In October, Bush announced that his administration was looking into "bringing democracy to Cuba." He also announced a tightening of restrictions for American travelers going to Cuba, to stop money, tourists, or business from going to Cuba. He claims that any money that goes to Cuba ends up in Castro's hands, but just as in the case of Iraq, the economic sanctions that have been in place in Cuba since Eisenhower was president have only starved and crippled the people of that country.
Yet, Cuba has survived.
A big part of that reason is that the entire world ignores Americas embargo, and trades freely with Cuba. The rest of the world, and now even senators and congressman, are seeing more clearly how the policy on Cuba is ridiculous and failed.
My interest in Cuba comes from reading Chomsky, but also I had a friend from Cuba. She had really mixed feelings about Cuba, and Castro. She was glad to be out of there, but she also couldn't understand America's intense focus on that country. I'm sure alot of Cuban-Americans feel the same way, but Bush and Colin Powell would have you believe that all Cubans are "freedom loving exiles who love America and hate Castro with a passion." It's just not true.
In Bush's October 10 speech, he not only announced a tighter stranglehold on Cuba, he not only called Castro names as every president since Eisenhower has, but he also said something which is purely propaganda designed to fool and trick the American public. It is unbelievable that he said it, but it is typical of him. He said to a crowd of Cubans that in Cuba there is an:
"illicit sex trade, a modern form of slavery which is encouraged by the Cuban government. This cruel exploitation of innocent women and children must be exposed and must be ended."
He accused Cubans of being women and child rapers, and Castro of encouraging that.
Firstly, the illicit sex trade is a worldwide phenomenon. Secondly, no government would or would even have any way to encourage it. "Illicit" means it's beyond any control or knowledge of government. If you know anything about Castro, or about dictatorships, they tend to crack down on things like that pretty harshly.
So, Bush can bait the American people with tales of child rapers, but the lies aren't going to work again.
People should encourage their congressmen to put pressure on Bush to reduce or cancel the trade embargo. It may have little effect, but it will have some.
Don't wait until Powell goes to the UN with his charts and graphs.
In Bush's closing remarks in his speech, he said:
"It's only the beginning of a more robust effort to BREAK THROUGH to the Cuban people." emphasis mine
a Russian view of America's policy:
A final note--
Cuba: 110,860 sq. km (slightly smaller than Pennsylvania)
Pop. 11 million
Chechnya: 19,300 sq. km
Pop. 1.3 million