I’ll spare you the whole diatribe this time around and just stick to the highlights:
at 10:16 PM Tuesday, November 20, 2012Damien Cave of The New York Times has written an article titled “Easing of Restraints in Cuba Renews Debate on U.S. Embargo” The essence of the anti-sanctions position in the story is made by Carlos Saladrigas:
“Maintaining this embargo, maintaining this hostility, all it does is strengthen and embolden the hard-liners,” said Carlos Saladrigas, a Cuban exile and co-chairman of the Cuba Study Group in Washington, which advocates engagement with Cuba. “What we should be doing is helping the reformers.”The thesis put forth by Mr. Saladrigas is that lifting sanctions would weaken and dissuade hardliners while helping reformers. Over the past four years the Obama Administration has loosened economic sanctions in Cuba. If Mr. Saladrigas’s argument is correct then one should see that reformist elements in the regime are asserting themselves and winning policy discussions. That has not been the case. On the human rights front the situation has deteriorated.
What have we witnessed in Cuba over the past four years? The death under suspicious circumstances of national opposition figures such as Laura Inés Pollán Toledo on October 14, 2011 and Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas on July 22, 2012. Increased violence and detentions of nonviolent activists. An American citizen arrested and sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison for attempting to provide internet access to the local Jewish community in Cuba. The Obama Administration has continued its policy of extending a hand to the Cuban regime and has little to show for it except more repression and the deaths of high profile activists.
…In China and Vietnam the United States lifted sanctions unconditionally and have de-linked human rights considerations from economic considerations. The result has been a deterioration of human rights standards in both countries. On the other hand in Burma where sanctions were maintained the military junta, after years of trying to manipulate its way out from under them has had to recognize the political opposition and provide a space for them in Burma’s parliament.
What’s really funny here is that a Cuban state-sponsored news agency also published a summary (of sorts) of Cave’s article, and save for calling the Embargo a “Blockade”, they didn’t inject nearly as much spin as Claver-Carone did in his blog post.
Yes, we are now at a point where our pro-embargo lobbyists are outshining the Cuban regime in the falsehoods and propaganda game.
Before I go to bed, here’s one last example of the unabashed hypocrisy over at Capitol Hill Cubans:
at 9:02 AM Tuesday, November 20, 2012
I think the overwhelming majority of the opposition is against giving more space to the Castro tyranny. This mandate can be seen as a betrayal of Cuba’s citizenry and peaceful opposition.– Guillermo Fariñas, Cuban pro-democracy leader and past recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Award, on the European Union’s decision to explore an agreement to “normalize” relations with the Castro regime, El Nuevo Herald, 11/20/12