2/28/2008

Castro and the Embargo

At the end of one of history's longest running dictatorial rules, this article gives a fine overview of the current status of communist Cuba. Realistically, we likely won't see too many changes with power officially transferring from Fidel Castro to his brother Raul.

The part I am most interested in has to do with the embargo. The author argues that if the embargo has failed to deter Castro after nearly 50 years, then what's the point to continue it otherwise. Also, most would agree that the embargo has certainly emboldened Castro and helped to glorify his rule from the Cuban perspective. Finally, it is the people of Cuba who ultimately suffer as they are left near destitute. Certainly the communist policies have contributed the most to this state of poverty, but if we re-opened trade after all these years, we would no doubt benefit along with all the Cubans. I wouldn't mind the opportunity to visit the Caribbean island. I wonder what others think about ending the embargo.

10 comments:

Aidan said...

I agree that there is no need for this embargo. The embargo has done nothing to help out either country. I understand why we issued the economic embargo in the first place but since the days of President Kennedy it has seemed to become more tradition than rational thought to keep the embargo in place. Before this whole mess took place the relationship between Cuba and the United States was beneficial and I believe we should begin to rebuild this bridge for the greater good of both countries.

Rearden said...

I also think lifting the embargo would be a smart political move if Raul can open the door to some capitalistic activity like China. Once citizens of Cuba begin enjoying the fruits of free trade, both within and outside of the country, we can start improving our relationship with them. They can see us as a partner in prosperity, not a barrier to it.

After the collapse of communism in other countries, Cubans should be convinced by now that it simply doesn't work as an economic system.

Dr. Tufte said...

Just a quibble: is it a dictatorship or a monarchy if you're succeeded by a member of your family? I think not calling them King Fidel and King Raul has given them cache that they don't deserve.

We actively suppress an understanding of the Cuban embargo in this country. The main reason for having it is that the Castro regime forced out the owners of productive enterprises at the point of a gun. Many of these people fled first to Miami (and then elsewhere) but they feel strongly that this country shouldn't conduct trade that allows the Castro regime to profit from assets that they didn't compensate their owners for. This is a personal opinion, but I think their point is nearly as strong as dispossessed Jews claiming (usually successfully) that they still own assets taken by the Nazis and resold.

Trinity said...

Dr. Tufte's last comment is a good point but it is referring entirely to a sunk cost. The fact that all of those terrible things in the past have already occurred doesn't mean the US is justified in continuing the embargo. We should look at what both countries have to gain from this point forward and make our decisions accordingly.

Gavin said...

Extra Credit - Dr. Tufte
Dr. Tufte brings up several important pieces of information that define the conflict. Maybe we need to stick to our resolve by not participating in their economy.

Aidan said...

Dr. Tufte’s comment “that this country shouldn't conduct trade that allows the Castro regime to profit from assets that they didn't compensate their owners for” got me thinking in a different way. Before I felt that once Fidel left power we should open up to Cuba once again. I now believe that as long as there is a “King Castro” we should stand up for what we started many years ago. Wow, doe’s ethics have a place in economic decisions?

Reagan said...

Dr. Tufte-Extra Credit

I have often felt that the American people really don't understand the logic behind the continued embargo against Cuba. We know that owners of businesses were forced out by the Castro regime and that was worthy of political and economic action. However, over the decades why do these policies stay the same? If trade was reinstated with Cuba would it benefit Cubans or does the Castro regime control all enterprise which would lead them to reap the benefits? Would economic trade enhance the lives of Cubans and force a political change? I don't know these answers and I have often wondered why they are not clearly explained? I'm not advocating the lifting of the embargo but I am interested in understanding why there hasn't been any change and once I understand the reasoning I could form an educated opinion.

TheFindlay said...

Dr. Tufte
I must first point out that you cannot spell infidel without Fidel. I don’t know if Raul is any better but I could not find a fun word to use his name with.
We have an embargo with Cuba because thieving weasels. At least their government has been that way for more than half a century. My historical accounts lead me to believe that the whole Bay of Pigs incident was the causation of the embargo and that the “acquired assets” is just a cover-up. We became unfriendly with them politically and economically when they started attempts to obliterate our population. I for one think we are great friends with most of the Cuban people; at least that is the impression I get from their homes in Florida!

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Aidan and thefindlay for a spelling error.

Ooh, Trinity, you got me. But, I think there's a social argument that theft trumps sunk costs.

softech said...

Gna just share my views from top to bottom as I see them.
I feel this is a good simply because it’s consistent with how the user is used to seeing the comment form and filling out information in general. Filling out the name and email wont take me much time, and if you really wanted to go ahead and type the comment first, you can do so, not really that big of a work around. I’m .
part time worker