Kin-ming Liu at PostGlobal

Kin-ming Liu

Hong Kong

Former Washington-based columnist for The Hong Kong Standard, The New York Sun, and Insight on the News, an online weekly published by The Washington Times. Covered economic and political relations between the United States and East Asia, with an emphasis on China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Former chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists' Association. Currently a business executive at a Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong. Close.

Kin-ming Liu

Hong Kong

Former Washington-based columnist for The Hong Kong Standard, The New York Sun, and Insight on the News, an online weekly published by The Washington Times. more »

Main Page | Kin-ming Liu Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Treat Cuba Like China

If trading with Communist China is supposed to pave the way to political freedom, then why not with Communist Cuba?

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All Comments (60)

Jose Carlos Magno MD:

Mr LIU.America is not a country.America is a corporation.They dont respond but to anything that is of interest to their political survival.Elections and political differences with such close margins,the caucasian Cubans in Florida control our foreign policy towards Cuba.Some day they will realise that there is no "going back"to the good old days,and be able to fill their pockets again.This is another world.A much smaller world,and WE ARE ALL FORCED TO PLAY TOGETHER LIKE IT OR NOT.

jkoch:

Cuba belongs to a few septuagenarians and octogenarians in Miami and Jersey City. No one else qualifies to have anything to do with the island. The day Fidel dies and Raúl cuts a secret deal with the oldsters, then the issue of "normalization" or "democracy" will wither faster than last week's bananas. The exiles want first bid on all shorefront properties, gaming franchises, and an excise on any dollar that enters or leaves the economy. It might be nice to have someone from a certified old family appointed to an interim government, but (at second thought) a "controlled" system like China's might be more amenable to the pocketbook. After all, elections yielded so much trouble in the 1940s. Better to immitate the "corporate governance" that lets those at the top grab what they can, independent of what those at the bottom are able to scrounge. Maybe there will be a market for Cuban MDs and LPNs to look after aging boomers who retire to Varadero.

estmac:

To change the policy toward Cuba, first we need to have overthere the same money-making oportunities China has. Second: To change Florida's political influence, as a pre-condition for a change: Keep the embargo or loss the state's elections, and this is a very strong motivation...
How many years a policy needs to fail to be considered WRONG and change it.
Our allies and neighbors are investing and negotiating all kind of deals in Cuba, where the US investors use to do, and they are helping the Cuban economic as well as the US use to do in the past...We has been REPLACED! Who are the big lossers?

Anonymous:

Liu said: ".....the case in China where free trade has, so far, failed to bring any magic."

Really????

I see that the free trade already transformed
China from a Stalinist country into the most capitalism society in the world.

Mr. Liu, I read quite a few of your posts.
You have the habit of sneak in some unproven statements in the end of your post, and lose your credibility.

American Observer:

Demitri says:

"Cuba doesn’t have to turn into the Cayman Islands in order to provide economic opportunity for its citizens."

American Observer replies:

Dimitri, I explained at great length how Castro has spent fifty years training the Cuban people in the Communist lifestyle of stealing, cheating, and avoiding labor, and I challenged you to offer any reason to believe that Cuba will not follow the Bulgarian path. Instead of talking about the experience of other post-Communist countries, you have started to refer to the Cayman Islands, whose experience has been so different for so long. Instead of trying to blame Cuba's past and future on the Yankees, why not look at the obvious models? Even if America wanted to preserve Cuba's -- 'sense of national pride and culture' -- the eagerness of ordinary Cubans to sell their bodies should remind us how hungry and desperate fifty years of Castro have made them. Communist societies are only held together by lies and raw violence, and once the regime is no longer able or willing to keep the lies and violence going, the house of cards falls very quickly. Unless America actually decides to give the Cuban regime billions in dollars in subsidies the way the Soviets did, then Cuba is certain to follow the Bulgarian path.

American Observer:

Demitri argues:

"You can certainly gather from his writings that he sympathized with socialist ideals and the promise of an egalitarian society, but make no mistake that his goal was not to spread socialist revolution but rather to continue the struggle for national and cultural independence."

American Observer replies:

None of that explains why Casto made Cuba into a lackey of the Soviet Empire, and none of that explains why Castro invaded Africa to spread Marxism.

Dimitri says:

"I have absolutely no reason to believe or expect the Cubans to resist a capitalist model, but I certainly don’t think we should go back to the days of Meyer Lansky type economic prost!tut!on."

American Observer replies:

Dimitri, it is funny that you should refer to pr*st!tut!on. As you know, Castro's Cuba has very little to give the world, and many of the European and Canadian tourists who go there every year are actually going to enjoy the tens of thousands of Cuban 'jinetarias' who will sell their bodies for trivial sums of money. Experts all agree that Castro's definition of "cultural integrity" has turned Cuba into the wh*rehouse of the Caribean.

American Observer:

Demitri says:

" I also think that the historical record provides adequate evidence to support the assertion that if Eisenhower’s administration had not taken such a hard line with Castro and permitted him to try and institute some of the socialist reforms that he had in mind without demanding that he prostitute his country as Batista and his predecessors had done, then we may have not seen the nationalization of every piece of property in Cuba. "

American Observer replies:

That is also a historical fantasy. Castro insists on owning every scrap of land in Cuba for the same reason that Stalin insisted on owning every scrap of land in the Soviet Empire, and for the same reason that Mao Zedong insisted on owning every scrap of land in the Chinese Empire. If Castro had tolerated any private business in Cuba, then some Cubans would have become richer than other Cubans, and those rich Cubans might have created political organizations which became rivals for power or influence. By keeping complete control of every farm or enterprise in Cuba, Castro has been able to sustain the fantasy that all Cubans are his children, eating at his table, and Castro has been able to portray himself as a sort of God on earth. Castro did not inflict Communism on Cuba because Eisenhower forced him to do it; instead, Castro inflicted Communism on Cuba because only Communism would give him the power and cult of personality that his egotism demanded.

It is easy to prove this. After all, Cuba has had trade with Canada and Europe for a quarter of a century now, but Castro has not used this as a chance to create the kind of 'mixed economy' you seem to have in mind; instead, any time any group of small farmers or small businessmen become successful, Castro simply denounces these farmers and small businessmen as 'new bourgouis' and breaks them. If you don't know anything about Cuban history, go look it up.

American Observer:

Demitri says:

"It is an indisputable fact that American imperial meddling in Cuba is not only indirectly
responsible for the trajectory of Cuban history over the past 100 years, but also directly
responsible for the brutal dictatorships that preceded Castro since we occupied the island in 1898."

American Observer replies:

Actually, there is nothing 'indisputable' about it. Cuban history has been brutal since the Carib Indians hunted down and killed and ate the Arawak Indians; Cuban history has been brutal since the Spanish massacred both sets of Indians; Cuban history has been brutal since the Spanish imported hundreds of thousands of African slaves and worked them to death; and Cuban history has been brutal since the Spanish Empire spent hundreds of years ruling its white settlers and black slaves with an iron hand and the world's first concentration camps. Cuban history would have been brutal if the United States of America had never existed. In fact, if America had never existed, Cuba might still be a colony of Spain, and there is every reason to believe that if Cuba had achieved independence on its own, Cuba would still be ruled by some dictator of the right or the left according to the patterns set down by the Caribs or the Spanish.

Bruce Remick:

I can't believe we can send diplomats and a philharmonic orchestra to North Korea, while totally isolating Cuba. We have become "good friends" with our past wartime enemies within ten years after hostilities ended, while our attitude toward Cuba has not changed for the positive in 50 years. While we shun Cuba as a Communist country with its human rights violations, we seek relations with all other Communist countries as well as several other dictatorships with histories of human rights violations.

In my opinion, opening Cuba to US travel and trade would expose the people to US freedoms and opportunities and would be more apt to encourage the Cuban people to demanding a "piece of the pie". Instead we continue to isolate Cuba and their government uses this to galvanize the people against any positive influence the US might be able to exert.


Anonymous:

There was never any exception for China, or Vietnam or any other countries in the world that the United States trade with. Nixon opened up to China because it was counterbalance against the USSR. Vietnam was another piece on the chessboard, this time against China. Who can Cuba be used against? no one except the US.

thopaine:

One of the major impediments to a reasonable relationship with Cuba is the Roman catholic church.
Castro reclaimed lands of fabulous wealth which had ended up titled to the catholic church.

This made the church very angry and they remain pissed off to date.

Isn't religion wonderful?

mo:

No. Treat China like cuba

bloggod:

definitely lift the embargo.


talk about a relic of foreign policy! and what did clinton do to advance influence with cuba? oh, nafta with everyone else was good enough.

lots of loose money will buy their hearts-n-minds, and addiction to our culture.


want to destroy them?

get a good dose of OUR form of democracy.

el Cubanto:

Anonymous, its too bad we are fools, if we were smart we would have made Cuba and South Florida the 51 state 49 years ago.

Anonymous:

The fools residing in South Florida have hijacked the United States for fifty years. A Democratic president should normalize relations with Cuba. These lemmings vote 99.9% for the GOP anyway--it's not like they will make a difference.

Anonymous:

The fools residing in South Florida have hijacked the United States for fifty years. A Democratic president should normalize relations with Cuba. These lemmings vote 99.9% for the GOP anyway--it's not like they matter.

jimbo:

Bushie can't sell us to Cuba...they don't have enough money. They cannot do anything for us - thats the U.S Governments mentality. All these years of this stupid embargo. Get rid of it ..It has not succeeded. There must be Cubans here that would want to return to their own country if they could. We could travel there and enjoy their beaches. We could help the Cuban people. Boggles the mind how we can trade with China and Vietnam but not with Cuba. These old men running our Government will never make any changes unless they are forced to. They need more than Viagra to make them perform.. Time to let our voices be heard . The Cold War has been over a long time.. The Berlin Wall is down...Drop the Embargo and start helping the Cuban people.

Mike Cyrus:

America should be ashamed for what we have done to the Cuban people with our terrible trade embargo against the tiny island nation dating back decades. Especially when you consider that our greed does not allow us to apply such an embargo across the board with communist states. And we wonder why Ralph Nader would spoil a national election.

Rob:

I praise Mr Kong for the sharpness of his statetment. Ergo the double standard of US foreign policy is exposed once more.

Dr. O:

The Brothers Castro did their absolute best to get their hands on nuclear warheads to blackmail the USA... JFK faced down Kruschev in a very near nuclear war in order to block the brothers...
No President since then has forgotten that and none will.. Apparently, you are incapable of remembering or comprehending...

gofoward:

Cuba is a dictatorship - one person makes all the rules, handles all the money and controls work/supplies/life/incarceration/death.

China was a dictatorship. Before the US normalized trade relations to MFN and voted for WTO status, Mao had passed away and China had a one-party socialist system run by many, with regional goverments that have gained increasing power (i.e. federalism). The US had the foundations of federalism prior to our declaration of independence, e.g. 13 colonies, Latin America, including Cuba, hadn't during their initial revolutions.

Trading with China feeds a growing federalist system, growing middle class, increases global communiations and means to travel/college education outside China, transparency to world, etc.

Trading with Cuba feeds Castro (Fidel, possibly now Raul). As someone mentioned, 75% of world economy is free to trade with Cuba, yet Cuba has gone nearly starving and bankrupt (as the Euro's laugh at us on the beach - helping in what way?). More money for Castro means more power for him and means to do what he wants. He slowed down, then stopped advancing guerilla wars in Africa and Central America when there wasn't enough money.

The Cuban Floridians may have made the most of their numbers and a democratic system. All the more reason to head their words and actions. They know all about Cuba. They know all about Castro. They lived under a one-man rule. It's sweet to not have to experience their struggle.

Perhaps we can at last respect it.

John Gelles:

We second the motion of Kin-ming Liu. Treat Cuba like China--in matters of trade and visitation.

Miguel Hechavarria:

I have no words to say how much I agree with your article. I was born and lived 32 years in Cuba and only 10 years living in Canada. I want to see some common-sense decisions made by US politicians before I die.

God Bless America!


excuse me:

Excuse me, EXCUSE ME!

There's a flag on the lower left side of the WAPO online. And it isn't ISRAEL'S FLAG!

What's going on here. Is there interest in anything else in the world by the Post than Israel? Not likely. And of course there's a headline for a Jewish columnist, Melman. But only one, today. Usually there's more.

Have people protested? Interest in Cuba, indeed.
Who's Cuba?
The Post must have new editors or something. Or new ownership.

excuse me:

Excuse me, EXCUSE ME!

There's a flag on the lower left side of the WAPO online. And it isn't ISRAEL'S FLAG!

What's going on here. Is there interest in anything else in the world by the Post than Israel? Not likely. And of course there's a headline for a Jewish columnist, Melman. But only one, today. Usually there's more.

Have people protested? Interest in Cuba, indeed.
Who's Cuba?
The Post must have new editors or something.

Jim :

I have felt for decades that the way to end the absurdity of our relationship with Cuba is to open the economic and cultural systems to the degree practical and let the overwhelming economic differences between the USA and Cuba be the driving force in change for Cuba. Castro and his subsequent minions fear it...By allowing them to promote his agenda of absurdities by continuing the isolation we have promoted for decades does nothing to facilitate change...There are three basic ways to destroy or permenantly alter despots...Their own meglomania, economic genius or military superiority. The economic war we can so easily win with Cuba will be over in months if allowed to happen with a reasonable political relationship...The Cubans that hate so feverently, need to move on just like other immigrant peoples have had to since the beginning of history when they were wronged. We should not continue something that is not working...Get economically even and not focus on emotional vindicication. Hugo Chavez's hubris, ego and reliance on credit based merchatilism will do him in...He is a crude oil paper tiger will eventually be his undoing and he knows it. You can only promise so much and starve the people you are promising so much for so long, before even the most uneducated become disgusted with the latest version of lies and corrupt promises. The emotional reaction to Hugo the Horrible is more disturbing emotionally to me personally than the fear of what he is not really capable of doing or delivering...The reality of what he is capable of actually doing and the long term reality of his dictatorship is laughable. When the Venezelanos get over the hate they have against the corrupt leaders they have suffered under for decades and finally realize that corruption is color blind, that Mother Venezuela is not going to take care of them in perpetutity, that they need to work and earn and save and be willing to fight and die for democratic reforms and not immediate feel good solutions then finally what should be the Singapore or Hong Kong of the West will finally appear and occur rather than the Nigeria of the West that they actually are. After Chavez finishes running PDVSA into the ground his power grab and money transfer will come to an end. If he would actually quit selling oil to the USA and the USA would force CITGO to be sold to anyone that was friendly to the USA we would have to at least to some degree either find alternative crude oil sources or workable alternative energy sources...Perhaps just perhaps this might be the straw that breaks the back of the insistence we have on crude oil and open real...REAL DOORS to alternative energy sources...And then Castro's rein of terror and Hugo the Horrible's populist, mercantilist rein will be over quicker than we ever thought possible. And yes they are tied together and the only country that can keep Hugo and Fidel alive is China by purchasing their crude exports and I think even the Venezelanos will have trouble swallowing that pill...

Dawson:

I totally agree with the article. We are hurting the Cuban people much more with this cold war type of action. Open trade, let our businesses compete for the market. Let the Cuban people profit from this as well. Sooner or later business and free market will take over.

Its just too bad our political leaders can't get their heads out of the seating position and look to the future. But on the other hand, China has lots of cheap labor and can loan the kids on the hill lots of money to play with.

h.gao:

Washington should try to achieve that Cuba to become America's 51st state?
American neo-con would be very glad to count you Hongkongness as their pal.

American Observer:

Some people have suggested that America should help Cuba follow the Chinese path the way we have been helping the Chinese since the nineteen-seventies. I wish we could. However, there are deep and basic differences between Cuba today and China in 1978.

Instead, the best way to understand the Cuban situation is to look at the present situation of countries which were in the same situation as Cuba. Where should we look for examples? Some people suggest that Cuba should follow China. However China, Vietnam, Hungary, and Poland were able to move rapidly to market economies because true Communism had only lasted for a generation or so before 'market reforms' began. Thus, there was still a large pool of people who remembered how to function in a capitalist society, and they were able to get a new economy moving within just a few years. Other countries, such as Russia and Romania, had true Communism for much longer, and those societies spent ten or fifteen years floundering before they began to get their economies in order. Which society does Cuba resemble?

Cuba has had total Communism for fifty years. The last capitalist generations are mostly dead, and the people of Cuba have spent fifty years learning to steal and make excuses and avoid work. If you want to know where Cuba will be in fifteen years, just look at where Bulgaria is today. Sophisticated observers agree that Cuba is doomed to follow the Bulgarian path. I wish I could give a happier prediction, but I cannot.

John Doh!:

The US may not say what it means, but everyone should be able to figure it out. What makes Cuba different from China? Two immutable differences. Cuba is small, and geopolitically/economically unimportant, and Cuba is 90 miles from the US. I'm not saying embargo is a good idea. I think it's not. But comparing China and Cuba is like saying night should be day for the US perspective. Human rights and communism, that's just the window dressing in front of the realpolitik.

Matt H:

Great post Mr. Liu. Fully agree that we need a change in Cuban-American policy. This is becoming the "Hatfield-McCoy Feud" of intra-American relations. Were continuing a fight that most can hardly remember why it started, that doesn't make sense in the context of the rest of US foreign policy, and is seemingly carried on thru the force of its own momentum.

Karl:

I've been wondering for years why we embargo a small non-threatening totalitarian communist state, while trading with a dangerous totalitarian communist state that threatens us both militarily and economically.

YES:

This is all pandering to the old guard of the Cuban exiles who dreamed to go back to Cuba and take over the ruins of its economy. But time goes on, old people die, and the young must live.

Enough of the stupid embargo that achieves nothing.

saeed:

as far as fidel castro regime is concerned,i think he was a person,rather he is still a person who could see into the eyes of his rivals.and so fer his govt is concerned he was not dictatornor he imposed his force unlawfully.this we can see from his tenure that from 1959,people loved him and he remained the properous ruler of cuba.another point that free trader should be there among the countries which cause the harmony through out the world.

suresh sheth:

US experiment with China proves that trade does not lead to political liberation. China continues to be a single party Communist dictatorship while adopting capitalist economic system. Nixon-Reagan-Bush liberalization of trade with China has created another Communist rival to challenge US power. One experiment gone awry is good enough.

JRK4:


This authors logic is double-edged. The other edge says.... boycott China like Cuba.

Anonymous:

bb, you're another self important moron know-it-all who would rather cut off your nose to spite your face. The 50 years of embargo has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

What are you smoking?:

What are you smoking Mr. Lui? Don't you understand the politic in this country? Just tell everyone that you have a grudge with China and everyone would understand it. I hate to see you suffer through it. Just let it out of the closet. It will make you feel better.

mascmen7:

It is all about the old crazed Miami Cubans who fled Castro instead of fighting him. Political blackmail by Miami defeated Romney by 55,000 votes for McCain. Pandering and elections are reason no change will occur until older Miami Cubans all die.

bb:

Did you think at a ll of the expropriated American property in Cuba and the long history of anti-American antagonism from the Island. Intelligent people will recognize that a comparison with China, a Global super-power, is severely flawed. Furthermore, there is the possibility that Vietnam's regularized relations are more due to our own sense of guilt than anything else. Sack this moron and get someone on here worth reading.

A. Mitrani:

Could not agree more. The only reason why the current policy toward Cuba has been consistently followed despite any lack of results for which it was allegedly adopted, is due to the opposition to change by the powerful ex-Cuban minority in Florida. Politicians are not ready to lose votes and would rather continue the policy than risk loss of votes. No one can articulate why it is O.K. to trade with communist China (and not just recent trade) but should be a taboo for Cuba. What could possibly result from the embargo and if so, why has it not resulted yet? Why should this not end?

Relieved:

At long last, one sensible idea, nay solution, to "Who Lost Cuba?" from across the Pacific!

Chris Brown:

I couldn't agree more. However, USA Cuban policy has nothing at all to do with "Intellectual honesty and policy consistency".

It is all about the substantial numbers of electoral college votes in Florida and New Jersey over which rich Cuban exiles (many former oligarchs) exercise an inordinate amount of influence through their generous campaign contributions.

Gregg:

Just like laws here at home we are trying to put prohibition on Cuba. If we legalize marijuana and open trade with Cuba, then tax it appropriately..how much money do we make..Americans can then enjoy a good Cuban cigar (none better anywhere in the world!), and a doobie. we could then enjoy our life in the US go out and spend some money on a bite to eat and go home and pay more taxes to support our Governments Imperial objectives?

Jhtlag:

This is one of those arguments that no one really cares about anymore other than to save face by declaring "we won."

So here's a solution. The US government can claim that CIA agents poisoned Fidel Castro and that is why he is stepping down, in fact, the CIA agent was non other than Raul himself. We declare victory and the south Floridan voting constituency (wink, wink) can party late into the night.

No problem, just give me a call anytime.

Jhtlag:

This is one of those arguments that no one really cares about anymore other than to save face by declaring "we won."

So here's a solution. The US government can claim that CIA agents poisoned Fidel Castro and that is why he is stepping down, in fact, the CIA agent was non other than Raul himself. We declare victory and the south Floridan voting constituency (wink, wink) can party late into the night.

No problem, just give me a call anytime.

Anonymous:

You are either a fool or just writing this article for money. Go back to school to take or retake Politics 101. Have you ever heard of the saying “All politics are local”? All politics are local, no matter it is Cuba or China or the moon or Mars. Our Cuba policy has more to do with our own internal politics than Cuba itself, the same as to that of China. Go to Florida and talk to the people there and you’ll know what I mean.

Derek:

The comparison with China is a false one. China is a regional power with aspirations to become a global superpower. China also holds a sizable percentage of the world's population. Disengagement is not an option.

Cuba's primary role in geopolitics was as a Soviet outpost in the Western Hemisphere. Its lack of importance is precisely why the U.S. government can afford to maintain sanctions against a disliked regime.

While votes in Florida play a role, Castro has taken every opportunity to make a nuisance of himself to the United States, from snubbing us at the UN to emptying his prisons onto our shores. It is not surprising the the U.S. is in no hurry to normalize relations until he is gone.

Eric:

Maybe the U.S. should treat China more like Cuba

horsham:

This Kin-ming Liu guy never makes sense. His hatred towards China spills over on every subject. Using China as an example for Cuba saying that trade will liberalize Cuban society, but in the same breath claiming that trading with China has not positively impact China at all just brainfartingly illogical. There are thousands commentators who are more qualified than Kin-min Liu to provide opinions on subjects like that, and WoPo should simply drop this pathetic beanhead.

Walter:

That Fidel is retiring on his own terms to country life after 49 years in power signals the utter and complete failure of the embargo. Nevertheless the embargo will continue. First the embargo is not foreign policy but domestic. It placates the Miami Cubans and any politician who promotes it will win those 850,000 votes even though the Miami crowd is no longer a monolithic anti-Fidel bloc. To know the importance of 850,000 votes remember that Bush won Florida by 500 plus votes. Second the U.S is still hurt that it has almost no influence over a country only 90 miles away from Key West and will continue to insist on influence any way it can. The embargo has given Cuba the external enemy it so very much needs on which to hang its economic failure. It has kept Fidel in power and will do the same for Raul. But it helps here and that is all that really matters.

Derek:

Blame Miami and the Cuban-American National Foundation. The 25 electoral votes from Florida are just too much to trade in favor of a sensible Cuba policy. Cuba is insignificant to policymakers, the President, and to the public at large. That is the only reason why this nonsensical policy continues.

Jack:

Why we are running a huge trade deficit with China and the negative impact it will have on the financial future of all Americans is a much better topic for discussion than the Cuban issue.
If the dollar continues to slide it will be American business trying to exploit rich markets in Europe and China - we will be the low cost leaders and that could happen very quickly. Viet Nam can't regulate its theft of intellectual property - so it can't really create a software industry of its own, ditto for Israel.

Roy:

That's right. Rich Cuban exiles have had unprecedented powers in manipulating US policy in Cuba. After all, they elected Georgie's brother Jebbie who overthrew the 2000 election for his brother like the two-bit banana republic these people came from in the first place.

Dora:

What treat really is Cuba? They don't have nuclear weapons , they do not have big war ships to attack us and our security is not in jeopardy from this small island. So is this just because of big pressure from Cuban Americans or for benefits of Republicans?
This embargo makes no sense. Cuban Americans travel there with no fear, many people take other venues to visit that country and these embargo looks like a joke. Europeans laugh at us from Cuban beaches.

Sam:

You're a fool!! This is not about "intellectual honesty" or "freedom"! This is about votes in Florida!! We can't lift the embargo, how can I get elected if I don't win Florida??

- Every Presidental candidate since 1956.

Chris Brown:

I couldn't agree more. However, USA Cuban policy has nothing at all to do with "Intellectual honesty and policy consistency".

It is all about the substantial numbers of electoral college votes in Florida and New Jersey over which rich Cuban exiles (many former oligarchs) exercise an inordinate amount of influence through their generous campaign contributions.

Chris Brown:

I couldn't agree more. However, USA Cuban policy has nothing at all to do with "Intellectual honesty and policy consistency".

It is all about the substantial numbers of electoral college votes in Florida and New Jersey over which rich Cuban exiles (many former oligarchs) exercise an inordinate amount of influence through their generous campaign contributions.

Barry:

That will never be acceptable. It makes too much sense!

Vic:

Same with Vietnam. The US normalized relations with Vietnam over a decade ago with the same premise, yet refuses to do so with Cuba - but how many Americans lost their lives in the jungles of Vietnam, and how many on the beaches of Cuba?

And yes, Vietnam still remains a communist country and yes, teh rest of the world has been doing business with Cuba and can travel to/from the country, except Americans, where most of the Cuban community outside of Cuba (i.e. those who can make the most impactfull change) resides.

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