That Cuban Trade Embargo

Yes, of course I think that the US embargo on trade with Cuba is a disaster, an idiocy of monumental proportions. But, no, it doesn\’t explain the poverty of Cuba today, that rests on purely domestic issues, like their continuing adherence to insane economic policies. For, you see, Cuba can and does still trade with the rest of the world:

Thousands of Cuban bananas were washed up on two Dutch North Sea islands, after containers fell off a cargo ship in a storm. A 1km (half mile) stretch of beach on Terschelling island, 115km north of Amsterdam, was littered with bunches of the unripe fruit, which also washed up on neighbouring Ameland island. “I think everybody on the island has a bunch now,” said Gossen Buren, a shipping official at the Terschelling lighthouse.

Sorry, those telling us that it\’s the embargo that causes Cuban poverty, you\’ll have to wake up and smell the roses sometime.

4 comments on “That Cuban Trade Embargo

  1. Why was the “embargo” a disaster ? What would have been an appropriate response to the expropriation of US properties by the Castro government ?

    Tim adds: It’s been a disaster in the terms of it’s declared aims. To overthrow Castro. But by giving him an excuse (See! The damn Yankees are oppressing us! Flock to the Revolution Compadres!) it’s maintained him in power. Try reading The J Curve to see how sanctions can support an authoritarian regime. Or, even, my review of it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_J_Curve:_A_New_Way_to_Understand_Why_Nations_Rise_and_Fall

  2. “But by giving him an excuse (See! The damn Yankees are oppressing us! Flock to the Revolution Compadres!) it’s maintained him in power”

    Isn’t it a bit naive to think that without those sanctions to “provide an excuse” Castro would have said, “You’re right, this isn’t working, back to the day job.” ?

  3. Excuse ? Above and beyond grabbing US stock, eliminating capitalism and making overtures to the Soviet Union to the extent of deploying their nuclear missile bases ?

    The failed Bay of Pigs invasion did far more damage than an embargo would have done.

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