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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The State Hornet: Its Time to End the Embargo

U.S. Cuba Relations: From the State Hornet, "It's Time to End the Embargo"
An excellent editorial pointing out what we all know - the embargo hurts the Cuban and the American people, does not improve human rights, and is an obstacle to change in Cuba. Thank you to the author, David Loret de Mola and the publication for allowing to reprint the article in its entirety. There are good comments on the website.
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It’s Time To End Our Embargo with Cuba
By David Loret de Mola
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Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2010
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Children playing baseball on a street in Havana, Cuba.
I am a first-generation Cuban-American. My father, Enrique Fausto
Loret de Mola, was there to see Fidel Castro take over his home
country.
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He heard the gunfire, the troops of Fulgencio Batista, the dictator of
Cuba at the time, fleeing his hometown of Camaguey one night.
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By morning, Fidel had taken over the area.
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About two years later in 1961, my father was flown to Florida by the United States government. He was 10 years old.
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It was part of the Catholic Church’s cooperation with the American government. They called it “Operation Pedro Pan.”
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Thousands of children were brought to America.
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It was during a time just before relations between our two countries
had taken a turn for the worse - just before America put forth a trade
embargo that pushed the Cuban economy to ruins.
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Originally, the embargo had been a statement made by our government in protest of Cuban cooperation with Soviet Russia.
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Access to Cuba had remained highly restricted until President Barack Obama came into office.
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Recently, Obama began allowing Americans to visit the island, provided they have family in the country.
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At a news conference April 16 in Mexico City, Obama said this ease ontravel restrictions was a first step toward restoring good faithbetween Cuba and America.
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“A relationship that has been frozen for 50 years is not going to thawovernight,” Obama said. “Having taken the first step, I think it’s verymuch in our interest to see if Cuba is also ready to change.”
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The goal of our government is to change Cuba from being communist into a more democratic nation.
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We are trying to impose our governmental structure - which, given our economy, clearly has its own problems.
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And to those who would say the imposition of democracy could only help the country, look at Russia.
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Even after democracy was put in place, Russia is still suffering.
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My father worked there in the 1990s, after the Cold War ended. He sawhow people had stripped buildings bare of anything metallic and soldthe stolen scrap metal to buy food.
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This is why the embargo is wrong. We are forcing an imperfectgovernment onto a smaller country; a form of government that cannotguarantee prosperity for the country.
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“I’ve always believed that (the embargo was wrong), since I was young,”he said. “It always kept me at odds with other Cubans who thought itwould hasten Fidel’s fall.”
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But it only has given Fidel and Raul Castro - the current dictator - anexcuse for their country’s failing economy. They never have to blamecommunism for their poor state of affairs.
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And if we hate the idea of communism enough to throw an entire island of people into destitution, then I have one question.
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Why are we doing business with China?
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It’s hypocritical to be against communism, and yet pick-and-choose the communist countries with which we do business.
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Perhaps we still are bitter about Cuba turning to Soviet Russia during the Cold War.
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You know, almost 50 years ago.
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Why do we seem to have so much contempt for this little island?
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In a lot of ways, Cuba already has exactly what America is pushing toward.
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Cuban citizens all have a right to health care and education, should they choose to get it.
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But both of these have taken cuts because the country is running out of money.
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Fareed Zakaria, columnist for Newsweek and host of “Fareed Zakaria GPS”on CNN, wrote that our 45-year struggle with Cuba has not evenaccomplished its basic goal of causing change in Cuba.
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“Instead, Fidel Castro is now the longest-lived head of government inthe world,” Zakaria said. “Every tightening of the Cuban embargo hasresulted in further repression and isolation.”
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I know it is strange for me to be so enamored with a culture I havenever experienced, since this is a country I have only seen indocumentaries and photographs.
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And I will admit that I have over-romanticized my father’s homeland.
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But I know that lifting this embargo would help this country get back some of the wealth it has lost.
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Traiga libertad a mi Cuba; bring liberty to my Cuba. End this embargo.
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David Loret de Mola can be reached at ddemola@statehornet.com

2 Comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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