[Marxism] Bush speaks on Cuba travel (transcript)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 24 17:43:42 MDT 2006

University of California, IrvineQ

UESTION: I immigrated from Cuba when I was about nine years old --
legally, I might add...






QUESTION: But, anyway, besides marrying a wonderful woman and having
two great sons, coming to this great land is the best thing that has
ever happened to me, and I appreciate your comments on immigration.

And my question to you, Mr. President is, you know, I would like to
go to Cuba to travel. I want to go see my front door that was
bullet-riddled when they were fighting Batista's guys, and I can't go
there legally. And I don't understand, how can we trade with Vietnam
-- we lost over 50,000 Americans there -- how can we trade with
communist China and we can't even go to Cuba?

And I think that if the borders were open, that way Cuba and American
enterprise got to go down there, I think Castro would fall like a
rock off a cliff.

And my question to you, sir, is why can't we open...

BUSH: Por que? Here's why.


Here's why. Fidel Castro has got the capacity to arbitrage your
dollars to the advantage of his administration. You pay in dollars;
he pays in Cuban money and collects the difference.

So you go to a hotel in Havana, the money goes to the hotel, which is
-- and they got a deal with the government in order to be there in
the first place, and the workers get paid in a currency that's
worthless compared to the U.S. dollar, and he makes the balance.

And so in all due respect, I have taken the position that trade with
the country enables a tyrant to stay in power as opposed to the
opposite effects.

Honest disagreement of opinion, I fully recognize, but that's why I
made the decision I made.

And, anyway, my preacher, by the way, at St. John the Divine Church,
is a guy who came from Cuba at about the same age you did. You look a
little younger than he is, but nevertheless...


That's why. That's why.

QUESTION: As you said, you make a lot of important decisions on a
day-by-day basis. I'm interested in the personal, as well as
political, aspects of your counsel.

Do you know any illegal status individuals coming from Midland,
Texas? What do they feel? And how do they counsel you on this?

And also, politically it's an intensely state-specific issue. Are the
states most affected by illegal immigration speaking in a collective

BUSH: Really good question.

No, I don't believe I know anybody who is in Texas illegally. Had 
I hired somebody who had been here illegally, I guarantee you'd have
read about it.


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