Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cuba: Obama's Fantasy Land

For more than 50 years, we have embargoed trade and travel with Cuba, and President Obama has stated, "it hasn't worked". What was supposed to have "worked"?  Does he really think that a resumption of diplomatic relations with the U.S. will somehow cause Cuba to dump communism and adopt a democratically elected form of a free-trade government?

Cuba has allowed trading (on a very limited basis) and inbound-only travel with the rest of the world, for as long as our embargo has existed.  In fact, it has approximately 3 million visitors per year with democracy-loving Canadians representing a third of them.  Those visitors are a main revenue maker.  Thus, tourism is essential to the strengthening of the Cuban government, its police and security forces, and its military, in order to keep order; especially to keep any dissidents in line with hundreds of arrests and imprisonments each year. 

None of that money goes to the people directly because they all work for the government; are paid by the government; and, are housed, fed, and clothed by the government through a system of rationing.  All the hotels are government owned and operated. That is why, today, this communist island looks much like it did in the 1960's.  So, the injection of American tourist money will just add to their financial strength and not somehow create a showcase of democracy 90 miles off our shores, as President Obama seems to think.

As far as trade with Cuba is concerned, Castro's government, not the people, decide what is allowed into the island and how much.  Most Cubans couldn't afford the products that we seem to think they might want. The average Cuban, depending on age and working status, gets between $12 a month for retired persons and $20 for those who work; with an extra $5 for construction workers. That's their allowance.  Some might be able to keep tips as hotel and restaurant workers; but most can't. They must pool those tips to be shared among the other workers. They can't have credit cards or take on any debt. Nor can they take money  that tourists may give them.  Tourist's bills paid with credit cards with tips added, will probably all wind up held by the government.

So, OK, the President has re-opened our embassies.  Other country's embassies have existed for decades, and that has never changed them.  If Obama thinks that we can use our embassies to undermine the Cuban form of government, he is living a pipe dream.  A fantasy. As soon as we are caught trying to do that, they will just shut them down and expel our diplomats.  Maybe even arrest our diplomats.  Also, any tourists from this country doing the same will be arrested as subversives.  Just mark my words.


Obama on US Embassy in Cuba: 'This Is What Change Looks Like':

Cuban Dissidents Arrested Google Search:

Tourism in Cuba:

2014: Average salary in Cuba rose 1 pct last year to $20 a month:

Rationing in Cuba:

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