« Your New Car Smell Open Thread | Main | I don't know if I can keep watching Brooklyn Nine Nine »

December 17, 2014

Comments

What Ugh said.

Yeah, what Ugh said. But:

But not with Cuba because....why?

I've always got the impression that there is a block of cuban ex-pats that made normalizing relations politically fraught in a swing state with a lot of electoral votes.

Dunno if there is much truth to that, its just what I've been told.

Also I wouldn't be surprised if people coming of age around the time of the cuban missile crisis let that sour their view on Cuba more than Vietnam or China.

The only rationale for the Cuban embargo, certainly after the first decade or so, was electoral politics. With the old guard passing from the scene, any their descendents no longer as fanatical about the old country, things are finally changing on that front. And, therefore, on the diplomatic/economic policy front. About bloody well time.

For those who care about such things, returning to vaguely normal relations is probably the step most likely to get the current Cuban government replaced with something more sensible. After all, a big prop for the Castros has been that all their people's economic troubles were the fault of the US embargo. If that slips....

A lot of the hard-core anti-Castro emigres are dying off. It was a long time, at this point.

Whatever the reason, it's about time.

I will be discussing vacation plans with my wife shortly....

If sapient and marty were making a practical point then I agree--it's highly unlikely that CIA torturers will be prosecuted if the majority of Americans think they did the right thing. If they're making a moral argument, then dr. ngo is right.

One doesn't really have to bring the Nazis into it anyway. I can think of several Western democracies off the top of my head which have committed massive human rights violations and no high ranking official ever goes to jail for them.
About the only time a high ranking official is brought to trial is when a dictator is overthrown, either by his own people or by invaders. Dictators oppress their own, which leaves them with few friends if they lose power, but democracies that abuse human rights usually abuse those of foreigners or non-voters or second class citizens of the wrong ethnicity or religion, and these policies are often popular. Democracies have a lousy record of self-policing because the voters are implicated in the crimes, so many or most deny that any crimes were committed.

I've always got the impression that there is a block of cuban ex-pats that made normalizing relations politically fraught in a swing state with a lot of electoral votes.

Right. Thus documenting another insanity of the U.S.'s current political system. If the Presidency were determined by a nationwide popular vote, this insanity would have died long ago. Vietnam and China benefited from geographic dispersion (among other things).

Good grief. Wrong thread. Gotta cut and paste.

About time.

Plus, this a shot by Obama across the twin bows of the worldwide conservative kleptocracy yearning for a return to the violent nuclear deterred past, headed by the murderous Vladimir Putin and our murderous internal enemy, the Republican Party.

I love this.

First, let's note that some people who really shouldn't have been imprisoned have at last been let go. That swap alone should have occurred years ago.

Second, our policy has been insane. and any steps to make it rational are to be welcomed. Maybe the embargo can go. I hope so. While it isn't the only source of Cuba's economic problems - or even the main source - it still hurts a lot. Europe and Canada notwithstanding, the inability to have significant trade with a very large very wealthy country right next door is not a good thing.

And who it hurts is ordinary Cubans.

Let me add one thing. If you get a chance to go, do it. The sooner the better.

It appears that Cuba has recently relaxed its own travel restrictions, which prevented most citizens from leaving the country unless they left hostages to assure their return, and outright banned escape by political dissidents. And the Cuban government seems to actually be making good on the change.

So I can't say I object to a reciprocal opening of relations, now that we're not talking about relations with a 42 thousand square mile prison camp.

OTOH, since none of the *statutes* legally mandating the embargo of Cuba have actually been repealed, we're back at the same old problem: Just because you, or in this case, I, think something a good idea, does not mean the President is legally entitled to do it in defiance of black letter law.

As far as I can tell, the President carefully stopped well short of touching anything that is defined in law. (The headlines about relaxing, or even "abolishing", the embargo notwithstanding.) The only way the embargo gets lifted is for Congress to change the law.

Unfortunately, after Mr Obama's actions, changing the law would constitute giving him a "win." Which almost certainly means that it is a non-starter during the next Congress. Other considerations don't even appear, once that factor arises.

I have to agree with wj completely, that it will be politically impossible for Congress to lift the Cuban embargo (or anything else that would constitute supporting Obama on Cuba). Do those of you who are more tuned in to conservative news and views see any way that Republicans could come around on this issue?

So I can't say I object to a reciprocal opening of relations, now that we're not talking about relations with a 42 thousand square mile prison camp.

Brett,

Are you aware that the US had diplomatic relations with most or all of the various Iron Curtain countries, including East Germany, which had a, shall we say, unfriendly attitude towards would-be emigres?

Pre-1941 we also had an embassy in Germany which, I hope you'll agree, had a considerably worse human rights record than Cuba.

This is a wise and good step proving once again that Obama is head and shoulders above his mysteriously unknown and unmentioned predecessor.

I will be discussing vacation plans with my wife shortly....

The last time I looked into a trip to Cuba was in 1970 with the Venceremos Brigade. Amazingly, they are still around.

Maybe they will help you find some good lodgings.

It will be interesting to see how the opening up of Cuba to the US will unfold. I sure hope they find a way to hang on to their terrific health care system.

Viva la revolucion!

Ur liberal media:

NYtimes Editorial.

WaPo Editorial.

Essentially, diametrically opposed.

Do those of you who are more tuned in to conservative news and views see any way that Republicans could come around on this issue?

Cut off Limbaugh's supply of Cuban cigars. That will get it done.

Maybe they will help you find some good lodgings.

I have some Cuban buddies who still have family there. Maybe I can crash with them!

Hey, let's all go to Cuba right now. Make sure you hang in until the girls get up. Gracias, maestro Puntilla Rios.

As before, Americans can travel for 12 approved non-tourism reasons — to visit family, educational, religious, trade and more — basically any purpose that's not lying on the beach.
What Cuba changes mean to travelers, including cigars

The irredentists in Florida still cling to the idea that someday, somehow, the Revolution will be undone, and the property deed to the old family estancia, or to six prime commercial sites in downtown Havana, will be honored by throwing out the current occupants.

Maybe the embargo can go. I hope so. While it isn't the only source of Cuba's economic problems - or even the main source - it still hurts a lot. Europe and Canada notwithstanding, the inability to have significant trade with a very large very wealthy country right next door is not a good thing.

Actually, Europe and Canada have been severely restricted in terms of investment in Cuba too (cf the Helms-Burton Act: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helms–Burton_Act ) - a good example of the US imposing its prejudices extra-territorially.

While there is little to love about the Cuban regime, it is no worse than that of many countries the US and its allies are quite happy to do business with.
The embargo is possibly the world's longest sulk ?

The embargo is possibly the world's longest sulk?

Hissy fit? Tantrum? Act of Cowardice? Dick move?

Hissy fit? Tantrum? Act of Cowardice? Dick move?

I think sulk fits best.

Difficult to have a several decades long tantrum, but such a sulk is quite achievable - cf former UK prime minister Heath's behaviour towards his successor Thatcher, which was a running joke for a couple of decades.

Other than perhaps being involved in the assassination of John Kennedy and providing the muscle for Richard Nixon's Watergate thuggery, what has the Cuban lobby done for the Republican Party that the latter is so vociferously stubborn about the former's interests in maintaining the embargo?

The Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund, traded on the NYSE and created a number of years ago to capitalize on the eventual opening of Cuba, is trading up 33 percent since Obama's announcement.

I guess there are some market signals that fall on Republicans' conveniently deaf ears.

Surely, Cuba will be a better place when there is free choice between the Big Mac, the Baconater, and the Whopper.

I'll take the Cubano with plantains on the side

what has the Cuban lobby done for the Republican Party that the latter is so vociferously stubborn about the former's interests in maintaining the embargo?

Existed in the swingiest of swing states:
http://www.270towin.com/states/Florida

Now that North Korea (the Pauline Kael/Roger Ebert of totalitarian state movie reviewers) has mercifully given "The Interview" five thumbs down, saving each and every American $10 (like a tax cut, right?), think what they could have saved the viewing public when "Ishtar"' "Heaven's Gate", and "Mars Needs Moms" were unleashed upon us.

Count, think of North Korean reaction to The Interview as a demonstration that the US has not achieved a monopoly on national sulks, tantrums, etc. In fact, it has set a standard that we may find difficult to beat -- just one more place that America is not #1.

Woohoo! Who needs a crewmember for the next Havana Cup?

Do those of you who are more tuned in to conservative news and views see any way that Republicans could come around on this issue?

I've always wondered about those who call themselves "libertarians" but are happy to support laws that prevent American citizens from traveling to Cuba if they feel like it.

I always thought the travel embargo was a conspiracy by Jamaica, the Bahamas, and other Caribbean vacation destinations because Cuba has better beaches. Since the travel embargo remains in place, I could still be correct.


It's useless to make fun of North Korea -- as if any satire could top the truth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_Sang-ok

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulgasari

sleepyjean,

I always thought the travel embargo was a conspiracy by Jamaica, the Bahamas, and other Caribbean vacation destinations because Cuba has better beaches. Since the travel embargo remains in place, I could still be correct.

I doubt it's a conspiracy, but the tourist businesses in those places must be looking over their shoulders very nervously.

Cuba is big. It's four times the size of Jamaica and the Bahamas put together, and more than six times the land area of Hawaii. The Virgin Islands are dots by comparison.

It is no accident that new hotels are popping up in Havana.

Brett: "So I can't say I object to a reciprocal opening of relations, now that we're not talking about relations with a 42 thousand square mile prison camp."

Considering that the right supports many, many governments which make the Cuban government look mild, I'll file this accordingly.

There are prison camps on cuba? Do they torture people there ?

Any country which does that should be shunned by the rest of the world.

On an only marginally related note. I keep seeing this graph, from a February report by the Atlantic Council, showing a majority of Democrats, of independents, and of Republicans favoring normalizing relations with Cuba. But that was back in February.

I really hope the rerun the poll, asking exactly the same question in exactly the same words. Because I will be fascinated to see how much that pro-normalization percentage drops among Republicans, simply because Obama has done something in that direction.

Not because I think all Republicans reflexively oppose anything that Obama favors. But nobody can argue that there are not some out there. And it would be interesting to see just how big that group actually is. (So we can give over speculative arguing about it, and actually have some data.)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad