17 augustus 2005

Free Cuba! (The Flemish Beerdrinker)

Alas. A free Cuba will not come from the policies of G.W. Bush:

By continuing to enforce these restrictions on travel and trade, the U.S. gives Castro a scapegoat for his country’s poverty. They are poor, he states, because of the U.S. embargo. (Of course, the logic seems to escape Castro that if Communism works so well, why then is their economy dependent on the capitalistic government to the north?) And there is no doubt that Castro’s message does hold sway with some Cubans. I’m sure they wonder… why does the U.S. government have these restrictions against Cuba but not against China, which is also a communist state? When one looks at the recommendations put forth by President Bush and his commission it only gets all the more bizarre. Since May 2004 Cubans in the United States can only go to visit family members once every three years (instead of once a year which was the previous policy), the definition of family members has been restricted to include only immediate family, and Cubans visiting family are only allowed to spend $50 dollars a day in the country instead of the previous amount which was $164. If that were not enough, cash remittances can now only be sent to immediate family members, they remained limited to $300 per family every three months, and gift parcels must be worth less than $200 (not counting food which is excluded). The administration also further restricted the travel by students to Cuba through educational programs. Are we not punishing the wrong people here?

Cuba would be free if Bush would live up to his own free market rethoric. Read the whole thing.

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