Embargos and sanctions
Posted by aogThursday, 02 October 2003 at 11:13 TrackBack Ping URL

I have to take issue with a comment by Andrew Ian Dodge, who claims that wanting to end the Cuban embargo indicates that one has a soft spot for Fidel Castro. I don’t agree with that view at all, as I oppose the embargo and am fervent in my anti-Communism.

I’ve argued in the past that the embargo is not in fact a blow against Castro, but a prop he uses to distract the useful idiots of the West. It doesn’t really restrict trade to Cuba, as anything can just be transhipped through Mexico or Canada (this is especially so after NAFTA). Yet Castro and his apologists can trot it out as a convenient excuse for the economic misery in Cuba created by Communism.

In some sense its idealistic vs. practical politics. I conceed the point that a plausible argument can be made that it’s morally wrong to trade with a slave plantation like Cuba. But what’s the real goal here? Our moral purity or contributing to freeing the Cuban people? If that’s not the choice to be made, then I’d like to see embargo supporters validate the implicit claim that the embargo hurts Castro and his nomenklatura instead of providing him with cover for his oppression. We’ve seen how effective the sanctions against Iraq were in causing the Ba’ath difficulty. Why is it any different for Castro?

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Jay Solo Thursday, 02 October 2003 at 22:30

I am with you completely on the embargo. Make them dependent. Help them fall that way. Show them free trade and market economics. Help them fall that way.

Captain Qwert Friday, 03 October 2003 at 20:44

It’s a police state, The useful idiots don’t prop it up, Castro and his murderers keep it up. If we don’t have to deal with them why should we? And don’t tell me it will infect the island with capitlism and bring the commies down. From what I’ve read about Cuba’s economy, Castro has that angle covered. He gets the foreign currency and the workers get the worthless toliet paper that passes for Cuba’s money.

aog Saturday, 04 October 2003 at 15:35


No, Cuba of itself is unstainable. It is cooperation by useful idiots (such as Canada) that bring in the money that keeps Castro in power. If nothing else, all of the tourists visiting the plantation are useful idiots for Castro.

But of course, you haven’t answer the real question in the post — how does the embargo harm Castro? Are you admitting that there’s no point to it except spite? That doesn’t seem like a good basis for foreign policy.

End of Discussion