Townhall: Opinion: Jeff Jacoby: Lift the Embargo but Free Cuba First
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
I'm in favor of lifting the American embargo on Cuba all together conditionally. And that means getting certain things from the Castro Regime in Cuba first.
That they allow their people to share the same benefits of trade that they allow their tourists and allow their people the same access to the country as they allow their tourists. And they allow their people to mingle with the tourists. Instead of trying to showcase Cuba as this beautiful paradise where people can live freely. As they are holding eleven-million Cubans prisoners and showing them the prison of a communist state.
That the Castro Regime in Cuba doesn't tax away most of the benefits from trading with America and pockets to bankroll its regime. That the money from trading with America goes to the Cuban people themselves with the government still being able to tax those benefits. Just not being able to pocket most of them. Similar to how trade tariffs work where trading between two countries goes to the people in the economy. But the governments get some, but not most of that back in taxes.
That normal travel would resume between Cuba and America. Americans would be free to travel to Cuba and go through Cuban customs. And Cubans would be allowed to travel to America and go through American customs. Or be able to leave Cuba freely from any other country instead of being held prisoner in their own country.
Cuba releases all current political prisoners not terrorists that they are currently holding. They release people that are simply being held for protesting the Castro Regime and stop arresting political prisoners in the future.
Why I take these positions? Because Cuba is the only country in the Americas that we do not trade with and that costs Americans money. Because every other country in the Americas, as well as Europe, Arabia and Asia all trade with Cuba. Money that could go to American companies and American workers for things that we would otherwise sell to Cubans.
Also the hypocrisy in the Cuban Trade Embargo because they are an authoritarian state. Well guess what we still trade with China which is still a Communist Republic. We traded with Russia when they were a Communist Republic. The Soviet Union back in the day a country of four-hundred-million people. More people than what the United States has today by the way. The People's Republic of China a country of over a billion people. What makes Cuba so special a third-world country of eleven-million people that doesn't represent any military threat to America even just ninety miles way.
You trade with authoritarian states and what happens is that people in those states get to see what your country is about and what it has to offer. How your people live and what they are about and what they are missing which is freedom. What it is like to not be a prisoner in your own country. And I agree it is not the Cuban Trade Embargo that wrecked the Cuban economy. The Communist Regime did that, but the trade embargo does not help the Cuban people which should be our number one concern when it comes to helping this country. And we can do something to help the Cuban people and give them a taste of freedom.