Response to: “10 Reasons Why the Cuban Embargo Should Not Be Lifted”

Disclaimer: I do not support the revisionist Cuban government, Comrade Espresso Stalinist has a good page on Cuban revisionism: https://espressostalinist.com/marxism-leninism-versus-revisionism/cuban-revisionism/
As well as: http://ml-review.ca/aml/CommunistLeague/Compass101-Cuba92.htm

An imperialist has made disgusting excuses for the United States’ war against the people of Cuba, their right to sovereignty and self-determination, their right to be independent and to not be dominated by US investments and foreign capital.

The first argument the imperialist puts forward goes as follows:

1. Lifting the embargo would benefit the Cuban people far less than the Castro regime. Most of the Cuban economy is owned by the government and all foreign trade is channeled through its agencies. Companies pay wages in hard currency, including dollars and euros, but the government pays workers in Cuban pesos — 500 pesos is worth around $21 USD — and then pockets about 90 percent of the wages.”

Now it is true this some variant of this exists, but the article provides no citation for this highly specific figure! Secondly, is this capitalist article complaining about monopolization of capital and surplus extraction? Kettle calling the pot black! Even if we accept these unsourced figures to be true, that would mean that the wage ratio would be 9-1 for the “government” whatever that means, whether this means individual state managers which is probably true because of the bourgeois nature of the revisionist Cuban government. But if we look at America, in between 1978 and 2014 CEO’s wages have increased 1,000% yet the typical workers had only increased by 11%(1), furthermore the ratio between average American CEO pay and worker pay is 303-to-1. Interestingly however, the author of this article doesn’t seem to support the embargo of America by China, the European Union, Mexico, and Canada [the amount of trade blocks that would be needed to equal the amount of percentage of imports blocked like the amount blocked after the Cuban Revolution].(2)(3) Another flaw with this argument is, so because there is surplus extraction, and a monopolization of resources, the people deserved to be starved of trade, and commodities from America, their northern most neighbor? How would this situation change if the embargo was ended, and even if opening trade relations and foreign investment would primarily help the capitalist class, the country relies on its capitalist class for taxes and social services back into the economy. The fact the political situation is bad in Cuba is not an argument to block resources from the Cuban people, the only real reason the embargo exists is because the US uses it as a threat to any Latin American country that dares to try to get rid of America’s investment and monopolization of their economy, or reliance of their economy to America.

2. Decades of trade between Cuba and market economies in Europe, Canada, and Latin America have not produced the political and economic benefits to the people that embargo opponents say a lifting of the sanctions would produce. What they have done is line the pockets of the Castro government. Corruption, not the embargo, denies people the benefits of trade.”

Yes, Cuba has traded with other nations, this is irrelevant to the economic sabotage America has committed against Cuba. The embargo wasn’t just a limiting of trade, it was a complete encirclement:

“At the present time…[the United States government]…are even persecuting all of our trade operations. If we sell nickel to Italy, the U.S. Government sends a message saying it does not understand the move; if we send nickel to Japan or any other country in the world, an army of government officials are specifically devoted to the task of pressuring all Western governments so that they don’t buy nickel from us.”(4)

“It cannot be imagined to what degree the United States harasses us
economically — with agreements that are even effective to some degree, as
for example its negotiating with countries such as France, Italy, Japan,
and the FRG, all of which buy our nickel, to not import to the United
States a single piece of machinery or a single ton of steel containing
Cuban nickel. In consequence, they limit our exports of nickel.”(5)

“…[The United States government] has stepped up the economic measures, the economic blockade, the pressure on different Western countries to obstruct trade with Cuba. It has tenaciously exerted major pressure on all European nations and Japan so they won’t buy our nickel, with measures such as the ban on buying steel made with Cuban nickel or equipment made with Cuban nickel. Pressure was exerted on Japan, Britain, Italy, the FRG, and all other allies…to block the renegotiation of Cuba’s foreign debt.”(6)

Secondly, the argument here is logically corrupt, so because trade and relations with other western nations has not led Cuba from the transition from Soviet style capitalism to orthodox capitalism, lifting the embargo will not solve the “problem” (problem being Cuba’s independence but let’s say its human rights to give them the benefit of the doubt). But using the same logic the embargo must be just as futile! Cuba has been trading with Canada and the European Union ever since the American embargo, and no change has happened. But, using the same logic. The American embargo has been around for 55+ years and no change has happened! Not only is the author of this article morally and geo-politically wrong, he/she cannot even keep a simple linear flow of logic.

Opening up trade with Cuba would lead the United States into dealings with a “deadbeat” nation that refuses to honor its commitments. Cuba has defaulted on its estimated $37 billion debt to the Paris Club of nations. Russia has been forced to write off Cuba’s $32 billion debt, and Mexico wrote off $340 million of Cuba’s debt.”

Kettle calling the pot black once again, the U.S. with its 20.1 trillion dollars in debt should be the one critiquing people not paying their debt?(7). Also since when does removing a blockade of Cubans from extremely needed commodities equal forcing America to go into debt with trading on Cuba? Are American businessmen so irresponsible they cannot put all their dealings in Cuba without ruining all their financial success? The embargo isn’t forcing or even encouraging trade with Cuba, Ending the embargo only entails not getting imprisoned for 35 years for having only a $93,000 dealing with Cuba.(8)

Cuba has not released all the political prisoners Obama said the regime had promised to free during recent Cuban-American discussions. Estimates are that there are more than 6,000 political detainees in Cuba, among the world’s highest per capital, and some 65,000 prison inmates altogether.”

And? Is the embargo helping this end? And it makes me wonder why the U.S. wasn’t so emotional about political repression when their financial puppet Batista was murdering people.(9) Also again, these numbers are unsourced. Also, “65,000 prison inmates”. Why is this so funny? Kettle…calling..the pot black! USA literally has the highest rate of prisoner per capita, much higher than Cuba! And America has no right to talk about political repression when they have assassinated black rights activists, jailed innocent people on trumped up charges like Leonard Peltier, or the people getting put on trial for a conviction of 60 years for breaking 10 windows.(10)(11)(12)

Ending the embargo would be a blow to American values. Americans want free trade with free people and not relations that strengthen an authoritarian regime’s oppression of its people.”

Because America doesn’t back a country committing genocide against Yemen(13). I employ you reader, to read these quotes in contrast and than reflect on the statement that America does not want to have relations that strengthen an authoritarian regime:

“Trade and economic relations were high on agenda as Washington hosted the Turkmen-U.S. business session on development of business ties on July 18… expanding cooperation in trade, economy, energy and transportation as well as in the oil and gas industry, mechanical engineering and agriculture were on the agenda…U.S. foreign assistance… include[s] strengthening Turkmenistan…”(14)

“Development programs in Turkmenistan improve social services, expand access to information, and increase the development of markets and agriculture. USAID programs cooperate with ministries, governmental organizations, businesses, and communities to create jobs, increase incomes, improve professional knowledge, and better manage resources.”(15)

“During the same month, the U.S. government announced its intention to triple U.S. aid to Turkmenistan without placing any  conditionality  on funding to respect human rights”(16)

[This quote and following quote are referring to Turkmenistan]: “Prison officers beat prisoners and forced them to stand outside for long periods in high temperatures. Prison officers also practiced extortion. Prisons were overcrowded and prisoners not provided with adequate food. Some prisoners had to sleep on the floor or in the prison yard. Tuberculosis rates were high and infected prisoners did not always receive appropriate treatment. Reports continued to be received on the use of torture or ill-treatment by law enforcement officers to force detainees to “confess” and incriminate others. Activist Mansur Mingelov remained in prison. He was convicted in 2012 after an unfair trial for drug offences after publicizing information on torture and other ill-treatment of Baloch ethnic community members in Mary province.”(17)

“Police in Turkmenistan have detained a noted animal-rights activist who colleagues say had previously faced threats due to her efforts against the killing of stray cats and dogs. Galina Kucherenko, 52, was detained along with her adult daughter on December 7 after police stormed their apartment in the capital, Ashgabat, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and a colleague.”(18)

“The most glaring and tragic example of the Turkmen authorities’ treatment of national
minorities is their attitude towards the Baloch. In Turkmenistan, the Baloch – a small ethnic group that does not have its own state – are condemned to the complete loss of their national identity and forced assimilation. During the Soviet era, the Baloch were allowed to cultivate the key features of their national identity: they had their own school and cultural cent[er], and they they kept up their national traditions. But in Turkmenistan today, teaching the Bakichi language and national customs…is prohibited; and activists who defend their national identity are prosecuted by the Turkmen authorities for ‘ incitement to inter-ethnic hatred ‘. According to several studies, a majority of young Baloch no longer speak the language; and their cultural identity is only maintained in daily transactions. Similarly, in the early 2000s, national schools teaching in the Uzbek or Kazakh language completely disappeared, even though Uzbeks make up 10 percent of the population of Turkmenistan.”(19)

My point is made.

The embargo does not prevent Americans from providing assistance to the Cuban people. American policy allows people to visit family members and send money to relatives in Cuba. Over $3.5 billion in remittances are sent to Cuban families each year.”

Except now with Trump’s new policies on the embargo, it is now extremely harder for Cubans to visit their families back home.(20) And for quite some time it did stop people from providing existence to each other, there is a 300+ page document on how seriously the embargo effected medicine and access to food in Cuba.(21) And, individual help isn’t going to do much when Trump is extending provisions in the embargo while Cuba is recovering from a hurricane.(22)

“Cuba remains on the U.S. “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list. Cuba has provided sanctuary for terrorists from other nations and harbored American fugitives. Black Panther activist and convicted murderer JoAnne Chesimard is among the 90 or more criminals who fled America and received political asylum in Cuba.”

Kettle calling the pot black, the U.S. agreed in September of 2016 to grant Israel $38 billion USD [United States Dollar] in military aid over the next decade.(23) Despite their treatment of Palestinian children being very terrorist like:

“Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children…The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones, and three out of four experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation. No Israeli child comes into contact with the military court system…Around 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system each year.”(24)

I assume the funding of terrorism comes from the funding of FARC, but the reason the FARC were embattled in a violent struggle was because of the repression of the Colombian government, as well as torture:

“The use of torture is generalized and systematic in Colombia, human rights activists from the Andean nation said here Wednesday…’ Torture continues to be generalized and systematic in Colombia. It is perpetrated by…the state, ‘ said Isabelle Heyer, a member of the Colombian Jurists Commission. In its Alternative Report, the coalition cites 337 instances of torture in Colombia between July 2003 and June 2008, up from 187 during the previous five-year period.”(25)

“Between 1970 and 1979 there were 60,325 political prisoners, predominantly from the ranks of trade unions, opposition political parties, human rights organizations, social-workers, peasants, and indigenous organizations.”(26)

Important also would to be mention, that Cuba sponsored the peace process between FARC and the government.(27)

Thirdly, Assata Shakur is not a terrorist and it is justified that Cuba protect her from United States persecution:

” There is no evidence that Ms. Shakur has taken part in any violence or threats of violence against civilians to intimidate or coerce changes in government policies…They pulled the vehicle she was in off the highway based on an allegedly defective tail light. This type of police action was consistent with tactics used to harass Black people generally, particularly Black males… there were serious questions of fairness sufficient to draw international attention and for Ms. Shakur to be granted political asylum in Cuba nearly 35 years ago, although Cuba has returned some others wanted by U.S authorities…Opponents of steps towards normalization with Cuba have seized on this aged and disputed case in what we view as a transparent attempt to recast this history into today’s fears, using Assata Shakur as a pawn in their political maneuvering…The FBI’s participation in this political maneuvering by joining with New Jersey to offer a $2 million bounty is a dangerous act, encouraging someone to try to kidnap her, breaking Cuban law as well as being a violation of International Law… the foreseeable result would be bloodshed, if not also a major international incident. The FBI’s stated rationale for these actions is also regrettable and dangerous because it equates radical beliefs favoring fundamental social and economic change, with ‘ terrorism. ‘…[Important to note how the FBI is sponsoring terrorism in a foreign country’s land]… The accusation of terrorism has fallen prey to this continuing travesty of making the color of ‘ crime, ‘ now the color of ‘ terrorism, ‘ black. One needs only recall the early reports of who was suspected of the Boston Marathon bombing to support this conclusion: the first reports were of a darker-skinned male, possibly African American. This message scrolled continuously on CNN for a number of hours and then ‘ African American male ‘ was deleted, leaving darker skinned male. But the alleged perpetrators were far from ‘ darker skinned. ‘ In conclusion, we ask that you stand behind the statements made by Attorney General Holder when he became the Attorney General in 2009 in addressing assistant United States attorneys and make these statements applicable to the FBI: ‘ Your job is in every case, every decision you make, to do the right thing. Anybody who asks you to do something other than that is to be ignored. ‘”(28)

“For Assata Shakur, the only way out was prison break. While imprisoned, she was subject to vaginal and anal searches, confined in an all men’s prison, and lived in solitary confinement for half the time she was imprisoned. She was under 24 hour surveillance without any adequate medical service, exercise, or even seeing the sun…An international panel of seven jurists representing the United Nations Commission on Human Rights concluded, in 1979, that her treatment was ‘ totally unbefitting any prisoner ‘…New Jersey Crime Laboratory concluded that the fingerprint analysis of every gun found at the scene showed there were no fingerprints from Assata on any of them. Neutron Activation Analysis taken immediately after Assata was taken to the hospital that night for three bullet wounds (two to the arm, one to the back while she was wounded on the ground) showed that there was no gunpowder residue on her hands, effectively refuting the possibility that she shot a gun. One of the pathologists also testified that: ‘ there is no conceivable way that the bullet could traveled over to the clavicle if her arm was down. That trajectory is impossible. ‘ The most damning evidence of all is the testimony of a surgeon who worked on Assata, wounded by the police officer she supposedly shot. The surgeon said: ‘ It was anatomically necessary that both arms be in the air for Ms. Chesimard (Assata Shakur) to have received the wounds she did ‘…It was also reported that the testimony of New Jersey state trooper, James Harper, was false. James Harper admitted, under cross-examination, that he had lied in all three of his official reports and in his Grand Jury testimony.”(29)

The United States should not lift the embargo until a new leader is in place in Cuba. Fidel Castro turned over control to his brother Raul, but Raul is over 80 years old and it is unclear who would succeed him. The embargo could be used as a bargaining chip when a new leader takes power.”

This logic is incomplete, if the embargo was lifted now. And the next leader did not respect “human rights” (uphold Cuba’s independence) than couldn’t America just than use re-imposing the embargo as a bargaining chip? America has made concessions to countries it tries to dominate before only to than later re-instate its dominance. For example at the Tehran conference the Americans and British agreed to Iran’s independence, only to later than back a coup against their government when Iran nationalized the oil industry.(30) So luckily for these imperialists if the embargo does get lifted; there dream of international hegemony can once be imagined once again!

 The American people oppose lifting the embargo. A poll last year found that a slight majority still want the sanctions to remain in place. More importantly, an even larger majority of Cuban-Americans, those who understand the situation best, favor keeping the embargo in place.”

Since “Cuban-Americans…understand…best” I can say that myself being a Cuban-American I can say its best to not embargo Cuba : ^ ). Also something that I didn’t mention in here, that if we are actually talking about simply the effect of America and the Cuban embargo, that the embargo on Cuba also hurts the American economy:

“In 2001, the International Trade Commission estimated that the embargo cost U.S. exporters up to $1.2 billion annually in lost sales.”(31)

Also what he says is incorrect, majority of Americans want to end the embargo.(32)

 

In conclusion, the Cuban embargo is morally unethical, and the leaders of this embargo on the Cuban nation do not have morals in mind in their blockade but domination of nations that disapprove of their hegemony. Even from an imperialist angle the Cuban embargo is amazingly dumb and incoherent, the embargo is a criminal action and a violation of international law, as the UNANIMOUS (literally even Israel and America abstained) vote on condemning the Cuban embargo in 2016.(33)

References:

1 – http://fortune.com/2015/06/22/ceo-vs-worker-pay/

2 – http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25660

3 – “United States – WTO Statistics Database”World Trade Organization

4 – http://www1.lanic.utexas.edu/project/castro/db/1984/19841229.html

5 – http://lanic.utexas.edu/project/castro/db/1986/19860303.html

6 – Fidel Castro Speeches 1984-85, War and Crises in the Americas, pgs. 182-183. Citation can be checked at: https://www.amazon.com/Crisis-Americas-Castro-Speeches-1984-85/dp/0873486579

7 – https://treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current

8 – http://www.miamiherald.com/news/article1947021.html

9 – https://www.havanatimes.org/?p=123355

10 – tinyurl.com/hx8wy2r

11 – freeleonard.org/case/

12 – tinyurl.com/yb2d275v

13 – tinyurl.com/y7gm4hv6

14 – https://www.azernews.az/region/116421.html

15 – tinyurl.com/ybkyck9u

16 – Human Rights Watch World Report 1999, page 460

17 – tinyurl.com/y9ney7e3

18 – https://www.rferl.org/a/turkmenistan-animal-rights-activist-detained/28905182.html

19 – https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Alternative_report_Turk_UPR_eng.pdf

20 – tinyurl.com/y9nu7q44

21 – tinyurl.com/ycmq3svd

22 – tinyurl.com/ycljpeqz

23 – tinyurl.com/yadmducr

24 – http://www.dci-palestine.org/issues_military_detention

25 – http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=347195&CategoryId=12393

26 – Gender Peace and Conflict (2001), pgs. 146-147

27 – http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-05-12/raul-receives-farc-ep-delegation

28 – http://wilmingtonjournal.com/in-defense-of-assata/

29 – http://thecircledance.blogspot.com/2017/03/willie-manning-assata-shakur.html

30 – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/19/cia-admits-role-1953-iranian-coup

31 – tinyurl.com/ychlawfs

32 – https://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/poll-should-us-end-cuba-embargo-221033

33 – http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=55404#.WjW23FWnGM8

Original Imperialist Article: https://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/reasons-cuban-embargo-not/2015/01/13/id/618267/

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