Ron Paul in an exasperated tone during the Iowa debates: “All these trade sanctions!…this is why we still don’t have a trade relationship with Cuba.”
Ground Control to Candidate Paul: according to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce the U.S. has transacted almost $4 BILLION in trade with Cuba over the past decade. Up until two years ago the U.S. served as Stalinist Cuba’s biggest food supplier and fifth biggest import partner. We’ve fallen a few notched recently but we’re still in the top half. Furthermore, the U.S. has been Castro’s Cuba’s biggest donor of humanitarian aid including medicine and medical supplies for decades.
Ground Control to Candidate Paul: For over a decade the so-called U.S. embargo has merely stipulated that Castro’s Stalinist regime pay cash up front through a third–party bank for all U.S. agricultural products; no Ex-Im (U.S. taxpayer) financing of such sales. (You’d really, really think a Libertarian would approve of this?) Enacted by the Bush team in 2001 this cash-up-front policy has kept the U.S. taxpayer among the few in the world not screwed and tattooed by Fidel Castro. Here’s a few other items Candidate Paul might keep in mind before any campaign stops (especially in Florida):
Per-capita-wise, Cuba qualifies as the world’s biggest debtor nation with a foreign debt of close to $50 billion, a credit–rating nudging Somalia’s, and an uninterrupted record of defaults. Standard & Poors refuses even to rate Cuba, regarding the economic figures released by the regime apparatchiks as utterly bogus.
Ron Paul in an exasperated tone during the Iowa debates: “It’s about time we start talking to Cuba!”
Ground Control to Candidate Paul: In fact “we” (The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency) started engaging with Fidel Castro began before he was even in “office.” To wit:
“Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” (Robert Reynolds, the CIA’s “Caribbean Desk’s specialist on the Cuban Revolution” from 1957-1960.)
“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except (Republican) ambassador Earl Smith.” (CIA operative in Santiago Cuba, Robert Weicha.)
Their advice was taken and January 7, 1959, thus marks a milestone in U.S. diplomatic history. Never before had “we” (the U.S. State Department) extended diplomatic recognition to a Latin American government as quickly as “we” bestowed this benediction on Fidel Castro’s that day.
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.