Monday, August 29, 2005

Sometimes a cigar

The Sunday Forum section of the area paper had a section of letters to the editor concerning the trade embargo with Cuba. Not one of the letters was in favor of it. Anyway, there are six of them, and I'm not going to write in depth about each of them, but instead comment on snippets.


Letter 1: Embargo contrary to free trade.

As my friend Mandles from college would say, "No s*** Sherlock." We didn't put an embargo on them because it made the best economic sense in the world, we put an embargo on them because it hurts them more than it hurts us.


Letter 2: Embargo's effect harsh, extreme.

Exactly, that's what embargoes are supposed to do. They're supposed to punish people. I would argue that the embargo is not harsh enough or extreme enough, simply because it hasn't worked. Embargoes work for three reasoning: first, relative economic size; second, extreme and sudden imposition; and third, the nature of government (the more democratic, the more effective they are). One must question who is causing the suffering. Trade and investment is readily available, on the condition that Cuba open and liberalize. Castro could even remain in power, as Qaddafi has, and trade liberalization would commence. For an example of what Castro could be doing, see what China's doing. Castro could have ended the embargo years ago. I put it to you that, even if the United States were to drop the embargo, Cuba would not prosper. Cuba would not prosper because it is a closed, authoritarian, "planned", economy. Cuba could only prosper by pursuing the course which we are demanding, openness and liberalization.


Letter three: U.S. Actions towards Cuba Morally Wrong.

"Cuba poses no military threat to the U.S. It does, however, pose a huge threat in the war of ideas. It has supplied thousands of doctors to poverty-stricken areas of Latin America, trained thousands of doctors from other countries for free."

It doesn't pose a threat in the war of ideas. Cuba is a remnant from a battle long-since over. With regards to the doctors, one must look no further than economic motivation. How does a talented and ambitious person achieve success in Cuba? One does not acquire land, or machinery, or technology, one acquires knowledge. Why? Because knowledge cannot be collectivised. As Solzhenitsyn said, "Let your mind be your suitcase." A doctor cannot have his means of subsistence taken from him. A businessman can. A farmer can. A merchant can. That's why they produce far more doctors than they need.


Letter four: "Cuba is sovereign, not a child to be punished."

Nazi Germany was sovereign, not a child to be punished with tanks, planes, and millions of troops.


Letter five: "Interests of Cubans should be the focus."

I agree, but we don't know what the interests of the Cubans are. Why don't we know? Because they live in a dictatorship that censors free press. All we hear is what the communist regime wants us to hear. Hey, Castro, add a free press and we'll know what to do.

"What the forum lacked was a counter perspective from an average Cuban whose life has improved under socialism."

I hereby brand you a commie. Cuba can only be described as a socialist state by those using the communist distinction. A "socialist" state, in communist terms, is a transitional state on its way to a communist state. Since no true "communist" state has ever existed, according to the communists, all of them, including the U.S.S.R., were socialist. In normal parlance, France is socialist, Cuba is communist.


Letter six: "Cuba succeeds despite U.S. interference."

I don't see many boat people heading the other way. If its worth a 50/50 chance of drowning just to leave, it can't be that much of a success.

1 Comments:

Blogger Noumenon said...

Why don't we know? Because they live in a dictatorship that censors free press. All we hear is what the communist regime wants us to hear.

Actually, I hear about an equal amount from Cuban political prisoners and dissidents as from Castro (eg this Slate diary. Our free press decidedly slants one way on Cuba.

Nazi Germany was sovereign, not a child to be punished with tanks, planes, and millions of troops.

I don't like the analogy, after all it was defending Poland's sovereignty that got Britain and France into the war (not really, I'm sure).

For an example of what Castro could be doing, see what China's doing.

That is so far outside my perceptions of China that I don't know what to think, are they advanced, faking, overturing, gesturing? Very surprising.

2:27 PM  

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