Represión – Cuba – Repression

U.S. would sell out its principles by lifting Cuban embargo

U.S. would sell out its principles by lifting Cuban
December 26, 2006
BY MIGUEL PEREZ
A U.S. congressional delegation just went to Cuba, got absolutely no
concessions from the Castro communist dictatorship, and still they had
the gall to come back and tell us that the next move is up to Washington.

Excuse me? Why?

Did the Cubans promise to hold elections, release political prisoners,
consent to a free press, let the Cuban people express themselves freely,
allow dissidents to protest without being harassed and physically
abused? Did they promise to be a little less evil or a bit more democratic?

The answer is no, zilch — nada.

So why is the next move up to Washington?

Is it because this group is made up of bleeding-heart liberals who see
civil and human rights violations only when they are committed by
right-wing dictators? Or is it because the group consists of Republicans
who have traded their party's historic posture against communism for
their capitalist greed?

The answer is yes, both.

Headed by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.),
the 10-member delegation that went to Havana last week obviously cares
very little about the suffering Cuban people. If it did, it would not be
throwing a lifeline to a regime that is about to finally collapse.

We have been waiting for almost 48 years for Fidel Castro to cease to
exist. And now that he is reportedly near death, some Congress members
are trying to keep his bankrupt ideology on a respirator. They were in
Havana for three days of talks with some high-ranking government
officials, but they were snubbed by , the acting
since his brother took ill in late July.

Raul, who is obviously trying to consolidate his authority in an effort
to sustain Cuba's one-party, authoritarian system, had recently
indicated that he would be open to negotiations with the .
And so, these naive fools went running to kiss up to the new dictator.

But when Raul refused to meet with them, the delegation had to come back
empty-handed. In fact, they said the other Cuban officials insisted that
there is no change of policy in Cuba.

And although at least one delegation member observed that the Cuban
ministers he met were "markedly uninterested in human rights, a free
press and free elections," some are still insisting on holding hearings
on legislation to begin dismantling the U.S. embargo against the
communist island.

The Bush administration has rightfully said there will be no dialogue
with Cuba until the regime frees political prisoners and holds free
elections. In fact, the administration has intensified the embargo in
order to promote a transition to democracy.

But now that there is a light at the end of Castro's dungeon, some
lawmakers want to reverse those restrictions by allowing Cuban Americans
to visit the island more often and to remit more dollars that would help
sustain the Castro regime.

This congressional delegation may be bipartisan, but it is definitely
anti-embargo — even if it means making concessions to Cuba without
getting any in return. They didn't even meet with Cuban dissidents in
Havana — never mind the suffering endured by 11 million people some 90
miles away from our shores.

Instead of waiting to see what happens after Castro dies, these Congress
members are in a hurry to turn Cuba into another China. These lawmakers
want to cut a deal that will allow Cuba to maintain its system of
— just as long as American tourists are free to vacation
there and American businesses are free to trade with the communist
island. For the Democrats, the motivation is simply the naive belief
that lifting the embargo would somehow turn Cuba into a free society.
Trade with China has not made the Chinese people any freer.

For the Republicans, it's all about the almighty dollar. U.S. farmers
need to sell more food and our pharmaceutical companies need to sell
more drugs, and their strong lobby in Washington has convinced even the
traditionally anti-communist Republicans that they should put their
principles up for sale.

These Republicans see big bucks for American businesses if they are
allowed to export their goods to Havana. Never mind that Cuba has no
money to pay for those goods and no plans to stop violating human
rights. American taxpayers can always subsidize loans — never to be
repaid –for the Cuban government to buy U.S. products and keep
repressing its people.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/186268,CST-EDT-perez26.article

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