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The Cuban Embargo Myth

The U.S. ranks right between Red China and Hugo’s Venezuela as a Castro business partner.

by
Humberto Fontova

Bio

August 24, 2010 - 12:01 am
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First off, for the course of three decades the Soviet Union was forced to pump the equivalent of almost ten Marshall Plans into Cuba. This cannot have helped the Soviet Union’s precarious solvency or lengthened her life span.

Secondly, the U.S. taxpayer has been spared the fleecing visited upon many others who reside in nations who eschew “embargoing” Cuba. To wit:

Nowadays the so-called U.S. embargo merely stipulates that the Castro regime pay cash up front through a third–party bank for all U.S. agricultural products; there is no Export-Import Bank (U.S. taxpayer) financing of such sales. 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 are a few items regarding the so-called embargo studiously side-stepped by much of the MSM, the U.S. farm lobby, and Castro lobbyists:

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. In 2007, one of the world’s most respected economic forecasting firms, the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked Cuba as virtually the world’s worst country business-wise. Only Iran and Angola ranked lower. This firm predicted that Cuba’s abysmal business climate would remain that way for the next five years, at the very least.

Standard & Poor’s refuses even to rate Cuba, regarding the economic figures released by the regime as utterly bogus.

In 1986, Cuba defaulted on most of its foreign debt to Europe. Three years ago, France’s version of the U.S. government’s Export- Import Bank (named COFACE) cut off Cuba’s credit line. Mexico’s Bancomex quickly followed suit. This came about because the Castro regime stuck it to French taxpayers for $175 million and to Mexican taxpayers for $365 million. Bancomex was forced to impound Cuban assets in three different countries in an attempt to recoup its losses.

Last year the Castro regime suddenly froze $ 1 billion held in Cuban banks by foreign (mostly Spanish) businessmen. “Cuban banks informed depositors that they had no foreign exchange to back up the convertible peso in which many were doing business,” explained the Reuters Havana bureau. Spain’s criticism of the U.S. “embargo” has recently become much shriller.

The anti-“embargo” mantra from CNN, the U.S. Rice Producers Association, and Castro lobbyists also stresses that a flood of rich Western tourists will magically smother Cuban Stalinism, whereupon the island nation will quickly mutate into a bigger (and more historic and picturesque) Cozumel. This reasoning seems to go something like this: rewarding and enriching the KGB-trained and heavily armed guardians of Cuba’s Stalinist status quo will magically convert them into instant opponents of that Stalinist status quo.

As two decades of such tourism have amply proven, any trickle of foreign currency that reaches the Stalinist regime’s subjects (primarily from prostitution) is offset a thousand-fold by the millions ($2.4 billion last year, for instance) crammed into the regime’s military and secret-police coffers.

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Humberto Fontova is the author of four books, including Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant and Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him. He also maintains hfontova.com.
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