As if things weren't difficult enough for people in Cuba, given the extreme shortages of food and other necessities like toilet paper they experience on a daily basis, the United States today announced that lifting the US blockade would be "a great disservice" to the Cuban people.
No, I'm not kidding. According to CNN
U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said Wednesday it would be a "great disservice" for the Cuban people if the United States eased restrictions on economic and political ties with the island in the post-Fidel Castro era.
"Cuba is at a critical point in its history," Gutierrez said. "The country is poised for change. The policy of the Bush administration has been to help the Cuban people achieve their freedom through democratic change."
The United States, he said, must not legitimize a successor regime by "helping it maintain its tight grip over the Cuban people."
Does that make any sense? Providing humanitarian aid will legitimate "a successor regime"? Wow.
CNN describes Guitterez as "co-chairman of an official commission that has made recommendations for Cuba policy that will be adopted after Castro passes from the scene." Wikipedia does better: he's a Cuban born son of a pineapple plantation owner who later became CEO of Kellogg's and was a Bush cabinet loyalist. In other words, when Castro dies he hopes he can return to Cuba and reclaim his family's estate as if the past 48 years had been just a bad dream.
According to Guitterez
The embargo is not the problem or the solution," Gutierrez said. "The problem is the repressive communist system. The solution is to change the system."
In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday that previewed his speech, Gutierrez said, "Now isn't the time to ease the restrictions" on U.S. with Cuba.
Yeah, that's right. The 48-year long embargo, mini-invasions, exploding cigars, none of them has worked to bring regime change to Cuba. But you know what? The US has to stay the course. Where have we heard this before?