Congresspigs slam blockade; think trade is more effective

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at SPAMbellsouth.net
Sat Oct 7 23:07:12 MDT 2000


    [Following is a Washington Post Op-Ed piece by two congresspigs who
"support" and end to the U.S. blockade against Cuba in the vain hope that a
policy of killing the revolution off by "peaceful means" will prove more
effective than everything the imperialists have been able to muster for the
last forty years. As if!

    [I stress these oinkers' characters as PIGS because, however much we may
block with them on one or another specific, partial, miserably limited
measure, we must remember that they remain, first, last, and always, enemies
of the Cuban people and of working people all over the world.

    [I think it was Lenin who used to joke about when the time came to hang
the next-to-the-last capitalist, the LAST capitalist would quite eagerly
sell us the rope to do it with. It seems congress is full of candidates for
the footnote in history that's been reserved for the last capitalist, and
they are tripping all over themselves to secure a chance once bidding to
sell the working people rope opens up. We who have no business with
businesses will certainly not interfere with the commercial efforts of this
noble race of traveling snake-oil salesmen.

    [But just so there is no misunderstanding:

    [As Cuban President Fidel Castro has said, Cuba is perfectly willing,
even eager,  to accept the challenge of those imperialist enemies of the
revolution who want to move the battle to a strictly ideological plane. But
they should have no illusions that they will accomplish through sugar-coated
phrases and measures, what they could not do with blockade, brutality,
sabotage, terrorism, and the nuclear blackmailing of the entire planet. That
may have worked on the benighted "leaders" of the late Soviet Union, but it
never has and NEVER WILL work with real revolutionaries. And they should
have no illusions that the Cuban people will let down their guard or disarm
against these NEW ways of accomplishing the centuries-old dream of the
American capitalists to "unite" with Cuba the way the starving man "unites"
with a peace of bread: by swallowing it.

    [And speaking of swallowing, The "honorable" congress-slimes ALSO should
have no illusions that activists and supporters of fair play for Cuba will
swallow SWINDLES such as the tightening of the blockade just rammed through
the Congress by the honorable Democritan (or was it Republicrat? -- I can't
tell, they all look & sound alike to me) pigs.

    [I stress this because we're on the eve of another electoral farce in
yanquilandia and people are beating the drums for Attila the Hun or whoever
it is that's been proclaimed the "lesser evil" by that should be supported
by "progressive" forces so that we may stop Vlad the Impaler or whoever it
is that has been cast as the "greater evil" this time around.

    [Oh yes, the "honorable" big-business whores in Congress (and their
pimps, the lobbbyists, campaign managers and "objective" journalists) should
remember, as the Panthers used to say, "Today's Pig is Tomorrow's Bacon." In
addition to rope, the honorable gentlemen may want to lay in a supply of
pans suitable for frying bacon, as I'm quite certain commercial
opportunities will arise in that field also.]

*     *     *

Open Up To Cuba

By Max Baucus and Pat Roberts
Friday, October 6, 2000; Page A31

Now that Congress has passed a historic trade agreement with China, it's
time to act in a similarly responsible way on on Cuba, by bringing an
immediate end to the embargo against that country. Congress is trying to
take steps to ease the restrictions on food and medicine sales, but more
needs to be done.

The Cuba embargo is a creature of the Cold War, and the Cold War is over. It
harms ordinary Cubans along with American business, farmers and workers, and
it works against America's interest in promoting a smooth transition toward
democracy and a market economy after the departure of Premier Fidel Castro.

This summer a Senate delegation of which we were members met with Castro for
10 hours and spent a day with a group of heroic dissidents who had suffered
for years in prison yet have chosen to remain in Cuba to continue their
dissent. We left Havana more convinced than ever that it is time to end our
fossilized Cuba policy.

The trade embargo on Cuba is a unilateral policy that no other country
supports, not even our closest allies. Forty years ago, Cuba threatened our
national security, but now the Soviet nuclear missiles are gone. Cuban
military forces are no longer present in Central America or Africa. The
Defense Department has concluded that Cuba represents no security threat to
the United States.

Unilateral sanctions don't work. They don't change the behavior of the
targeted country. When we stop our farmers and business people from
exporting, they are hurt, and our foreign competitors happily rush in.
Unilateral sanctions cripple our foreign policy.

The irony is that the U.S. embargo actually helps Castro. His economy is a
shambles. The people's rights are repressed. Those are the direct results of
Castro's misguided economic, political and social policies. Yet he is able
to use the embargo as the scapegoat, blaming us for his failed economic
policies.

We should lift the embargo without preconditions and without demanding any
quid pro quo from Cuba. We should engage Cuba economically, without
illusions.

With Cuba's failed economy and low income, ending the embargo won't lead to
a huge surge of American products into that country. But there will be
things to sell--food, medicine, some manufactures, telecommunications
services. Today Cuba's imports come primarily from Europe and Asia. With the
embargo lifted, U.S. exporters will have the advantage of lower
transportation costs and easier logistics. It will be a start.

In addition, ending the embargo will increase the exposure of the Cuban
people to the United States. It will result in more travel by tourists,
business people, students, artists and scholars. It will bring us into
closer contact with those who will be part of the leadership in post-Castro
Cuba.

Cubans are suffering. We have the opportunity to help ameliorate some of it,
and to do so right now. We can remove our restrictive policy on remittances.
Money would flow from Americans directly into the hands of Cuban citizens
who need dollars to survive. We can remove our restrictive policy on travel.
Cuban Americans could visit their relatives without constraints. We could
restore the right of all Americans to travel anywhere.

We can allow for full and direct communications with Cuba, including
permission for American companies to build telecommunications
infrastructure, both within the island and between Cuba and the United
States.

If we wait until Castro is gone from the scene before we start to develop
normal relations with leaders and people in Cuba, the transition will be
much harder on the Cuban people. Events in Cuba could easily escalate out of
control and become a real danger to the United States.

Recently the Congressional Black Caucus invited Ricardo Alarcon, president
of the Cuban National Assembly, to visit Washington. We had met with Alarcon
in Havana and planned to follow up during his visit. But, incredibly, he was
denied permission by our government to travel from New York to Washington.

The last time we looked, this was a country that encouraged open dialogue
and discussion. Yet we prohibit the Cuban leader who is in charge of
bilateral relations from visiting Washington to meet with members of
Congress, scholars and groups interested in public policy. What conceivable
national interest is served by such an act?

We hope we will soon see an American policy toward Cuba that serves our
national interest and that is no longer controlled by a small coterie of
leaders in Congress and a few private groups.

__________
Max Baucus is a Democratic senator from Montana. Pat Roberts is a Republican
senator from Kansas.








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