On Cuba, Obama’s Ignorance Stunning
December 24, 2014
Astonishing ignorance about the U.S. embargo on Cuba of President Barack Obama, leading Democrats, and even most Republicans has me thinking about the book The Lord of the Flies. A group of uninformed, undisciplined, immature young boys lacking in life experience try to form a government marooned on a deserted island. Ignorance flows freely in Washington, D.C., mixed with historical illiteracy.
Cuba has always had the power to lift the U.S. embargo at any time by fulfilling the conditions, much like Dorothy clicking her ruby slippers together and saying “There’s no place like home.”
To be relieved of the sanctions, Cuba is required to (1) stop Cuba’s military interventions in Africa and Central America fomenting violent communist revolutions, (2) pay restitution totaling about $7 billion for property that Cuba stole from U.S. citizens and businesses, and (3) hold multi-party elections. Of course, Cuba’s military adventures have mostly stopped already, anyway, after the Soviet Union collapsed and stopped sending money to Cuba to finance international imperialism.
Of course, there are also sanction laws that apply generally around the world to countries designated as major sponsors of terrorism and also human rights abusers. Cuba is guilty of both and should be sanctioned the same as other countries would be. But that is separate and distinct from the embargo. Obama is dropping those sanctions also, against the weight of evidence.
Yet the “Hate America First” crowd spins their assumptions that the embargo is nothing more than a childish grudge driven by U.S. petulance and pettiness over the Cuban Revolution. Seeing everything through their “America is always at fault” sunglasses, liberals usually reduce complex and important issues down to kindergarten logic.
Barack Obama and other liberals say we should let go of issues that happened before we were born. An anonymous internet commenter asks if this should also include slavery and discrimination (which of course happened under the Democrats). Should America “move on” beyond things that happened before we were born on those topics, also?
Cuba stole about $7 billion of property owned by U.S. citizens during the revolution. Nearly 6,000 American citizens have filed certified claims against the Cuban government with the U.S. State Department. One of the 5,913 claims is from my Great Uncle Manuel, whose home was stolen in the 1950’s. Manuel has passed on, but his immediate family (not my part of the family) are still in line for compensation.
That $7 billion, plus interest, sounds like a lot, but for an entire country, even Cuba, it actually is not that hard for Cuba to pay that much. They have had 55 years to make installment payments. They could work through the list of 5,913 claims one by one. Cuba trades with the rest of the world and has licensed oil exploration by China in Cuban waters in the Gulf of Mexico, in very promising pockets for underwater oil reserves.
Furthermore, the U.S. Government has already relaxed the embargo considerably. As reported in Human Events: “In 2012, encouraged by the lifting of some restrictions, the United States became the main supplier to Cuba of food and agricultural products and was a major supplier of drugs and medical products. According to the U.S. Census data, the export of U.S. products to Cuba was $358 million in 2013 and $464 million in 2012, making the United States the seventh largest trading partner with Cuba.”
Yet two lawyers in D.C. have a plan, according to “Cuba Owes U.S. $7 Billion For ‘Forgotten’ Property Claims, Lawyers Propose 10% User Fee,” by Michael Miller, Miami New Times, March 16, 2012. Attorney Mauricio Tamargo was chairman of the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Foreign Claims Settlement Commission for eight years.
“The whole embargo was started over property being taken from American citizens,” Tamargo and Jason Poblete told the New Times: They say that the 5,913 claims vary from a bicycle commandeered by the rebels in 1958 to large plots of land taken from U.S. companies. “All the commerce going on between Cuba and United States at the moment wasn’t supposed to happen until these claims were settled,” Tamargo explains.
The lawyers propose a 10 percent ‘user fee’ on all business between the U.S.A. and Cuba to pay off the unresolved complaints. Or it could be like tax ‘withholding.’ Such a fee is fair since every person visiting Cuba, enjoying hotels, restaurants, homes, etc. is enjoying stolen property. The hotel you stay in was taken from someone who never got paid for their lost property.
Consider this letter to the editor in The Los Angeles Times: “My mother’s family held one of the many farming concerns nationalized after the revolution for which no compensation was received. Along with many other American citizens who lost property in Cuba, we have a claim filed with the State Department. By law, these claims are to be settled prior to the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba. We hold little hope of recovering much of our claim amount, but do expect just and fair compensation for our land that was taken.”
But, just like his plans for amnesty, President Obama wants to normalize relations with Cuba without requiring Cuba to pay off the claims. We will probably never get Cuba to hold multi-party elections. But at the very least they can pay back what they stole.
How is it that all the nitwits and pinheads in the national news media and in our political leadership don’t seem to know what the embargo on Cuba is about? It is amazing how those running things in Washington don’t seem to know the most basic information about the topics they are working on.
It is also curious that the same liberals who loved the sanctions on South Africa are against the U.S. embargo on Cuba. That is even more curious when we recall that Cuba was sending troops to Africa stirring up violent revolution, and the sanctions on South Africa was part of the communist campaign to convert Africa to colonies of the Soviet Union. Nelson Mandela’s shockingly-violent African National Congress (ANC) was an ally of Cuba’s Fidel Castro. By any measure, the ANC was a terrorist organization, which Cuba supported.
For the many people who are eager to rush to Cuba as tourists, consider this: Try asking who owned the hotel or villa you are staying in or the restaurant you are eating in before it was stolen from the owners without compensation by the Castro family.
— Jonathon Moseley is a co-host on the Conservative Commandos Radio Show broadcasting in Philadelphia on WNJC 1360. He supports his political habit working as a real estate agent and occasional lawyer in Virginia. Contact@JonMoseley.com