Cuba, a Little More Libre


Hey Elian, cheer up! If this latest Senate vote on trade with Cuba is any indication, you and your loving dad may finally get to travel to the U.S. some time before you reach retirement age.

The Financial Time reports:

Congress is set for a clash with the White House over US policy towards Cuba after the Senate voted on Thursday to bar the administration from enforcing the ban on travel to Cuba.

The vote comes less than two weeks after President George W. Bush (news—web sites) vowed a crackdown on violations of the 40-year-old travel ban as part of a renewed effort to undermine the regime of Fidel Castro (news—web sites), the Cuban president.

But the 59-36 Senate vote, which mirrors legislation already passed by the House, could force Mr Bush into the first veto of his presidency if he is to maintain the tighter restrictions on Cuba.

A majority in Congress has become increasingly disenchanted with the US effort to isolate Cuba, saying it has failed to weaken the Castro regime but has hurt US farmers and businesses.

The end of the U.S. embargo can't come too soon. Though for many, including Elian Gonzales' mother and all the others who have died fleeing Castro's tropical terror regime, it will have come too late.

Mark Falcoff's useful Cuba the Morning After looks at what's likely to happen after Castro finally kicks the bucket. And Foreign Policy's latest ish (not on the Web yet, alas) looks at post-dictator scenarios in Cuba, Belarus, and elsewhere.

NEXT: Either Way, It's For the Children

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  1. “The end of the U.S. embargo can’t come too soon. Though for many, including Elian Gonzales’ mother and all the others who have died fleeing Castro’s tropical terror regime, it will have come too late.”

    Silly me, I had no idea that the U.S. Congress got to vote on what the laws would be in Cuba.

  2. The end of the U.S. embargo can’t come too soon. Though for many, including Elian Gonzales’ mother and all the others who have died fleeing Castro’s tropical terror regime, it will have come too late.

    Ditto, Xrlq. Is Nick saying that the U.S. embargo was the cause for people risking their lives to flee Castro’s “paradise”!?

  3. I think he’s saying a freer economic approach towards Cuba would have led to quicker regime change than trying to isolate a country only 40 miles from our shores.

    I think the first, “MTV Spring Break – Bay of Pigs!” would have broken the camel of communism’s back.

    How old is Fidel Castro anyway?

  4. Jean Bart

    Gee and here I was getting ready to tell you what I want to do post-dictatorship in the US, and then you tell me you’re being sarcastic.

    I am not paranoid, they really are out to get me:)

  5. What about the post-dictatorship scenario in the US? 🙂 (Remember, the 🙂 is a reference to sarcasm.)

  6. The Cuban travel ban is a throwback that serves no practical purpose, and I don’t think that the American people back any message that it might send. “Don’t be communist! Send us more baseball players!” Get fyookin real. I hope Congress overrides Bush’s veto. Maybe he’ll throw a temper tantrum or something.

    Really what it boils down to though is that I’m tired of having to go Montreal to get Cohibas.

  7. Unfortunately, 59 votes wouldn’t be enough to override.

    I’m all for freeing travel restrictions to Cuba and the trade embargo as well. But I’m a little confused by Nick’s post. Isn’t immigration an entirely different ball of tar? You could change the travel restrictions and trade policy without touching the immigration laws, no? And if I understand the immigration laws correctly, our policy towards Cuban immigration is, at least in some respects, already more open than our policy toward the rest of the world since any Cuban who successfully sets foot on US land automatically becomes a legal immigrant. Is that true for those who come from any other nation? Well, it sure is a snucked up situation, anyway…

  8. Make Cuba and Puerto Rico the 51st state!
    How much longer would Castro last then?

  9. It’s always great the America cares so much about me that they will punish men for what I do outside this country.

    I can’t believe it, but I love Big Brother.
    /end sarcasm

  10. How does one of us mere groupies start a new topic?
    I was reading with interest comment from around the world on the BBC web site about the attractiveness of Iraq as a place to “invest.”
    (not to drop lak a hot ‘tater)

  11. You know, all this “post-Castro” talk ignores a possibility: What if Fidel and/or Raul live to the same age as Madame Chiang Kai-shek?…

  12. Maybe this will finally convince Libertarians they have no place in the GOP — the one thing that GWB will risk a veto on is a measure that would remove a restriction to freedom.

  13. The 20th century was an era when statesmen and their people were clear about imperialism and fuzzy about communism. Countless lives and resources were lost due to their ignorance. As late as 1949, Truman was asking his ambassador to stay in Nanking so he could recognize the new agrarian reformers. In 1946 Mao pleaded for democracy by forming a coalition government with Chiang Kai Shek, a proposal Truamn bought in and withheld arms to Chiang who was winning. In 1949 Mao kicked Truman’s ambassador out and went to Moscow to congratulate with Stalin. Such was the ignorance and naivety of Truman and his administration so that he had to publish the White Papers to whitewash his party as he was being criticized by JFK and others.

    As early as 1923, Chiang Kai Shek on his visit to Russia recognized the totalitarian nature of the communists. In 1927 he sent back the russian advisors and drove the communists on a long march. Chiang was a visionary and wise statesman and history should laud his early attempts to curb communism, without which a bigger part of the world would have gone communistic and the US would have higher casualties. Not too many Americans are willing to admit the mistakes of their presidents, so the blame was laid on foreign anti-communist leaders who relied on American military support.

    Madame Chiang has always been a friend of the free world and the US, giving appropriate and timely warnings and advice in her speeches in the US.

  14. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/20/2004 05:05:54
    Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.

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