Monday, February 23, 2009


Unfortunately, not likely. Senator Richard Lugar has released a report suggesting that the Obama Administration rethink the Cuban embargo. After all, the conventional wisdom for ending the embargo goes, it hasn't had the desired effect, and perhaps it's time to change our approach. Now I'd like to see the embargo ended, but the US didn't maintain it in spite of its efficacy, but because of it. The function of the embargo was not to force the Cuban government to moderate its behavior. If that had been its function, we'd have ended it along about 1965. The function of the embargo is to punish the Cuban people for supporting a government our government doesn't like.

It's time to end the embargo because putting the screws to poor people is just bad form. The experience of the early 1990s proved that the Cuban people had made their choice and weren't likely to knuckle under. I mean, people were down to one meal a day. Little old ladies were crocheting gaskets for the buses. X-ray film was rationed. Army officers were being laid off. So we can cause them misery, but we ain't never gonna win and we just look like a nasty bully who is angry because the skinny guy kicked sand in our face.

And it's too bad that Bill Clinton wasn't brave enough to see that and end the embargo in 1993.

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