Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who also serves as chairperson for the Congressional Black Caucus, has composed an entreaty to President Obama for an end to the “embargo” on Cuba. “Mr. President: Lift the travel ban,” reads the title of her post on The Hill’s Congress Blog.
“[W]e need to…eliminate the trade embargo (on Cuba) that has failed for so long,” she scolds. (With this lifting) the path to their (Cubans) future - a democratic and prosperous one - will become clearer than ever,” asserts Rep. Lee.
For some Cuba-watchers, a couple of questions pop immediately to mind:
Question 1. What embargo, Rep. Lee? According to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce the U.S. transacted $710 million worth of business with Cuba in 2008, and has transacted more than $2 BILLION worth of business with Cuba in the last decade. Currently the U.S. ranks as Cuba's biggest food supplier and 5th biggest import partner. Furthermore, the U.S. has been Cuba's biggest donor of humanitarian aid including medicine and medical supplies for decades. All this together with the almost $2 billion a year in remittances sent from the U.S. ranks our nation right between Red China and Hugo’s Venezuela as a Castro business partner.
Question 2. What “Travel-Ban,” Rep. Lee? Last year Cuba received 200,000 visitors from the U.S.--.legally. Global Travel Industry News, reports that another 200,000 Americans visited Castro’s fiefdom illegally.
Given that Castro can buy all the agricultural products his little heart desires from the U.S. by the simple expedient of paying cash up front. And given that his Stalinist regime ranks among the world’s worst credit risks and has stiffed practically every creditor stupid enough indulge him (as explained in greater detail by Townhall here.) And given that the National Taxpayers Union rates Congressional Black Caucus members as the most “generous” in terms of bestowing favors on their pet projects with the tax proceeds squeezed from working Americans—given all this, might the CBC have motivations regarding Fidel Castro’s regime that are not fully spelled out in Chairperson Rep. Barbara Lee’s letter?
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.