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?