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Posted October 17, 2004 by publisher in Cuba-US Trade

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The full scale U.S. embargo of Cuba has ended. With no fanfare or “fall of the Berlin Wall” celebration, a mighty flow of American goods is streaming into Cuban stores and kitchens.

In 2000, Cuba ranked dead last among all 180 nations in terms of agricultural purchases from the United States according to U.S. government figures. In 2001, Cuba’s ranking rose to 138. This year Cuba is poised to finish at 45th. Next year, Cuba will likely buy $260 million in agricultural goods and be 33rd on the list. Not bad considering the two countries haven’t had diplomatic relations for over 40 years.

In September, over 150 U.S. companies, organizations and state offices will participate in a huge U.S. Food and Agriculture Exhibition in Havana. The event, authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department, will feature over 1000 brand name, American products including cheese, ice cream, beer, pet foods, cotton, tobacco, lumber, vitamins, and many others. For the first time in 43 years American buffalo, beef cattle, dairy cows, hogs, and chickens will be shipped to Cuba as part of the show.

As recently as last May, President Bush vowed not to ease the trade ban on Cuba. He said, “Well-intentioned ideas about trade will merely prop up this dictator, enrich his cronies and enhance the totalitarian regime.”

Yet Cuba is buying more food from the United States than Denmark, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Austria, and over 100 other countries. How is this possible? Do Congress and the White House know about this?

In 1961, President John Kennedy cut diplomatic relations with Cuba, imposed an embargo against trade with Cuba, and effectively banned most American travel to Cuba.

In October of 2000, the U.S. Congress passed—and President Clinton signed—the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA). The law said Cuba could begin buying U.S. food products for any purpose, but the Cuban government was irked by restrictions the legislation included. Specifically, TSRA requires that all purchases by Cuba must be made with cash…no financing is allowed. Cuba said thanks but no thanks, and U.S.-Cuban relations continued as they had in the past.

Then Cuba was hit hard by Hurricane Michelle in November of 2001. To recover, Cuba made what it said was a one-time exception to buy American corn under the TSRA rules. They bought 30,000 metric tons of corn from Archer Daniel Midlands.

That corn came from nine different U.S. states. And Cuba kept buying.

Since then they have bought peas, barley, soybeans, condiments, soup, pasta, carbonated beverages, onions, chicken, turkey, apples, eggs, and many other items. These purchases represent Cuban trade with 30 states.

Because of the TSRA rules, Cuba has been devoting much of its small cash reserves to U.S. trade. In fact, some suppliers in other countries are not being paid on time as Cuba uses its cash to build a financial constituency in the United States.

With 30 states involved, 60 U.S. senators and a majority of the U.S. House now have an economic incentive to keep this breach of the embargo open and perhaps expand it further. And the U.S. embargo of Cuba will end not with a breaking news bulletin on CNN but with a few statistical lines in a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on October 17, 2004 by BuSHit

    Now ask me why I should vote for Bush?

    Cuba can buy all they want from US companies as long as Cuba pays in cash,but Cuban Americans are banned from seeing their families (once every 3 years) cause Bush says so?

    Famila Si,Bush No!

    Vote for anyone other then Bush!


  2. Follow up post #2 added on October 18, 2004 by Michael

    The flow of cash out of Fidel Castro’ accounts and into US Companies shipping goods to Cuba does not constitute ” Trade” It’ a one-way street.All exports of Cuban goods are and will remain restricted.The real reason he is buying for cash ?? He has no more credit with the other foreign companies tired of being stretched out 6,9,12 months . This guy   Castro will be running out of Cash , Credit, Friends , any day now. Patience. 


  3. Follow up post #3 added on October 18, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    Get real,he’ been in power for 46 years these new restrictions placed upon Cuba are NOT going to make Castro go wawy!

    Cubans have been patient for 46 years now,do you seriously think Castro is going down any time soon?

    He’ been broke before and has been able to exsist.


  4. Follow up post #4 added on October 19, 2004 by Michael

    You say The Embargo won’t bring down Castro ? Your’e right.Do you think for a moment that lifting the Embargo will ? Absolutely not. Any financial gains will be used to further consolidate his grip on power. At whose expense ?? All of us. Cubans and Americans alike.


  5. Follow up post #5 added on October 19, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    I think we all are on the same side,we all are screaming for freedom,true or not?

    My stand on lifting the travel restrictions has nothing to do with Fidel,Bush or anyone else for that matter,has to do with me being able to visit MY FAMILY whenever I see fit and as an American who’ constitution says I can!

    The embargo has done nothing to get rid of the roach,so why not try a new approach,an approach that spells freedom,like free trade etc..?

    Trading with Cuba can only be good for it’ people,it will create new jobs and a new way of thinking by the Cubans themselves.

    Unlike my exiled father who turned his back on his country (and thats how I feel about all exiled Cubans) I do not think the way he did,if you really wanted to do something about the situation in Cuba, exiles should of stayed in their country and should of stood up to what was going on,not come to Miami with most if not all of their family members and then try to ruin the lives of Cubans who stayed behind or of those who still had family in Cuba!

    I grew up in a Cuban home,and my final word on what Cubans in Miami have done is this,talked a lot of shit,ran away like bitches and turn their backs on their own once stepping foot in the US safe and sound!

    It’ easy to say let the embargo stand when you’re home safe in the US throwing away leftovers that can feed 2 more people,you are traitors to your people!

    Proud now?

     

     


  6. Follow up post #6 added on October 20, 2004 by Michael

    Young Cuban

    Here’ is something to think about. Let’ say we drop the drop the Embargo, open up trade today with Cuba. Money starts to flow in. Who controls everything ? Fidel Who handles the money ? Fidel What will be done with it? Nothing new . Fact : If you are a foreign Company from Spain for example , and you want to set up a small factory in the ” Free Trade Zone ” east of Havana You can’t search for your own employees.You can’t choose who works for you. Your told who will be provided. But every month you will receive an invoice for each employee provided no matter how hard or how poorly that employee performed. The amount ? Approximately $ 1175.00USD each. Guess how much that ” employee ” receives from the Cuban government ? 200 Pesos !! $ 10 bucks USD !! That, is SLAVERY That is what will happen if the Embargo is lifted No freedom and Continued Injustice for all Cubanos. 


  7. Follow up post #7 added on October 20, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    May be so,but the US can control that situation.

    Offer to lift the embargo,then apply laws in order to lift the embargo.

    Perhaps make Cuba pay a determined amount of funds to working Cubans before lifting the embargo.

    Now,before doing a damn thing the US can make sure ALL Cubans in Cuba know that we made Castro an offer to lift the emnbargo as long as he followed certain guidelines,if Castro does not agree to it the Cubans may just get ticked off enough to fight against the revolutiuon.

    Which in my opinion is the only way Cuba will ever be free,they must fight for their freedom!

    Fair enough?


  8. Follow up post #8 added on November 07, 2004 by gman

    It must be nice to live in a country like the USA where you can say buSHit. You are lucky we have someone like bush to protect our bill of rights. I am not cuban, i have no clue what its like in cuba, what would happen if you said cASStro in cuba? “Vote for anyone other then Bush!” why don’t cubans Vote for anyone other then castro? cause you have no choice. All cubans have to do is start a revolutiuon and america will roll in with back up. Bush would back up the people of cuba. Would any one else? would you want someone in the white house that when cuba does fall will do nothing?  that my 2 cents


  9. Follow up post #9 added on November 07, 2004 by gman

    It must be nice to live in a country like the USA where you can say buSHit. You are lucky we have someone like bush to protect our bill of rights. I am not cuban, i have no clue what its like in cuba, what would happen if you said cASStro in cuba? “Vote for anyone other then Bush!” why don’t cubans Vote for anyone other then castro? cause you have no choice. All cubans have to do is start a revolutiuon and america will roll in with back up. Bush would back up the people of cuba. Would any one else? would you want someone in the white house that when cuba does fall will do nothing?  that my 2 cents


  10. Follow up post #10 added on November 22, 2004 by Smarter then u

    There is only one thing that your forgeting my friends, and its ok because your American, your allowed to be egocentric.  The Cuban people have had a revolution, and it succeeded, thier communist. And that leads to the next idea, I know that you think it is so important to get your own special little minimum wage paycheck so you can buy whatever American advertisers tell you that you need, but to a communist, the social well being of your society is more important than buying beer, and driving your oversized suv. Oh and just incase you think this is some sort of left propaganda? You should check out what the civilized world thinks on this subject i.e. the United Nations and their overwhelming dissent from this embargo. Don’t worry though, nobody really cares if dictators are in power (check Saudi Arabia) and if you believe your capitalist rhetoric then you will also know that if you have a free market trade aggrement with Cuba then all the silly natives will see how smart you are and give up all of there ideals, right??


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