for the link provided above.
    I read the entire piece which coincidentally mentioned the same Forbes Magazine article that listed Fidel as one of the richest men in the world .
    Of course this linked article came out before Fidel retired to a nice but relatively modest home and a modest lifestyle and made horseshit out of all those so-called facts in the article about Fidel’s personal wealth .. .
    What then becomes of all the wealth that accrues to the dictator of a country when he retires and his BROTHER takes over ?
    Subscribe to Forbes Magazine and wait for the issue listing RAUL, and not Fidel as one of the richest men on Earth because he can take a wheelbarrow into the National Bank and walk out with as much as he happens to want that day.
    Picture Raul McDuck frolicking in the Olympic swimming pool full of gold coins and jewelry .
    It’s sad, but people actually believe this shit.

  • August 26, 2015 at 9:37 am
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    This is true.
    A number of years ago, Forbe’s Magazine put out an issue with a list of the richest people in the world .
    Fidel Castro ( I believe) made the top ten because ..get this …according to Forbe’s, Fidel had the power (and in Forbe’s thinking the will) to walk into the Cuban National Treasury or whatever it is called and come out with as many truckloads of cash he may need that day .
    I always think of this story when people make up preposterous, wishful stories of the “Castro family regime’s” hidden riches.
    So THAT’S how Fidel can afford those fashionable sweat suits he’s taken to wearing to flaunt his huge and well-hidden) wealth .
    Though he should know that those pants don’t usually have enough pockets for 50 billion pesos.
    A smarter Fidel would have held information-gathering seminars with the large group of rich exiled dictators once installed and/or supported by the Empire so he’d know whether to put his money in Switzerland or the nearby Cayman Islands.

  • August 26, 2015 at 9:25 am
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    “..the Castro family regime…”
    Sort of oxymoronish isn’t it .
    “Family” has a nice warm sound to it and “regime” = harsh dictatorship .

  • August 26, 2015 at 9:21 am
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    I counted ten invalid points in Moses’ post to which I could ONCE AGAIN respond.
    Unfortunately, Moses has not been asked AS I HAVE , not to repeat myself and bore the hoi polloi..
    So I will I leave that for others.

  • August 26, 2015 at 8:10 am
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    The Bacardis supported the Cuban War of Independence against the Spanish, funding the rebels and sending their sons to fight against the Spanish. The Bacardis opposed Machado and funded those who rose up against that dictator. The Bacardis opposed Batista and funded Fidel Castro’s rebels in the Sierra Maestra. Raul Castro’s wife, Vilma Espin, was the daughter of a senior Batista executive. Their reward for helping Fidel was to have their property stolen from them.

    The Bacardis successfully blocked the Castro regime from using their trademark when the Cuban government attempted to export “Bacardi” rum in the 1960’s & ’70’s. They continue to fight the Cuban government in courts over the use of the Havana Club trademark, which the Bacardis bought from the legal owners, the Arechebala family, in 1994. You can bet the Bacardis will use every legal means they can to fight for the return of their Cuban property, stolen from them by Castro.

    If the Castro regime wants to “normalize” Cuba’s relations with the rest of the world, and in particular with the US, they will have to accept the notion of the rule of law and respect international trade laws. Foreign investors in Cuba will demand assurances that their investments are safe from arbitrary seizure by the Castro regime.

    Incidentally, when the Castro regime sold to Pernod-Ricard the rights to market Havana Club rum, the French distillery conglomerate paid a reported $50 million, which was deposited in its entirety in the Commandante’s Reserve, a collection of secret bank accounts spread over Switzerland, counts over which Castro maintains sole discretion in Switzerland, Grand Cayman, London, Lichtenstein, and Panama.

    See: FIDEL CASTRO, INC.: A GLOBAL CONGLOMERATE

    http://www.ascecuba.org/c/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/v15-werlau.pdf

    “The “Comandante’s reserves” are reportedly replenished through schemes that include: (1) an assigned percentage of revenues from tourism, remittances from abroad, and of hard currency businesses operations inside and outside Cuba; (2) the hard currency earnings of Cubans employed overseas or doing business overseas but under the authority or control of the Cuban state; (3) the sale of Cuban state assets to foreigners; (4) the sale abroad of Cuban art, artifacts, jewelry, antiques, and other valuables taken when their owners leave the country; and (5) revenues from drug trafficking and criminal activities perpetrated by subversive and terrorist groups with the help of Cuban agents or coordinated by Cuba.”

  • August 26, 2015 at 8:00 am
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    ‘Well, you guys have Ferguson, you guys have Brown who was killed.’ (…)
    It’s not on a par, it’s not the government … not an administration, not
    a pervasive government policy that we effect. It’s just not. (…)
    That’s a huge distinction.” What a cop out. I don’t know why the US bothers to have elections as the government never takes any responsibility for anything. “Oh it’s the local cops” – “Oh it’s the crack heads on wall street”. “Oh it’s the death squads in El Salvador”. Always someone else.

  • August 26, 2015 at 7:39 am
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    When Batista left Cuba, he & his family went to live in Portugal. He never set foot in the US. Your claim that the Batista lead Mafia rules US political scene is absurd. Furthermore, the extent of mafia ownership and control in Cuba in the 1950’s has been greatly exaggerated.

  • August 26, 2015 at 7:32 am
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    I was referring to the embargoes that the US maintained against China, Vietnam and Burma. The size of the country or who won the war have no bearing on this discussion. No, I would not cede the sovereign decision regarding payment to Cuba to a foreign judge. The US has a unique role in the world and our decisions must be made by Americans. All recent polling does NOT support giving hard-earned tax money to communists. Your anti-US comments reflect your biases. Your views are the polar opposite of views held by supporters of US presidential candidate Donald Trump and just as extreme. The prestige of the US in the world hardly depends on our Cuba policy. Likewise, unlike when Nelson Mandela passed away and the world as a whole celebrated his life and legend when Fidel finally dies, there will be those who celebrate his life and there will just as many celebrating his death. He was a cruel dictator and the world will never forget that. The US is not stealing Guantanamo. We have a legal and enforceable agreement with the government of Cuba. To say otherwise reflects your political bias.

  • August 25, 2015 at 7:43 pm
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    The Bacardis, the Fanjul sugar monopoly, etc., etc. Sure, Carlyle!! Cuba should dig deep and repay those billionaires billions of pesos and billions of U. S. dollars. Cuba will probably start doing that any day now, tapping into Fidel’s Swiss bank accounts that we all know he has. Fantasy and not realism continues to permeate the Cuban narrative, at least in U. S. mansions.

  • August 25, 2015 at 7:30 pm
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    But, Moses…China, Vietnam, and Myanmar {Burma} did not team with the Mafia to support the Batista dictatorship in Cuba; and after the Korean and Vietnam wars, which also involved Burma, those foreign communist dictatorships did not reconstitute themselves on U. S. soil, which the overthrown Batista dictatorship did, soon finding enough sycophants in the Bush dynasty and the U. S. Congress to usurp the freedoms of Americans, such as the freedom to travel to Cuba. ALAS! If everyday Americans could travel to Cuba, it might allow Americans to judge things for themselves instead of being told what to think by a few anti-Castro propagandists. Moses, would you agree to allow the UN or the World Court to decide if the embargo against Cuba since 1962 should result in billions of dollars in compensation? Would you allow any unbiased arbitrator to decide what Cuba should be compensated for the theft of Guantanamo Bay since 1903? Would you agree that the rape and robbery of Cuba by the Batistianos, the Mafiosi, and U. S. businesses such as the United Fruit Company from 1952 till 1959 should result in compensation to Cuba? Would you agree to allow the UN or the World Court to determine whether still-living family members in Cuba should be compensated for such things as the terrorist bombing of the civilian Cubana Flight 455 airplane that killed 73 innocent souls, including a couple dozen young athletes? In fact, how many Mother Teresa-type angels today can prove their property claims against Cuba were/are legitimate? But Batista, Guantanamo, the embargo, Cubana Flight 455, etc., are indeed legitimate.Total control of the Cuban narrative in the U. S. may convince some that the two million Cubans in the U. S. are all angels and 11.2 million Cubans on the island should be punished for another six decades or so. But I believe, Moses, as reflected by recent polls from the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami, your views are in the minority even as you continue to preach to the dwindling choir. Uh, no, we didn’t pay China for the Korean War because China is a big boy. No, we didn’t pay Vietnam for the Vietnam War because Vietnam won. And, no, we won’t pay Cuba because Cuba is not a big boy. Yet, there are hundreds, even thousands, of U. S. businesses that want to invest in the new Cuba but good luck on that as long as the U. S. continues to occupy Guantanamo Bay, etc. Hiding behind the skirts of the world’s nuclear and economic superpower hasn’t resulted in the recapture of Cuba after all these decades. But, hey! It might happen any day now, so let’s keep doing what we’ve been doing since January 1, 1959. You know, Moses, if we punish the Cubans on the island enough, they might yet rise up and finally overthrow the now 89-year-old Fidel Castro. Of course, the primary loser is the image of the U. S. around the world as a result of an insane, inhumane Cuban policy. The other primary result has been to make Fidel Castro a legend during his long lifetime and to make his legacy a factor for decades to come. Teaming with the Mafia to fleece Cuba? An array of assassination attempts? Terrorism such as Cubana Flight 455? The embargo? Stealing 45 square acres of plush Cuban territory? Moses, Fidel’s legend and his legacy owe a lot of people a lot of thanks. His legacy won’t need enhancing but keeping the embargo in place, and not returning Guantanamo Bay, will indeed enhance it.

  • August 25, 2015 at 8:18 am
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    What has the embargo COST the US? What do you think Cuba will sell to the US? OK, a novelty amount of cigars in as much as smoking cigars is less popular in the US every day. I know this because I smoke Habanos as often as possible. Please don’t say fruit or rum. Cuba, at least initially will not be competitive with the South American producers or the Bacardi distillers. What else did you have in mind?

  • August 24, 2015 at 9:46 pm
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    Terry, Cubans are completely away that there are two embargos. The US embargo AND the internal embargo the Castros imposed. The reason a $35K Peugeot cost $328K in Cuba is owed to the internal embargo. WiFi internet access which is free for me at the Starbucks near my house yet cost 4 days wages for an hour of access in Cuba is again a Castro thing. And the list goes on and on. No side-mouth talking for me. Cuban deficiency is as much, if not more, caused by the Castros than the what can reasonably be blamed on the US embargo.

  • August 24, 2015 at 8:12 pm
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    What is Cuba going to trade to the US apart from a few cigars?
    You are correct in saying that Cuba won’t make any political or economic model changes. Nothing will persuade the Castro family regime to forego any of its power and control.

  • August 24, 2015 at 8:11 pm
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    The Bacardi building in Havana is said by many architects to be the best example there is of Art Deco. The family obviously had taste (pun not intended). But envious and ignorant socialist academics will no doubt wish them ill because of their success as capitalists.

  • August 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm
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    Those poor, poor Bacardis.
    They must be living in abject misery .
    My heart (and liver) go out to them.

  • August 24, 2015 at 6:31 pm
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    Very healthy to see the sides discussing their grievances whether real or imaginary. Dropping the embargo is in the interest of the U.S. as it costs more than it yields. So the U.S. will do so. The U.S. gains nothing from paying Cuba or giving up a base it has owned as a practical matter for 100 years. So it won’t give either. Foreign aid, that it will do.

    Cuba on the other hand needs access to U.S. Market. It will do very well trading with the giant market to it’s north. It will pay a reasonable financial price for the greater gain. It won’t make any political or economic model changes. It won’t need to do so to get a deal.

    It is not a matter of right or wrong. It is a matter of leverage and opportunity.

  • August 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm
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    Yes we should pay to cuba dictatorship when they payto Americans, Europeans and Cubans companies what they Cuban government owes. Just think about how much the Cuban government owes to just one Cuban family The Bacardi

  • August 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm
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    Moses, unfortunately you’re correct about the US government not providing compensation for economic damages due to the economic embargo…but by the same token, neither will the Cuban government provide US individuals and/or US corporations with any compensation for properties nationalized in Cuba after the revolution. In the end, it will all be treated as a wash. And just to clarify…as long as the US government maintains the economic embargo on Cuba, it’s arguably YOUR government that is oppressing the Cuban people. Until the economic embargo and the Helms-Burton Act have both been repealed, you’ll always need to continue talking out of the side of your mouth about the deficiencies of the Cuban government.

  • August 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm
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    Sooner or later, the US will lift the embargo. They may even return Guantanamo. But they will never pay a dollar in so-called “compensation” for economic damaged allegedly inflicted by the US on Cuba over the past 55 years. Fidel Castro made it a central element of his rule over Cuba to break the economic relationship between the US & Cuba. To the extent that Fidel succeeded, and in the process ruined the Cuban economy, it is absurd to now demand financial compensation from the US for helping Fidel achieve his goal.

  • August 24, 2015 at 9:20 am
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    I can agree with everything that Vicente proposes except “Just compensation for economic damages caused by fifty years of aggressions against the Cuban people.” Hell no! I’m still waiting for my 40 acres and a mule! We did not pay China. We did not pay Vietnam. We did not pay Myanmar. WE WILL NOT PAY CUBA for oppressing Cubans.

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