Charlie Crist is too stupid to be elected governor of Florida.
Appearing on Bill Maher’s Real Time show, the former Republican turned Democrat stated that the embargo against the Castros’ Cuba should be lifted because it isn’t working.
“I mean the embargo has been there – what – 50 years now? I don’t think it worked. It is is obvious to me that we need to move forward and I think get the embargo taken away. Really. I believe that,” Crist said Friday during HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
The Republican-turned-Democrat, who is challenging incumbent Gov. Rick Scott, made the case for lifting the embargo as a jobs creator for his state.
“From a selfish point of view as a Floridian, I’d like to see that happen because a lot of construction would be required on the island, and South Florida could be the launching pad for all of that and really create some jobs for the people of my state,” the former governor said.
Maher said the issue was mishandled.
“If we had done the right thing, years ago, Cuba now would be St. Bart’s, and all the kids who are going on spring break would be there next month having a great time and drinking Mai Thai’s,” the liberal comic said.
Maher said there aren’t many Florida politicians standing up to the “small Cuban community.”
“Well I think they need to, I think it’s the right thing,” Crist said.
Both airheads miss the point. The original reason for the 1958 embargo was due to the Castro regime seizing American companies and American private property without compensation. We have yet to be reimbursed for those seizures and until we are, the embargo is the only leverage we’ve got.
The embargo expanded when Cuba embraced the Soviet Union and adopted Communism, and neither Castro brother has given the slightest indication that they will halt their brutal oppression of the Cuban people. The reason Communism is still there is not because the embargo isn’t working, but because Cuba is a gangster state and employs every resource in its power to suppress free speech, free association, and alternative political parties.
What exactly does Maher mean when he says “if we had done the right thing years ago…”? What would have been “right”? Carry on in our relations with Castro as if nothing had happened, as if the expropriation of American property is just fine, that murdering thousands of citizens met with our approval?
And Crist needs an intervention to disabuse him of his laughable Cuban construction boom. First, what bank in their right mind is going to loan Cuba any money after they defaulted on $11 billion in loans from the west in 1986 and lack any hard currency to build anything? Second, does he really believe Cuba would employ south Florida construction firms over Cuban ones? Or hire Floridians to work on any construction projects instead of native Cuban labor?
I hope someone reminds the Cuban population in Miami who said it was the “right thing” to stand up to the “small Cuban community.” Mr. Crist’s political “courage” is likely to cost him in November.
After the show, Crist amended his statement slightly:
“If we want to bring democracy to Cuba, we need to encourage American values and investment there, not block ourselves out and cede influence to China,” the statement said. “It will take time, and we must do it in a way where American investment helps people, not the dictatorship.”
If China wants to loan money to those scofflaws, let them. Russia forgave nearly $30 billion in Cuban debt just this past December.
What’s the point in relaxing the embargo unless Cuba demonstrates a willingness to change? If anything, the regime has become more repressive since Raul Castro took over for his ailing brother. At the very least, we should demand compensation for property illegally seized by the regime after the revolution before negotiations begin to lift some or all of the embargo.