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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Don't end the cuba blockade

The US is being pressured by a gorup of spanish and portugese speaking countries- headed by now socialist Spain- to lift its embargo on Cuba. "We call on the United States of America to comply with that laid down in 13 successive resolutions approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and to bring an end to the economic, trade and financial blockade it maintains against Cuba," one of a set of final statements said. Ok, first of all, the US can chose who to trade or not to trade with, so the UN can pass any kind of resoloution it wants and it still won't make a lick of difference. It's a US decision, first and froemost. Secondly, I don't know if those leaders are paying attention- or maybe their lefty affiliations has made them sort of blind to the issue here- but Cuba's government is a tyrannical communist dictatorship whose people would do anything to escape to the USA, even at the risk of death. Any kind of lifting to the embargo won't change that, but it will support the cuban government and give it a new source of funding from trading with the "US capitalist imperialist pigs", which it could use to continue opressing its people. So yeah, i am with the US on that one. Keep the embargo, and let those psnaish speaking countries eat crow.


At 10/16/2005 02:14:00 AM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

I disagree with you on this one, but not for the reasons you probably suspect.

I loath communisism as much as you... something about perpetual poverty rubs me the wrong way.

But in terms of strategy, the blockade is a failure! In fact, I could make the argument that the US's strategy towards Cuba unintentionally has kept Castro in power.

Canada has trade relations with cuba and as a result, we have successfully introduced pockets of capitolism on Cuban soal.

I understand America's reasons for the blockade, and I have no problems with it ethically or morally. I just think if a strategy isn't working, you axe it.

Pragmatism rules!! :)

At 10/16/2005 03:43:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Jordan, we don't trade with our enemies in general - not sure what's going on with China! - and I think that's a good policy. I think it's a good policy for anyone, not just the United States. Not trading with somebody is one of the ways you let them know you are hostile towards them.

I look forward to the day when the US stops trading with France :D

At 10/16/2005 04:09:00 AM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

You made a great point, what about China?

Communist China is becoming America's #1 trading partner despite its horrible human rights record, etc..

And as a result, China is improving both economically AND socially by about 10% a year.

Thanks to America, the Chinease now how more rights and freedoms then ever before.

Why not extend this SUCCESSFUL policy to comunist cuba?

Please don't tell me that pride and policy is more important than success?

As for france, I don't have much love for them right now either... but they ARE a democracy and quitly fight the war on terror. Hopefully, things will thaw out very soon.

At 10/16/2005 05:14:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Jordan, I really don't understand the thing with China. We have an unresolved war (Korea) between America and China, China is a horribly repressive government, etc etc etc.

I don't get it. It's not because China is too big to ignore, either... the US didn't trade with teh Soviet Union for 40+ years during the Cold War. There's got to be something more to the story than meets the eye.

#Thanks to America, the Chinease now how more rights and freedoms then ever before.

I'm not so sure this is true. Things aren't as bad as they were under Mao, in China, but I'm not aware of any evidence that trade gets the credit for inproved policies.

# Why not extend this SUCCESSFUL policy to comunist cuba?

Successful for who? All the trade the US now does with China, used to go to other nations. Ecery dollar teh Chinese make doing business with the US is a dollar some other developing country lost.

# Hopefully, things will thaw out very soon.

I sincerely hope not. America cannot trust the french. They are deceitful and spiteful and also they have bad body odor and they don't bathe often enough. The post 9/11 period hasn't been a rough spot in a good relationship, it was a divorce.

At 10/16/2005 07:16:00 AM, Blogger stefania said...

Jordan, yes, we shouldn't trade with China either. n my blog i make it clear that , it were for me,I'd not do business with ANY DICTATORSHIP.

Regarding Cuba, yes to the blockade. Castro, however, does business with almost all the world, included several U.S. companies.

He blames his failures on the embargo, but this is a lie and he knows he is lying to his own people.

the Cubans no longer buy this lie.

They see in the state TV when Castro welcomes delegations of U.S. companies and they wonder how come this occurs if Castro keeps saying that the US keep the embargo

They see all the oil he buys from Chavez and yet they have no eletricity in their houses, while hotels and regime officials' houses do.

U.S. embargo today is not more like before. At least, it has no effect given that Cuba does business with the rest of the world.

Castro knows this very well, too.

His stay in power is due to the nations willing to trade with him and the tourism flow whose revenues GO IN THE POCKETS OF MR. FIDEL.

It is like with Africa. One would wonder how come is Africa still so poor despite international aid for so many years. The reality is that tyrants - everywhere - use the internaitonal "generosity" to enrich themselves and their supporters.

A regime falls when it is internationally isolated.

However, many Cubans I talk to say that the regime is going toward the end of its days

At 10/16/2005 08:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree we should blockage Cuba, Castro would be out of power within months. I also agree about China but we are so dependant on them now that it would take some time. I fear that if they wanted they could strike a deadly blow to the US economy and I fear that is their plan.

At 10/16/2005 08:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOOPPPSSS.... I mean a real blockage, surround the island and let nothing in.

At 10/16/2005 09:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Castro will stay in power for the rest of his life. Cuba may be poor but he is worth 550 million.

At 10/16/2005 11:13:00 AM, Anonymous Tom said...

Jordan,I laughed when I read you said there's pockets of capitalism in Cuba because of Canadian trade.

Castro opened up the economy after the U.S.A. handed the soviet union there ass on a platter and Cuba couldn't get billion dollar grants from the russians.

Half the Canadian dollars that castro received during the cold war from Canada(I'm Canadian too by the way)went to fund guerilla wars in latin america.

.....other then that the policy is a failure,just saying ours is worse.

Thanks for the laugh though.

At 10/16/2005 11:39:00 AM, Anonymous Tom said...


Ronald Reagan negotiated with castro offering him an end to the blockade if Castro would stop stirring trouble in other latino countries and he refused.

Unlike our country which gave the tyrant plenty of money for nothing whatsoever in return.

pragmatism sucks.

At 10/16/2005 12:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) The word is "portuguese" (not portugese)

2) You wrote

"Cuba's government is a tyrannical communist dictatorship whose people would do anything to escape to the USA, even at the risk of death."

So is China and I don't see anyone in America defending an embargo of Chinese goods.

The truth i that without the embargo, Cuba would have evolved into a much more liberal country. The embargo is the only ammo Castro has left. The embargo is a stupid legacy of the Cold War that has been allowed to be dragged for too long.

At 10/16/2005 02:03:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Eh, the spelling police got you again, SM!

#So is China and I don't see anyone in America defending an embargo of Chinese goods.

I don't count?

#The truth i that without the embargo, Cuba would have evolved into a much more liberal country.

What's your evidence for that? Trade would make a few people rich. The Cuban people need opportunity - education, and JOBS and a decent wage. Trade alone would not provide those things, particularly in a communist state! You should know that by now, there are PLENTY of examples of cases where free trade did absolutely nothing to improve a repressive regime, or improve the lot of the people.

#The embargo is the only ammo Castro has left.

Ah... so if the US began tading with Iran, Iran would become a democracy? Interesting thought processes you have there, anon! :)

#The embargo is a stupid legacy of the Cold War that has been allowed to be dragged for too long.

I think it'd be more correct to say that CASTRO is "a stupid legacy of the Cold War that has been allowed to be dragged for too long" but that's my stupid Cold War mentality kicking in again :p

At 10/16/2005 04:18:00 PM, Anonymous tina said...

The US can't start trading with Cuba. We're the last country that the people can depend on, all the others have given in.

At 10/16/2005 05:03:00 PM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

Its hard to deny that China's emerging freedoms are not a DIRECT result of its emerging economy. The educated middle class = liberal discenting opinion = freedom.

The "war on ideas" is over, capitolism won! (yeah) We know this and cuba knows this. Now we just need to give Castro a way out where he can save some face.

Its true that the only thing Castro has going for him is his "blame everything on america" rhetoric. Ending the embargo would take away his one playable card.

As for Iran, they are Jihadists, not communists. My girlfriend is Iranian, you should here the way she describes her government... why do you think she is dating a Jew from Canada :)

Viva la revolution!

At 10/16/2005 10:09:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Not to be too sarcastic here, but! You should have written...

The educated middle class = liberal discenting opinion = Tiananmen Square

# Its hard to deny that China's emerging freedoms

Which emerging freedoms are those? Things in China really haven't changed much, ploitically, since the 80s.

# are not a DIRECT result of its emerging economy

Sorry. I just don't agree with you. The Chinese have had an educated population since the late 50s/early 60s. The trade dollars HAVE helped China, tremendously, but all that money hasn't changed the government in any dramatic fashion.

# As for Iran, they are Jihadists, not communists.

Does it matter? We're talking about repression here, not philosophy.

# My girlfriend is Iranian, you should here the way she describes her government...
# why do you think she is dating a Jew from Canada :)

You're lucky, Iranian women are hot (and smart too) :D

But the counterexample is Raed's girlfriend Niki, who loves Iran and hates the US, even though she's a naturalized US citizen and is pursuing a PhD at an American university.

BTW, I was married for over 10 years to a woman who was born in mainland China and came to the US at 14. I love the Chinese, and I love China, but I don't love that government. Not even a little bit.

At 10/17/2005 05:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1- US has dealt wrongly with Cuba.
2- US cannot dictate anything to the Chinese, its politics people, politics means double & triple standards to achieve your best interests & its in the US's best interest to keep trade with China.
Infact, Trade can eliminate hostility & ignite new era of co-operation & understanding. Thats exactly what the US is doing with Israel & Arab states.
3- America doesn't rule the world or half of it, it isn't an Empire as many believe simply because they do not have the guts or character to become one, they are Britain's lousiest pupil.

At 10/17/2005 06:56:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Oh gee. Bullet points from the anonymous genius. I hope reuters and AP caught those little pearls of wisdom. You must work at the state department!?

At 10/17/2005 01:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Acting patronising is hard when you have such an inferior little chip on an inflated shoulder that urges you to tell the world what you do or wish to do for a living. so dull & banal, any more half interesting or semi exciting remarks posing as intelligent quips ?

At 10/17/2005 02:35:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

At least I don't get abusive only when I'm safely anonymous, right? :D

Gotta be some kind of coward to become anonymous before insulting people ONLINE! You do realize that I can't kick your ass over the internet, even if I knew who you were, right? There's nothing to be afraid of.

At 10/17/2005 05:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, because the blockade has worked so well in bringing down Castro for the last 35 years.

Can someone please explain the logic in perpetuating this policy which has done nothing to harm Castro and instead has hurt the Cuban people whom supporters of the blockade claim they are trying to help?

At 10/17/2005 09:17:00 PM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

Let's all calm down commandos!

We are all in agreement that Castro must fall and democracy-capitolism must flurish, we are just disagreeing on which is the most effective method.

Personally, I think we are at 90% agreement... its a new high!

I still believe:

a. China is improving
(more protests, more middle-class, more press)

b. Cuba is NOT improving

c. Castro might take a "way out" if it is offered in a way that allows him to save face. People mellow out in their old age :) Besides, he has a legacy to think of! Do you think he wants to be known as the "guy who's death lead cuba out of poverty"?

As for the girl who hates the US but loves Iran... may I ask, when was the last time she was in Iran? Because in 1978 there was this thing... the place hasn't been the same ever since :)

At 10/17/2005 11:39:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Jordan, I don't think Fidel will take a "way out" - because though he may have mellowed, he wouldn't want to be known as the guy who spent his life imposing communism on Cuba, and was wrong. Pride can be a terrible thing.

As for the Iranian girl... dunno her life history... she's young and I get the impression she came here from Iran as a child with her parents. She wasn't even born in 1978, I'm pretty sure. Feel free to ask her, she may have some free time in between her anti-America protesting and getting Raed a green card :)

Raed's Iranian girlfriend, Niki

Please ask her if she feels guilty about having sworn loyalty to the United States when she was given citizenship.

At 10/18/2005 06:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey big head craigy, why should i fear you to hide behind anything? I didnt get abusive yet, you started sarcasm & cant take it simply because you quite fancy yourself alot, would it make any difference if i wrote Couturier cliff or Phd ethan or how about Counselor Howard...sounds good huh? mr tough programmer...i faced worse blockheads than you to start fearing you unless you want to hide behind your fancy little screen. everyone here says their opinion, you want get smart without being tackled or what? oh yes i forgot, you are the programmer..oh yes... you big , me small.

At 10/18/2005 04:58:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

My bad, anon, you weren't being abusive after all :p

You seem to know a lot about me! More than I know myself, actually! So, you are more than a match for typical programmers, eh? How many programmers have you beat up? Enquiring minds want to know!


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