Thursday, February 22, 2007

You say embargo, I say ...

Ah, yes, the embargo.

Hot topic on both sides of the Straits of Florida since 1962, when John F Kennedy ordered all trade relations with the Communist island to be suspended at once.

Now, the US Commerce Secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, has rejected calls by some American legislators and business representatives for the Bush administration to lift the trade embargo on Cuba.

As you can read here, Mr Gutierrez told the Council of the Americas that lifting the embargo would neither weaken the Castro regime nor result in a trade “boon” for American business interests.

He is right on both counts.

There may well be other reasons for lifting the embargo but the view that an influx of American dollars will somehow encourage ordinary Cubans to revolt against and eventually topple the Castro regime is, well, naïve in the extreme.

But here is a snippet of information you don’t read often.

According to Gutierrez, the US already supplies one-third of the island’s food and medicine, on “humanitarian” grounds.


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