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It’s Time To End The Embargo Against Cuba – OpEd

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By Jacob G. Hornberger*

Now that Cuban president Raul Castro has resigned the presidency of Cuba, will the U.S. government lift its six-decades-long economic embargo against Cuba?

Don’t count it. Squeezing the life out of the Cuban people as a way to get regime change has become such a normalized way of life for the United States that it is unlikely that this cruel and brutal policy will be ended anytime soon.

Back in the day, the embargo was justified as part of the Cold War against “godless communism” and, specifically, the international communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Moscow, Russia, and that supposedly threatened to envelope the United States and the rest of the world. (Yes, that Russia, the one we are being called upon, once again, to treat as our official enemy.) The Pentagon and the CIA steadfastly maintained that the “national security” of the United States was gravely threatened by a communist outpost only 90 miles away from American shores.

But when the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly came to an end in 1989, the embargo just kept going and going. And even though former communist dictator Fidel Castro is now dead and his brother Raul is now out of the presidency, there is no push within the federal government to finally bring an end to this cruel and brutal program.

What’s up with that? The U.S. government doesn’t have an embargo against communist Vietnam, whose northern half killed some 58,000 American men. Why have an embargo against a country that has never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so?

I suspect that part of the reason is that the CIA has never been able to get over the humiliation of having been defeated when its ragtag army of Cuban exiles invaded Cuba in 1961 in a futile attempt to secure regime change on the island. In fact, my hunch is that the CIA and the Pentagon have never been able to get over the fact that their entire regime-change operations against Cuba, including sabotage, terrorism, and assassination, as well as the embargo, failed to oust the communist regime and replace it with a U.S.-installed regime, one that would, once again, do the bidding of the U.S. government.

In the ultimate analysis, it’s all about empire and control. During the Spanish-American War in 1898, the U.S. came to the defense of Cuba in its war for independence from the Spanish Empire. Once Spain was defeated, however, the U.S. government double-crossed the Cubans and refused to permit them their independence. Instead, the fledgling U.S. Empire simply replaced the Spanish Empire.

The U.S. Empire then proceeded to control Cuba for the next 60 years through a succession of pro-U.S. dictators who agreed to do the bidding of the U.S. government. They were what are sometimes referred to as “puppets”—dancing to the strings of U.S. control. That’s in fact how the U.S. government got its imperial outpost in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. government’s puppet regime in Havana gave that portion of Cuba to the United States.

One of the U.S. puppets was Fulgencio Batista, a corrupt pro-U.S. tyrant who was ousted by the Cuban Revolution in 1959. One of his programs was to have his government goons go out into the Cuban countryside and kidnap young girls — minors. They would then bring them back to Havana, where they would be handed over to the Mafia-controlled casinos, which were giving Batista a cut of the action. The girls would be handed over to the high-rollers in the casinos as sexual favors.

U.S. officials loved Batista and were hoping that he would remain in power. It was not to be. The person who instigated the revolution was a woman named Celia Sánchez, who had a young girlfriend who was kidnapped by Batista’s goons and then raped as a sexual favor in the Mafia’s casinos.

What the Pentagon and the CIA want today is to resume control over Cuba with another pro-U.S. dictator who will do their bidding, just like before the Cuban Revolution. That’s what the embargo is all about. That’s why they continue to target the Cuban people with death and economic privation. They want to resume control over Cuba, and they want it bad.

There is something else to keep in mind about the U.S. government’s relationship with Cuba for the last 60 years: It has always been the U.S. government that has been the aggressor. It is the U.S. government that has targeted the Cuban people with death and economic privation with its embargo. It has been the U.S. government that has engaged in sabotage and terrorism against the Cuban people. It is the U.S. government that has repeatedly tried to murder Cuban officials, even in partnership with the Mafia, one of the biggest criminal organizations in the world.

Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to point out that the U.S. government’s embargo against Cuba has always been a direct attack on the natural, God-given rights of freedom of travel and economic liberty of the American people. After all, let’s not forget that Americans are the ones who are arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated for traveling to Cuba and spending money there without the official consent of their Washington overlords.

If the American people wished to begin restoring a sense of morality to the U.S. government and a small bit of economic freedom to their lives, a good place to begin would be by bringing about an end to the six-decades-old embargo against Cuba. It’s an evil and destructive Cold War dinosaur that deserves extinction.

Originally published by the Future of Freedom Foundation.

*About the author: Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Source: This article also appeared at the MISES Institute

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MISES

The Mises Institute, founded in 1982, teaches the scholarship of Austrian economics, freedom, and peace. The liberal intellectual tradition of Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) and Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) guides us. Accordingly, the Mises Institute seeks a profound and radical shift in the intellectual climate: away from statism and toward a private property order. The Mises Institute encourages critical historical research, and stands against political correctness.

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