You Can't Go Home Again

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Bush cracks down on Cuban travelers:

New US curbs on travel to communist-ruled Cuba went into effect on Wednesday, with opponents decrying them as an attack on family and the Bush administration arguing they will hasten the fall of Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Cuban Americans may now visit relatives on the island once every three years instead of annually and they may go only to see close family members rather than more distant relatives, among other restrictions aimed at toughening the four-decade-old US economic embargo on Cuba.

"It's unimaginable, abusive," said Raquel Chaviano, one of hundreds waiting at Havana airport on Tuesday for one of the last flights back to Miami before the rules went into force.

"The family is the main thing in life, and it has nothing to do with politics," said Chaviano, who left the Caribbean island in 1980, leaving behind her daughter and siblings.

Reeling from the news, Tyler Cowen asks, "What do you have to do to join The Ranks of the Shrill? Does someone have to send you an E-Invite?"

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  1. “Bush administration arguing they will hasten the fall of Cuban President Fidel Castro”

    I guess GW never even tried to hide his rampant stupidity. What I still can’t understand is the number of people that seem to be in sincere agreement with him.

  2. Too bad Cuba doesn’t have the market size of China.

    “Have Economy, Will Travel!”

  3. Maybe the Bush Admin thinks that the Rule of Three will be sending Castro into the grave right behind Brando, and then they’ll smugly say, “See? See?!”

  4. Warren,

    “I guess GW never even tried to hide his rampant stupidity.”

    I will try to leave Bush’s stupidity and the pros/cons of travel restrictions out of this.

    But the new regs restrict money transfer to Cuba, and traveling (which again results in hard currency going to Cuba).

    What does your “intelligence” see that is “stupidity that should be hidden” in that policy?

  5. Could someone clue me in on what anyone (Bush or otherwise) can possibly gain from this?

  6. Ah, nothing says “the defeat of tyranny” like keeping families apart. I’m sure Castro will step down and allow free elections as soon as he sees that his people are suffering, right?

  7. If I were Prez, Kuber would be the 51st state, but it would be a “parish” of Puerto Rico.

    On a personal note, this corn syrup crap is the death of me. Give me cane SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR!!

    (corn syrup agitates my sensitive sunuses)

  8. Pedro,

    I’m not sure what demographic subgroups within the Florida Cuban community are most affected by this. Are the limited visiting rights used more by the old emigre community, or by the Carter-era refugees?

    My tentative guess is that it’s something to do with the Cuban vote in Florida. Cuba policy usually does.

    BTW, I really wonder how advocates of the trade embargo justify it in prnciple without supporting a similar embargo against mainland China. The answer, obviously, is there’s NOT a principled argument. There’s just not a huge, politically active Chinese emigre community in Miami. Period.

    I don’t think there’s anyone insane enough in the mainstream GOP to recommend a Chinese trade embargo–within a week, Bush would be held incommunicado at Crawford as the new Nike-sponsored coup leaders issued their first communique. Even Pat Buchanan, if he ever by some miracle got elected, would probably announce the day after his election that he had been “convinced” by the foreign establishment that constructive engagement was the best way to liberate China. That’s exactly what happened when Clinton got elected, after campaigning against Bush I’s “soft on China” policy.

  9. Is this another Karl Rove prescription like the thing with steel that was supposed to put a lock for Dubya on Pennsylvania in November?

    Phil,
    Thanks for the suggestion about Boylan Bottle Company, but I was mainly trying to get something going about the US sugar price support which is just another dagger aimed at Castro’s heart.
    When it comes to Castro, the Ides of March has lasted… how long now?

  10. Ruthless, do you have a World Market anywhere near you? If you do, go there and look in their food section for Boylan Bottle Co. products. They make sodas with real cane sugar. (In fact their flagship product is called Cane Soda. They also have a cream soda, black cherry, grape . . . ) A little pricey, but worth it.

  11. Ambitious pols of all types in FL would prevent this, but the best thing we could do to help the cause of freedom in Cuba is to drop all trade and travel restrictions. Love-bomb the island with Rock `n Roll, Coca-Cola and Levis. The exposure to Western commercial culture that began behind the Iron Curtain during the deteante period was a powerful impetus to change. People who had been fed a pack of lies about how horrible life was on our side began to ask themselves “why can’t we have this stuff, too?”

    It isn’t like the embargo keeps Cuba from trading with Europe or Canada, anyway.

    Kevin

  12. I’m posting here because the title of the thread is “You can’t go home again.” I’ve been gone because I’m visiting my family, and I just wanted to say hello to everybody while I’m borrowing my brother’s laptop.

    I’ll be back home in a few days, and then I’ll be posting again as I work on my calculations.

    Oh, and the US efforts to bring down Castro by sanctions and travel regulations have been almost as stupid as our efforts to eradicate recreational chemistry. Eventually Castro will die, and then whichever idiot happens to be the President of the US will declare victory and claim that the cancer or heart disease was vindication of US policy. Cuz, you know, elderly men never die of cancer or heart disease without government planning.

    Unless Castro’s immortal, in which case a Scottish swordsman will have to finish him off. Has anybody checked to see if the CIA has an agent named MacLeod? 🙂

  13. You mean Castro is still alive?

  14. I suspect Castro might be one of those Strom Thurmond types, the bastard who never dies.

  15. “What does your “intelligence” see that is “stupidity that should be hidden” in that policy?’

    My intellegence sees a couple more decades of yankee-basing excuses from Castro for the sorry state of the Cuban economy.

  16. Well, thoreau, even if there were, he’d probably have to walk to the island, because getting his katana on board a plane probably wouldn’t fly with the TSA types. 🙂

  17. They can always *email* their famiilies in Cuba instead…oh, I forgot; Comrade Castro has banned computers. Never mind, I guess it’s a small price to pay for living in paradise.

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