Friday, April 28, 2006

Cuba: Hungry for American Food?

It's reported in Business Week that Cuba-you know, that island that everyone in the Republican Party loves to hate-has agreed to buy $20 million USD in produce from Alabama's farmers. That comes on the heels of a $30 million USD buy from our sister state of Nebraska.

What this points to, if anyone in the Red State party is listening (and I believe they are not) is that Cuba wants and needs trade with the US. We're Cuba's natural trading partner, they're ninety miles from Key West, they need what our farmers have to sell, a lot of their relatives are here and we both dig baseball and boxing. What's puzzling is that the red states contain a large number of farmers who should have known better.

Nevertheless, the trade embargo against the Cuban state has existed for forty or so years, for reasons that are completely inscrutable to us and overtly anti farmer and anti business.

Perhaps the embargo exists because of relentless anti Castro agitation from some in the south Florida emigre population,who no doubt all think that when Castro's gone, they'll be able to set up shop just like back in the good old days of the Mob and Batista.

Lincoln Diaz Ballart, the Cuban American mouthpiece, actually sent a letter to all 4,000 or so county attorneys in the US asking them to arrest Fidel Castro if he should drop by on the way to the WTO Battle in Seattle a few years ago. I had it tacked to the wall in my office for the longest time. What a waste of $1,200 in postage-for grandstanding.

At bottom, what it shows is that a) Uncle just can't stand to have Castro thumbing his nose at the government in Washington, and b) Uncle doesn't have the cojones to take the emigres to task and stop letting them dictate self interested foreign policy from Festung Miami.

When Castro gets on Charon's boat, as he no doubt will in the not too distant future, it is not written in stone that political developments will go as the emigres expect. In fact there are a lot of people in Cuba who might differ with the horde of carpetbaggers-in-waiting.

The Cubans have also showed that if there's a choice, they know where they'd like to push their grocery cart, and that's here in the United States.

Let's ditch this idiotic embargo that damages America's farmers, throw open the doors and tell Cuba: Grab a place at the table-dinner's about to be served.


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