Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cuba Libre Comercio!

Boycotts, unless they are universal, are useless if one is attempting to force those running the object of the boycott to step down, especially if the attainment of your goal would leave them with nothing to lose.  The Cuban "embargo," as the past 50 years have demonstrated is similarly ineffective, but it is much more than that - it is also hugely counter-productive and immoral.

I believe that the fall of the Soviet Union can be partially credited to blue jeans.  Once we began to trade with them on a large scale, the people living under the Soviet regime not only developed a taste and a desire for our products, but, being able to see for themselves what the fruits of freedom were, their appetite for their own freedom was whetted and the Communist Party eventually lost their choke hold on their subjects.

I see no legitimate reason for our government to prevent private citizens from trading with Cuban citizens.  Prohibiting them from trading with the government of Cuba, perhaps, but not citizen to citizen.  Of course the Castros would certainly resort to pressing their subjects into acting as little more than "front men," but at least this would force them to jump through hoops, and we could for them to make it look believable, and this would prove expensive to the Castros.

We could also stipulate that given the actions of the Castro brothers, our courts would not enforce contracts with Cuban front men, and that we would certainly not honor any decisions of Cuban courts attempting to enforce contracts.

We should also drop all travel restrictions to Cuba to further facilitate the exporting of our culture.  I find it infuriating that members of congress can make up any bulls--t excuse to travel there, meet with the thug rulers and pose for pictures, yet I, as a private citizen, can be thrown in prison for doing the same thing unless I have a US government issued "license" (which, of course, cannot be issued for certain nefarious activities like, say, tourism.)

The pussyfoot "embargo" response to tyrants deserves more ridicule than I am qualified to give.  Holding the "high moral ground" with respect to Cuba requires, I believe, direct military action.  Any measure short of that (and I am well aware that such an action is rather obviously out of the question) means we have already given up said "high moral ground," and to pretend otherwise reveals us as fools.  Since we're not going to uh, act, we ought to get off the pot.  We should drop this facade of moral righteousness and drop the travel and trade restrictions from our citizens.

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