Cuba

The Trade Embargo Allows Cuba's Regime To Blame the U.S. for Communism's Failings

President Joe Biden says America "stands firmly" with the people of Cuba who oppose the country's oppressive regime. But he can do more than offer words of support.

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After thousands of Cubans poured into the streets over the weekend to protest the island nation's communist government, President Joe Biden on Monday said America "stands firmly" with the people of Cuba.

The words of support for the anti-communist protesters—some of whom waved American flags as they demanded "freedom"—are good, but actions would be better. Biden should call on Congress to lift the United States' decadesold trade embargo with Cuba.

Despite being in place since 1962, the trade embargo has plainly failed to accomplish its primary goal of toppling Cuba's regime. If anything, the policy has likely bolstered the regime by allowing the communist government to blame the U.S. for its own economic problems, as Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel did on Sunday. The trade embargo has contributed to the Cuban government's impoverishing of millions of Cubans while limiting Americans' economic freedom, too. That it remains in place nearly three decades after the fall of the Soviet Union shows that America's foreign policy towards Cuba has failed to learn the primary lesson of the end of the Cold War: Economic freedom is the best weapon to aim at communism.

The protests against the Cuban government were prompted by shortages of food and COVID-19 vaccines. In a statement, the White House said the protests that broke out over the weekend were a "clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba's authoritarian regime."

Yes, Cuba's government is authoritarian, but there should be no mincing of words about this. Communism is what broke Cuba. The authoritarianism on display is merely the natural evolution of communist regimes—a pattern of economic and political repression that has been tragically repeated in too many corners of the world during the past century.

Biden's statement is right to conflate the lack of economic freedom with long-running political repression in Cuba. That's exactly why America's trade embargo is such a backward strategy, one that assumes economic and political freedom aren't fundamentally linked.

Look at what happened when the Obama administration loosened some of the rules banning Americans from traveling to Cuba as part of an effort to reestablish diplomatic relations. Even with the trade embargo still in place, that slight policy change helped create a boomlet of entrepreneurship amid then-Cuban President Raul Castro's thawing of tight state control over private businesses on the island.

While official figures on Cuba's private sector economy are understandably difficult to come by, a Brookings Institution report published in 2017 estimated that that 40 percent of the Cuban workforce had at least "one foot in the private economy."

Since taking over as Cuba's president in 2018, Díaz-Canel has cracked down on Cuba's private sector. Former President Donald Trump helped him smother the nascent economic reforms by reversing some of Obama's attempts to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations and by slapping new economic sanctions on Cuba just before leaving office in January.

Advocates for maintaining the embargo against Cuba argue that increased trade and tourism would enrich and strengthen the communist regime while failing to aid most Cubans. This was basically Trump's approach—one that reflects longstanding hardline conservative views about how to handle the communist state just 90 miles from the Florida coast. "There is zero reason to delude ourselves into believing that 'engagement' will get the tyrants in Havana to change their ways," Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) wrote in January.

This is a clever misdirection. Where is the evidence that disengagement is working? The embargo has been in place for nearly six decades. How much longer should we wait? How much longer should the people of Cuba have to wait?

"By insisting that political reforms precede economic openness, the United States forecloses the most realistic road to progress—and by speechifying about the necessity of regime change, American politicians lend credence to the Cuban government's anti-American propaganda," Reason's Stephanie Slade wrote in 2017 after returning from a trip to Cuba where she witnessed some of the consequences of the Obama administration's thawing of economic and diplomatic sanctions—as well as a lot of the consequences of decades of communist control over an economy.

As the people of Cuba strive to cast off their communist oppressors, the United States can do more than simply offer words of support. Undoing Trump's restrictions on the remittances that many Cuban Americans send to their families still trapped under the communist regime would be a great place to start.

If Biden were to reinstate Obama's travel and economic policies toward Cuba and call on Congress to end the failed trade embargo, it would be unlikely to immediately change the reality on the ground in Havana. But it would signal to the Cuban people—and to the country's potential future leaders in the event of a full-scale toppling of the regime—that the United States is prepared to let trade and tourism serve as vital economic and political lifelines for the island's long-suffering residents. And it would remove one excuse the Cuban government routinely uses to dismiss the failings of communism.

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  1. We can wait for a long time. They don’t have to wait regardless what the US does. Asked and answered.

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  2. Yet, strangely enough, the U.S. has had quite a bit or trade with Cuba – almost $170 million in 2020 alone.

    https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c2390.html

    1. haha. That entire number is exports to Cuba (basically no imports). Which is less than 1/3 of the exports to – Venezuela. Which happens to be another country under sanctions. No other country that is identified is in the same ballpark as even Venezuela. But hey – maybe ‘other’ is where all the trade action statistics are. OK OK. Well what about states exports. Hmm

      Looks like exports of manufactured goods from Hawaii is smaller than exports from US to Cuba. But the next tier up – exports of manufactured goods only from Alaska, Virgin Islands, Montana – are about 2-3x bigger volume.

      Well at least Alaska and Montana are both bigger than Cuba. Maybe that’s what you mean. Or maybe – the sanctions regime is actually not being ignored.

      1. >>basically no imports

        half the Chicago White Sox roster.

      2. Or maybe you’re picking cherries in the hopes of making some sort of brain-damaged point.
        Perhaps you should start with the argument and back it up with evidence? Just a hint so you don’t look quite so much like a arm-waving asshole.

  3. “But he can do more than offer words of support.”

    Indeed, Biden can invite the entire population of Cuba to immigrate to the US.

    Now, I don’t know if Reason.com’s benefactor Charles Koch finds Cuban-American laborers as cost-effective as Mexican-American ones. But in any case they must be preferable to US-born workers.

    #ImmigrationAboveAll

    1. The last time Cuban refugees tried to escape to the United States, our benevolent immigrant-loving president summarily deported them back to Cuba. Just saying.

    2. We don’t need people too cowardly to rise up in violent opposition to their own oppression. They’re not facing slaughter, like Europeans in WW2 or the Wiggers in China.

      They’re just facing prison. They need to rebel or shut up. Not come here.

  4. Ah another moment in blame the US for others mistakes and failings.

    Also not mentioned is why some members of Congress are supporting the tyranny in Cuba and Venezuela, and why those certain members are also affiliated with a violent left wing socialist party in the US. Reason koch just avoids mentioning that at all.

    1. They blamed us for having Mia Khalifa come out against them.

      I don’t think the embargo is WHY they blame us.

  5. Hey Eric! The embargo was started by Kennedy a Democrat.

    1. So that would make the embargo bad because Democrat, but Trump liked the embargo which makes it good because Trump…. I’m so confused!!!

      1. No, you’re broken.

      2. You’re stupid and no one is fooled.

  6. Let’s see. Obama loosened restrictions, and that’s bad because Obama. Trump undid that, and that’s good because Trump. Now Biden’s continuing Trump’s policies with are good because Trump but bad because Biden. And Biden might loosen restriction which would be bad because Obama.

    1. It’s hilarious watching you troll yourself every day

    2. Yes, you’re now into supporting commu ist governments. It is your slow decent into jeffism.

  7. “The Trade Embargo Allows Cuba’s Regime To Blame the U.S. for Communism’s Failings”

    If it weren’t for the trade embargo, Cuba’s regime would still blame the United States for its problems.

    It doesn’t matter what Cuba’s regime says about anything.

    P.S. Donald Trump’s tweets weren’t important either.

    1. +1

    2. Obviously, Boehm agrees that the trade embargo is to blame for Cuba’s troubles. Otherwise, the claim would be what is known as a “bad faith argument”, to which the proper response is “fuck off”. If they aren’t making the argument because they actually believe the argument but simply as a way to attack you, you’re being deliberately side-tracked into defending yourself from an argument they don’t actually believe. And Boehm is actually arguing that we need to defend ourselves against this attack, which suggests he doesn’t believe the argument is straight horseshit.

      It’s like when people accuse you of being a racist because you dared criticize Maxine Waters. It is not incumbent upon you to prove that you’re not racist by bending over backwards to satisfy their complaints, their complaints were not made in good faith. They didn’t accuse you of being racist because they actually think you’re a racist, they accused you of being a racist just to distract you into defending yourself from the charge of racism rather than to continue pursuing the argument that Maxine Waters is a corrupt, lying, race-baiting retard.

    3. That nuance is certainly lacking, almost as if the argument was based on bias alone. Or had been ‘honed’ by the best (ahem, sarcasm) minds available on social media. This is what shitty regimes do, even if they didn’t try real socialism or communism, once again. Hell, it’s what too many in our governments and media do.

    4. Basically this. The U.S. existing is enough of an excuse to claim it’s our fault.

      Any kind of freedom enjoyed in any other country is plenty enough for socialists to claim it’s some wreckers fault their perfect societal plan failed.

      It’s never the fault of the planners, it’s always because of wreckers whether from within or without. Which is funny, since they cling to the idea that central planning can fix everything yet it can’t seem to fix those pesky ‘others’ from ‘wrecking’ utopia every single time.

      1. Exactly. This is a communist country. Why do they hang their troubles on the ability to trade with an ostensibly capitalist country? Doesn’t that just mean that Commies cannot exist without a capitalist country to support them?

        1. Because we trade with China, which is just as oppressive as Cuba if not worse, to over a billion people.

          Our trade policies are capricious at best.

    5. The failures of Communism are always the fault of someone else besides the communists and communism. whether it is the United States, the kulaks or bourgeoisie. That the Cuban regime will blame shift is not a reason in itself to end the embargo.

  8. Relevant, topical.

    ‘You Just Don’t Understand Socialism Like I Do,’ Says College Freshman To Man Who Escaped Socialism On A Raft

    “Greetings!” Pollyton said. “I’m Eddard, he/him. I see from your skin color—which is the most important thing about you—that you are Cuban. Pretty sad how those Cubans aren’t appreciating the great social programs they have right now, am I right?”

    The man stared dumbfounded as the student went on and on about private ownership of the means of production, the plight of the proletariat, and the need for the workers to unite and work for the common good. He explained to the man who had nearly starved to death as a child and only survived because his parents had put him on a raft and dared a dangerous sea voyage across the Gulf of Mexico that Cubans have some of the best healthcare, free food and medicine, and literacy programs in the world.

      1. I LOLed at ” Q Bans”

  9. Doesn’t Cuba have the ability to trade with most of the Free World, excepting the U.S.? So what’s the problem? Maybe the problem is that Cuba has very little to trade with anyone? Tourism from the U.S. would, I guess, be a real boon to Cuba but one wonders how many modern autos, refrigs, HVAC, food, medicines, etc. could be purchased with accumulated tourist dollars.

    1. Doesn’t Cuba have the ability to trade with most of the Free World, excepting the U.S.? So what’s the problem?

      Yes, they’re free to trade with Trudeau’s Canada, for instance.

      1. They are not free to use dollars. That has a much bigger impact than goods/services trade. Reserve currency is by working definition the currency that is preferred for third-country transactions so those are the ones that almost all trade gets priced in.

        Overall, the dollar accounts for about 60-70% of global reserves. Probably higher for the Caribbean countries that would constitute most trade. Not being able to use the dollar thus means the likely elimination of 60-70% of the possible trade that isn’t completely balanced bilaterally.

        1. They are free to trade in pounds, rupees, or any other currency you retarded shit.

          1. If you don’t actually know what a reserve currency is or when it is used, it’s probably wiser to STFU than to prove yourself a fool.

        2. “They are not free to use dollars.”
          Cite missing, and it will be.

    2. The US is a natural trade partner for Cuba though.

      1. What is this nature you speak of? Are the residents of Cuba part of this nature? What benefits do they derive from being part of this nature? Is there anything the Cuban authorities are denying them that is their natural due?

        1. “What is this nature you speak of? ”

          The part called geography. It’s common for nations to do the most trade with those nations close to them.

          1. You mean like building pipelines to transfer oil?

            1. I’m not sure what your point is here. Do you dispute that nations commonly do the most trade with nations close to them?

              1. There’s numerous countries near them. And they trade with all but one.

                How is it OUR job to bolster THEIR economy?

                1. The one they don’t trade with would otherwise be a quite natural trading partner. So of course the stopping of that harms Cuba (if it doesn’t harm them then what’s the point of the embargo?). It’s no answer to say ‘well, they’ve got plenty of other countries they can trade with!’ If would be like saying ‘the gas station most convenient for me to use has said I can’t get gas there, but that doesn’t harm me because there’s plenty of other gas stations in town!’

                  1. “The one they don’t trade with would otherwise be a quite natural trading partner.”

                    We have no right to decline to do so?

                    “So of course the stopping of that harms Cuba (if it doesn’t harm them then what’s the point of the embargo?)”

                    We wouldn’t be putting money in the pockets of fascists, for one.

                    “If would be like saying ‘the gas station most convenient for me to use has said I can’t get gas there, but that doesn’t harm me because there’s plenty of other gas stations in town!’”

                    …EXCEPT you support this…

                    1. “We have no right to decline to do so?”

                      I’m not sure the government has the right to decide for you and I. But that’s not what we’ve been talking about, which is does the embargo harm Cuba? It most certainly does.

                      “EXCEPT you support this…”

                      No, you’re the one arguing that even though we’re a natural trading partner for Cuba we’re doing no harm to them by restricting the right of people here who want to do business with people there because ‘there’s other countries.’

          2. Trade is global.

            1. The US top trading partners are….Mexico and Canada.

              1. So what?
                You expect trucks to get to Cuba, you pathetic piece of lefty shit?

              2. You spelled China incorrectly.

        2. So you don’t even pretend to be a libertarian on something like trade do you. I’m not talking about the sort of libertarian who yaps on about zero tariffs. I’m talking about the sort who muddies the line between a blockade (an act of war) and embargo/sanction (an act short of war but where regime change is still the object)

          1. The commenters here don’t even pretend to be libertarian on a LOT of things. Just reactionary Trump-humpers who hate Democrats.

      2. You think the US is interested in trading with Cuba for sugar? Do you not know why the US uses so much HFCS, unlike any other country in the world? The importation of sugar is tightly controlled so ADM and ConAgra and the Fanjuls can get their greedy little paws on that sweet, sweet government-enforced monopoly money. Cuba has nothing we’d want to trade for.

        1. Just for the record Cuba has to import sugar since the morons there now can’t grow enough to meet domestic demand.

        2. Rum and cigars? Maybe. Shrugs

      3. “The US is a natural trade partner for Cuba though.”

        When lefty shits have no argument or evidence, they make asinine claims which would embarrass 8th-grade kids. Such as this.

    3. Cuba’s natural advantage is time tourism. If you want to now how people lived through the great depression there’s no better way to experience it.

  10. the embargo only affects trade with America, Cuba still trades with other countries so no it is not Americas fault a communist regime with the “greatest medical healthcare system in the world” is failing it own people

    1. It also misses the point that Cuba, according to the Marxists and their American Apologists was supposed to succeed WITHOUT American influence and trade.

      If your communism is blaming lack of Trade with America for its failings, then your communism is definitionally a failure.

    2. I remember listening to a discussion by some Marxist leftists back in the 90s about how Communism failed because it was “encircled” by capitalists. I guess the Marxists were… forgetting their Marx when they diagnosed that as the problem.

      1. Which part of Marx are they forgetting?

        1. That they’re not supposed to mention out loud how marxism is based on inadequacy and dependence

          1. I don’t think Marxism means that international trade stops or isn’t important.

            1. “I don’t think Marxism means that international trade stops or isn’t important.”

              So “true” Marxism hasn’t yet been tried? Hmmm. I think I’ve read that steaming pile of shit before.

        2. The part where Capitalism would fail naturally through its own contradictions– and Marx would succeed naturally due to its inherent virtues.

          You really need to read something.

          1. Uh, that doesn’t mean trade stops, does it?

            1. “Uh, that doesn’t mean trade stops, does it?”

              Plenty of others are willing to trade with Cuba. Unfortunately the commie assholes running the place have made sure Cuba produces nothing anyone wants.
              So, yes, free trade stops with commie hell-holes.

      2. I had been reasonably certain from reading economics and history, Communism and Socialism were intended to be a workers’ paradise. Not a whiners’ paradise as this mess into which they appear to have devolved. I suppose I shouldn’t view the past through the optics of the current dominant generations and cultures, but then how will I ever function on social media or in academe?

        1. I don’t think Marx ever argued that international trade wasn’t an important part of an economy, whether Communist or Capitalist.

          1. Well then he should have re-thought his half baked theories. People tend to band together against thieves, sort of part and parcel to the whole formation of government in the first place.

            1. So wait a minute, I thought the argument was ‘the embargo doesn’t harm Cuba because all the other countries aren’t engaged in it.’ You guys need to get your stories straight!

              1. Please cite my previous comment on the subject that seems to contradict this statement.

          2. “I don’t think Marx ever argued that international trade wasn’t an important part of an economy, whether Communist or Capitalist.”

            AFAIK, he never did make that argument. But the result of the arguments he did make made it sure that commie hell-holes never produce anything anyone wants.
            So, yes, you can make the argument that he never claimed that international trade was irrelevant, at the expense of accepting that he was stupid enough to lack the understanding that his proposals would result in nations incapable of producing any viable (non-extraction) goods.
            As a stupid pile of lefty shit, I’m sure that’s a surprise to you.

  11. The sun rising in the East allows them to blame wreckers and kulaks.

    But those not willingly gullible wouldn’t believe that horseshit either.

    1. If the embargo isn’t harming Cuba then why keep it? That’s the point of a sanction or embargo.

      1. Cuba is only ‘harmed’ to the extent that we decline to associate with them. As soon as the Cuban authorities take the necessary steps the embargo can end. Until then they are the ones responsible for denying their people access to US markets.

        Saying we are harming them is like saying a restaurant is harming you when they enforce a dress code.

        1. Do you have an honest breath in your body?

          1. What an odd thing to ask yourself.

            1. Yes, which is why I didn’t.

              You do understand the difference between you and I don’t you?

              1. Your comment was a reply to another of your comments…

            2. “What an odd thing to ask yourself.”

              “Grammar’ or “threading” Nazis are accepted as dishonest pieces of shit.

          2. It doesn’t. And, I may be wrong, but seems a lot of posting from the shit-posting partisan trolls of late. Did their deep blue funding come through?

        2. They are harmed by trade that would otherwise happen between willing entities in the US and Cuba. Again, that’s the whole point of an embargo, to harm the embargoed nation to get them to change. So your argument that we are not harming them undercuts keeping the embargo.

          1. If we support them, we’re bad guys for supporting tyrants.
            If we do not support them, we’re bad guys.

            1. No one is talking about sending them money, the only ‘support’ talked about is not using government force to stop people in our nation from doing business with people in theirs if both sides so choose.

              1. The government OWNS THE BUSINESSES.

                Who do you think is getting the money?

                1. Both sides get something in a trade, something they want more than what they are giving. And the government doesn’t get everything over there, private businesses operate there and the people get something.

                  But this is beside the point, what we’ve been discussing was does the embargo hurt Cuba. You actually know it does because, as you say here, it keeps money from going to Cuba that otherwise would.

                  1. “…this is beside the point…”

                    HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHA

                  2. “Both sides get something in a trade, something they want more than what they are giving…”

                    That applies to two free actors, not a government. Stupid? Dishonest? Both?

              2. “No one is talking about sending them money,…”

                You’re dishonesty is becoming obnoxious. Nobody made that claim, asshole.

            2. It’s the bullshit trap the US always finds itself in. We are damned if we do, or damned if we don’t. There’s no logic to it.

            3. Yeah. If we take the family to Georgia for a summer vacation we are racists. Wonder if Queen railed against moving the MLB allstar game or the states that impose state employee travel restrictions to other states.

            4. We already support China, Saudi Arabia, and a host of other dictatorships.

              The embargo is capricious and inconsistent. It should have ended long ago. OR, we should also decline to trade with every other non-democratically-governed nation.

          2. “So your argument that we are not harming them undercuts keeping the embargo.”

            No, it does not. Read it again. They are harming themselves. The same way the hungry guy harms himself by not putting on a sport coat.

            1. They are harming themselves? Well, then we don’t need an embargo, right, since it seems to be playing no role here…

              1. ” it seems to be playing no role here”

                Like the dress code plays no role at the restaurant.

                1. The dress code certainly harms the person who isn’t dressed to it.

                  It’s also a bad analogy, btw, because the owner of the restaurant makes the decision for his property, but with an embargo our government makes the decision for all American’s property.

                  1. “The dress code certainly harms the person who isn’t dressed to it.”

                    LOL. It’s a fantastic analogy, if only because it led you to make that moronic statement.

                    “our government makes the decision for all American’s property.”

                    As regards international trade? Yep. You are just figuring this out now?

                    Man, you must have really been pissed when Biden stopped tha t pipeline.

                    1. Of course the dress code harms the person turned away for not being up to code. But more to the point, the analogy is a bad one. It’s more like if the county council made a dress code for all restaurants in the county.

                      “you must have really been pissed when Biden stopped tha t pipeline.”

                      And you must have cheered? Swords have two edges, you know. For the record, I was for the pipeline because I generally support free trade/association. YMMV.

                    2. “And you must have cheered? ”

                      I disagreed with teh decision. But at least I was honest about why.

                    3. “Of course the dress code harms the person turned away for not being up to code. But more to the point, the analogy is a bad one. It’s more like if the county council made a dress code for all restaurants in the county.
                      “you must have really been pissed when Biden stopped tha t pipeline.”
                      And you must have cheered? Swords have two edges, you know. For the record, I was for the pipeline because I generally support free trade/association. YMMV.”

                      Tony, is that you?
                      If not, we have another day-time drunk.

      2. The real reason imo that it remains in place is because the US wants to make sure that property/land that was expropriated by the Cuban government never ever reverts to whoever has used it for the last 60 years.

        Partially because the Cuban exiles want all their land/privileges back and they want the US to go to war if necessary to make that happen.

        Partially the US has become the main opposition to all land reform everywhere. It is NOT viewed as a domestic issue in those countries. It is viewed as making the world safe for McDonalds/Google/Disney/etc – via Citigroup/Morgan/etc. And because the Cuban version was extreme, it becomes the principle of the thing to be opposed forever.

        1. “The real reason imo that it remains in place is because the US wants to make sure that property/land that was expropriated by the Cuban government never ever reverts to whoever has used it for the last 60 years….”
          You have zero evidence to support that claim, asshole.

        2. You fail to mention legit claims for compensation for expropriated assets has been upheld by courts in several countries, including the US, as well as the world court in the Hague.

  12. Eric Boehm is to blame for allowing the Cubans to blame the Americans for the embargo that they blame on the Americans!

    Your move, simp.

  13. Haiti, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba all failing at the same time. Thank God we have Joe in office to handle these crises. I know I sleep better knowing sleepy Joe is at the helm. I shouldn’t need a sarc tag but will add it for clarification.

  14. Let’s go ask China how unfettered trade has helped to eliminate communist oppression. Oh… wait…

    1. Actually, do you think Chinese oppression wasn’t worse before China’s turn towards markets?

      1. Ask Hong Kong or the Uirghur.

        1. I really think there was more overall oppression in China thirty years ago.

          1. Yeah whatever it’s gotten so much better. We’re only talking genocide but that’s better right?

            1. Formerly, it was ‘non-selective’ starvation and murder; I’d bet the Uighurs are not thrilled with the change.
              QA, though, is willing to find any justification for the lefty policies of any commie hell-hole anywhere.
              Along with gov’t schools teaching racism; QA is a pathetic piece of lefty shit, and the world would be better off if s/he’d been aborted.

  15. So communism is bad but we need to do everything in our power to keep them in power? Is Billy so stupid that he actually believes trade with Cuba does anything but prop up the communist regime?

    1. He’s arguing the embargo helps keep them in power and the US shouldn’t engage in communist type behavior to their own citizens in order to ‘not prop up’ a communist nation.

      1. But we were “wrong” when we didn’t cut off trade with S Africa years ago.

      2. His argument is bollocks and you know it. See a post below on why Cuba was able to maintain their hold for so long and it has much to do with being propped up by others.

        It is not in our interest as a nation to prop up communists, fascists, or any other dictator. They are the reason their country is a shithole.

        In any case, democrats really screwed the pooch on this one, because their equivocation on Cuba doesn’t play well with Latinos, and they are at risk of losing a large voting segment of the population. Which is fine with me.

      3. “He’s arguing the embargo helps keep them in power and the US shouldn’t engage in communist type behavior to their own citizens in order to ‘not prop up’ a communist nation.”

        You engaged in some Biles-level mental gymnastics in your failed defense of racism not long ago, but this probably means a long stay in the hospital to get un-bent.
        What a pile of shit!

      4. Let’s be clear here:
        1) The embargo has no effect on Cuba’s supposed ‘economy’ at all; it has been wrecked by commie econ-ignoramus assholes since the day they took power. The embargo may well be stupid, but the blame lies with commie assholes like QA, not the embargo. Special pleading like ‘natural trading partners’ simply reveals QA to be a dishonest piece of lefty shit, hoping to find idiots who might buy that, or stupid enough to imagine it has some evidentiary importance. Or both.
        2) No commie hell-hole anywhere, as a direct result of Marx’ policies, has ever produced anything anyone else wanted to buy other than extractive products and military weapons. Nobody wants to buy a pair of badly-made sneakers in a quota-busting size 35. As PJ O’Roark mentioned, you couldn’t get good Chicken Kiev in Keiv or decent Chinese take-out in China.
        3) As a result of #2, no commie hell-hole anywhere has been capable of continued existence without direct aid from another, not-quite-so-fucked commie hell-hole, or perhaps donations from H-wood lefty assholes.
        4) OK, but what about Europe? Ha, and ha. Get back to us when the Euros have to provide their own defense.
        5) Regardless of the assholic bigot, QA and the rest of the lefty shits are the roadside trash of progress.
        Fuck off and die. Soon and painfully.

  16. Soooo…Communism is failing because it doesn’t have access to Capitalism…? Huh.

    1. Their stupid argument can be turned around on them. Communism always fails. They can blame the US all they want, but if it always fails, then it always fails. It doesn’t make Communism any less hopeless or communists any less of complete losers when you say the US makes it that way.

    2. Ragnar explained that about People’s States in 1957, before mixed-economy looter mercantilism took a powder and handed Cuba to looter communism: “The slave-drivers of those States are kept in power by the handouts from their fellow looters in countries not yet fully drained, such as this country.” None is so blind as he who will not see.

  17. We don’t have trade relationship with North Korea, which is totalitarian state with nuclear ambition. The point isn’t to topple regime, it’s to not deal with fascist monsters as if they were normal nations. Remember that the people who blame Trump’s embargo called for economic jihad on GA only like 3 months ago.

    Boehm’s point it inertia in action – if communism is the underlying cause of Cuba’s misery, then what’s the point of free trade in the long run? If a dictator can just do whatever he wants and meddle in the private sector? If the Cuban leader said “castrate every homosexual” we should ignore that and happily open 30 more Mcdonalds in Cuba?

    Yeah, I get it, we have trades with China and the Middle East. It’s sometimes within our interest (esp national security) to have frenemies in key regions. That’s not an argument to further relations with hermit dystopias like Cuba and North Korea. And in China, most of the fruits of American dollars go to a small amount of people. In the end, it all benefits the regime.

    1. “Remember that the people who blame Trump’s embargo called for economic jihad on GA only like 3 months ago.”

      Yep. Do you remember all the ‘true libertarians’ here denouncing the people who were trying to punish the State of Georgia?

      Yeah, me neither.

      1. They asked for it. The Japs bombed Pearl Harbor, Krauts elected Hitler, and the Georgia Grand Goblins voted in Marjorie Greene Teeth. Voters who demand the initiation of force get what they deserve even in this nuclear age.

        1. The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor

          1. And you or your mommy thought that was clever, you pathetic piece of lefty shit?
            Stuff the stick of you PANIC flag up your ass, fuck off and die. Make the world a better place.

    2. “ Remember that the people who blame Trump’s embargo called for economic jihad on GA only like 3 months ago.”

      That was different because Racism
      – Queen Amalthea

    3. Has our policy mattered at all? Since 1958 has the US made one positive difference in Cuba? The goals are to keep the Cuban people impoverished and the regime will collapse. That has not happened. Maybe give it 50 more years.

      I have no faith in the idea that normalization will result in regime change. This small movement inside Cuba is likely to fail as well. Nothing the US can do will change much inside Cuba.

      The Cold War is over. We won. Let it go.

  18. The best way to understand the left’s beliefs on trade embargoes is to consider whether they favor them against governments they unequivocally and undeniably oppose – like South Africa during Apartheid. Since they wholeheartedly supported that and similar embargoes we know their crying about this one is pure blame America First-ing.

  19. One of the more ignorant posts I have seen at reason in a while.

    Cuba is (and always has been) a poor third world country in the Greater Antilles that needs a sugar daddy to keep it’s head above water. For a while the Mafia was bringing in big bucks with gambling and prostitution and to a lesser extent other vices. Once Castro put an end to that the USSR poured money into the country to keep it afloat; at least till the USSR went broke and the ‘special period’ resulted. Then Venezuela dumped cheap oil into Cuba which was sold to provide a just above substance level of life for Cubans. But when Venezuela screwed the pooch things went down hill. Obama provided a little life line with his open tourism but Trump put an end to that.

    Then the spaghetti really hit the fan when COVID-19 basically destroyed any tourist dollars coming into the country. But the bottom line is with out a sugar daddy Cuba is just another SheetHole country.

  20. If no embargo, they’d just make up a different story.

  21. Michael Moore says they have wonderful health care. I’m sure if only allowed Americans would be lining up for organ transplants, advanced cancer treatments, and other health tourism from their outstanding health care system.

    1. Cuba had an unusual number of physicians BEFORE the communists overthrew mixed-economy mercantilism. Easier drug prescriptions? Elderly patients from Florida? Less Methodist White Terror prohibitionism? Even the commie revolt smacks somewhat of payback for “our” looter planned economy under the Volstead and Harrison acts.

    2. And if they had any, it would be free!

    3. If their healthcare was so good, he’d go there for a tummy tuck.

  22. Good points on both sides here but my problem with the embargo has always had little to do with whether Cuba magically transforms itself into a liberal democracy or simply continues as a totalitarian shithole. Libertarians purportedly believe in free association. How can the federal government dictate which shithole I decide to visit? China OK because Hunter and the NBA are making big bucks despite that whole genocide thing? Cuba not OK because because some voters in Miami still haven’t made their point clear in half a century? I was in Mexico last month a bought a couple Cuban Cigars which my adult son and I smoked in the rain on the last day because customs. Would have been legal to bring them home 6 years ago. This shit is just silly.

  23. The whole point of the Embargo was JFK appeasing the Rooskies after the Cuban missile crisis. Ragnar summed it up in Atlas Shrugged 5 years earlier: “Do you know the conditions of existence in those People’s States? Since production and trade—not violence—were decreed to be crimes…” Communist and national socialist dogma regard trade as criminal profiteering. The embargo was Cuba’s protection against criminal fraternization and paltering with dog-eat-dog capitalist plutocrats. It is there “for their own good.”

  24. Pretty sure the embargo is so much signalling, but it really doesn’t affect the Cuban gov’t’s response to the hell-hole they’ve made.
    It’s sorta like Trump and the wu-flu; no matter what he did, TDS-addled shits (yes, every slimy one of you) would blame him regardless. If we traded with Cuba, they’d accuse the US of ‘financial imperialism’, if not, we’re ‘starving’ them.
    It’s axiomatic: Capitalism can get only just fine without a stinking commie left alive anywhere on the planet, while every commie hell-hole has to be supported by trade with the rest of us.
    Now you can argue that Afghanistan is not really a country, but a collection of tribes who are not likely to unite under a national identity any time soon, so they are fated to kill each other until they do.
    Cuba, OTOH, *IS* a nation, recognized as such by its population. Well, folks, put on your big-boy pants and tell the assholes who’s the boss.

    1. “can get only just fine” should be “can get along just fine”

  25. The trade embargo could be seen as support for communism’s success. The few remaining communist states all have America’s moral values shitting all over their economies. Ipso facto, our punishments fertilize communism.

  26. The embargo wasn’t imposed just because Cuba is ruled by commies. Cuba could end the embargo at any time by either returning the properties stolen from US owners or compensating them for the fair market value of everything they looted. Kennedy told them as much.

    The reason the commie regime in Cuba doesn’t end the embargo is because it’s their number one excuse for the squalor they’ve inflicted on the Cuban people since their putsch.

    -jcr

  27. “Since taking over as Cuba’s president in 2018, Díaz-Canel has cracked down on Cuba’s private sector. Former President Donald Trump helped him smother the nascent economic reforms by reversing some of Obama’s attempts to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations and by slapping new economic sanctions on Cuba just before leaving office in January.”

    Boehm is absurdly blaming Trump for Cuba’s massive repression, while praising Obama’s policies that made the Castro regime (but not Cubans) wealthier and even more powerful.

    Before he praises Obama and Cuba’s communists. Boehm should go to Havana to understand how disastrous reality has been for Cubans for the past 62 years.

  28. Just lift the embargoes and tariffs against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and they’ll suddenly become good guys!

    1. Just impose embargoes and sanctions against Cuba, China, Iran, North Korea and they will suddenly become good guys!

      Either way it changes nothing.

  29. End the embargo.

    End the drug war.

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