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Motorcycles with side cars and trailers are used to haul goods away from the Trigal Market, a wholesale marketplace on the outskirts of the Havana, Cuba. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Motorcycles with side cars and trailers are used to haul goods away from the Trigal Market, a wholesale marketplace on the outskirts of the Havana, Cuba. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

U.S.-Cuba Policy: Cruelty and Stupidity

An economic war of more than half a century by the most powerful country in the world against a small and poor nation continues. 

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It’s a tired, contradictory argument, but a favorite one of those who support the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba. It goes something like this: “The embargo,” they say, “has allowed the Cuban government to justify the collapse of its economic policy as a result of the so-called ‘imperialist blockade’ and that way evade its social responsibilities toward their people.” 

 

And I ask: If that’s the case, why not lift the embargo without delay? Otherwise, isn’t Washington helping the communist government they purport to oppose? Does it make any sense for the U.S. to maintain such a measure, consistently condemned by the rest of the world, if all it does is give the Cuban government an excuse for its failures? 

 

After all, the embargo is supposed to have been established almost 60 years ago to overthrow communism by making life so difficult for Cubans - shortages, hunger, misery - that they would rise up and overthrow the government. But that has not happened, and its only effect has been to punish the people U.S. and its “Cuban-American” cronies hypocritically say they want to “save.” 

 

I don’t know about you, but I can’t understand that if the Cuban government does not want the blockade to be lifted -- as hard liners are fond of saying -- former president Raúl Castro had received Obama with open arms and freely allowed his speech - subversive without a doubt - to be transmitted to the entire country. 

 

And, finally, I am not clear either on why an economic war of more than half a century by the most powerful country in the world against a small and poor nation is considered, against all logic, as having no effect on the precarious situation Cuba and Cubans are going through. 

 

No, the real reason to keep this cruel policy failure alive for over half a century is not any concern for the well-being of the Cuban people. Washington and the Marco Rubios of this world couldn’t care less about them. The real reasons are much more despicable: hypocrisy, stupidity and the cruel pettiness of punishing a whole nation as an electoral strategy.

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