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Posted October 22, 2008 by publisher in US Embargo

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(Original title: Cuban diplomat: US embargo is akin to genocide)

By BARRY SCHWEID | AP

Looking ahead to a new American administration, Cuba’s top diplomat in Washington opened a campaign Wednesday to generate world pressure to kill a half-century old U.S. trade embargo that he likened to genocide.

“It’s equivalent to genocide; its intention is strangulation,” Jorge Bolanos said in an Associated Press interview a week before Cuba plans to ask the U.N. General Assembly to condemn the U.S. boycott of his country.

Bolanos steered clear of presidential politics, but he said Cuba was ready for talks with the United States “if the U.S. considers Cuba an equal partner in negotiations.”

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet with Cuban leader Raul Castro without preconditions and would ease restrictions on family-related travel and on money Cuban-Americans want to send to their families in Cuba.

Republican nominee John McCain, meanwhile, has called the offer to meet “the wrong signal,” but also has said he favors easing restrictions on Cuba once the United States is “confident that the transition to a free and open democracy is being made.”

The United States has no diplomatic relations with Cuba and lists the country as a state sponsor of terror. The trade embargo, imposed in 1962, has been tightened during President Bush’s two terms.

“The last eight years have seen the most ruthless and inhumane application of the blockade,” Bolanos said.

It “typifies the act of genocide” and from the start was designed to undermine the Cuban revolution of 1959 led by Fidel Castro, the diplomat said. Forced to retire because of intestinal illnesses, Fidel yielded control of the government to his brother, Raul.

“He is better and better every day,” Bolanos said. “He is writing.” But Bolanos said he did not know if Fidel Castro, now 82, would be able to participate in the half-century anniversary celebration of the revolution in Santiago at the end of the year.

Bolanos, who heads Cuba’s “interest section” in Washington out of the embassy of Switzerland, said he had “no doubt the blockade is going to disappear” at some point.

Next Wednesday, the U.N. General Assembly will consider a resolution calling on the United States to end the trade embargo. Every year for the past 17 years, the Assembly has approved Cuba’s resolution, but the United States has not yielded.

“It is the most isolated issue at the U.N.,” Bolanos said, and the U.N. has “a psychological and moral effect.”

The diplomat, a former ambassador to Mexico, Brazil and Britain, predicted the embargo, in time, will “disappear.”

Representing a government the United States shuns, Bolanos said he is limited in his travels to the Washington area and is permitted among government offices only to visit the State Department, where he said he has had occasional meetings.

However, he said, the diplomatic community has treated him as “an ambassador in full capacity.”

Again and again, in a 50-minute interview conducted mostly in English, Bolanos returned to the U.S. embargo and its impact.

He said a few sick Cuban children have been unable to receive proper medical treatment because the United States would not approve the export of catheters. Some material for the blind also is under boycott, and Cuba was unable to purchase washing machines from Mexico because they had parts manufactured in the United States, he said.

“Eleven million Cubans live under the blockade’s effects,” he said. “Each day, each of them, child, woman, man, elder of whatever social position or religion, suffers without distinction, the perverse effects of the blockade.”

The cost to Cuba has risen to $93 billion, but the blockade has failed to undermine the Cuban government “because of the irrevocable will of the Cuban nation to defend its legitimate right to self-determination,” the ambassador said.

—————————————————Havana Journal Comments————————————————

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  1. Follow up post #1 added on October 22, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Pro:

    “if the U.S. considers Cuba an equal partner in negotiations”

    I can live with that. I’m curious as to what Cuba will negotiate because they have not made any moves in 50 years towards opening the Embargo. We all know Fidel and Raul NEED the Embargo so they can blame the dictator’s and communism’s problems on the US.

    Con:

    “He said a few sick Cuban children have been unable to receive proper medical treatment because the United States would not approve the export of catheters. Some material for the blind also is under boycott, and Cuba was unable to purchase washing machines from Mexico because they had parts manufactured in the United States, he said. “

    We probably buy our catheters and washing machines from China. Since China is extending “credit” to Cuba, I think Cuba is better offer getting free Chinese catheters and washing machines.

    Yes I am anti-Embargo. Let’s lift the Embargo then flood Cuba with catheters and washing machines and tourists and venture capitalists and Cuban Americans etc etc.

    Fidel wants and needs the Embargo so please Mr. Bolanos, cut the shit.

    Why don’t you extend an olive branch to us if you really want the Embargo lifted? Give us a reason to treat you like an equal partner.



    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on October 23, 2008 by bernie

    17 times the US refuse the UN resolution to end the embargo??????

    7 years in Afghanistan????

    5 years in Iraq?????

    Keep telling me, that the US is interested in human rights and democracy is the only way to go????  It’s about time that we vote every politican out of office
    and vote a totally new bunch in ??????


  3. Follow up post #3 added on October 23, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Obama will swing the pendulum the other way. I just hope it’s not too far to the left.

    I think he can start with lifting the Embargo. It would be easy for him to do with a Democrat Congress and most of Americans are in favor of lifting the Embargo so this would be a very easy and very popular and very big foreign policy issue to tackle soon after he is elected.

    You will see all kinds of attacks on the Embargo in Spring 2009.

    Also, if any one of the three Republican Congresspeople are voted out in South Florida, the Embargo will not survive after 2009.



    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on October 23, 2008 by edward with 65 total posts

    I liked what someone wrote the other day, maybe Cuban Pete, said something along the lines that Obama’s first and probably easiest demonstration that there is a new approach from the US would be to lift the embargo.

    I cannot think of anyone who wouldn’t want that, everyone would win, save from a few old dinosaures. We all know what happened to the dinosaures in the end.

    smile


  5. Follow up post #5 added on October 26, 2008 by Erick Mendez

    McCain thinks along old lines.  Before he was competing with Obama, he was competing with several Repubs. for the Repub. ticket.  When he uses his so-called “campaign strategy” (in other words when mainstream politicians lie so they can pander to the general public)  it is in support of the embargo.  There is evidence on the web where he believes the embargo will one day make Cuba replace Communism with the great American democracy and capitalism.  Then this b.s. about Cuba being a terror state when you have Alpha 66 and other terrorist organizations that the US turns a blind eye toward.  America still think it’s in the Cold War, and it’s foreign policy ruins its trading and economic policies.  This country should lead by example.  Not police the world, and create intl. institutions to support its abuses, that’s why people ran to Communism in Latin America because of our imperialist policies.  It’s going to bite the US in the butt.  Nevertheless, the only chance we have right now to open trade talks is with Obama, however, he’s going to prolong the status quo with interventionist policy, and we will see our tax dollar going spent into nothing and more agression against Americans from the outside world.


  6. Follow up post #6 added on October 26, 2008 by Juan Cesar Lopez

    According to Bernie, “17 times the US refuse the UN resolution to end the embargo??????

    7 years in Afghanistan????

    5 years in Iraq?????

    Keep telling me, that the US is interested in human rights and democracy is the only way to go????  It’s about time that we vote every politican out of office
    and vote a totally new bunch in ??????”

    Listen people our interventionist foreign policy will hurt the United States in the long run.  As we can see it already has with many historical examples like 9/11.  Anyway, my point here is that the trade embargo is an interventionist policy that ruins our economic policy or just the fundamentals of capitalism.  The embargo is benefiting certain American industires that are hurting everybody else.  This violation of capitalism is eveidence that our country is truly not capitalistic, now so much news, right?  Anyway, these industries are profiting at the expense of consumers, taxpayers, and other industries alike.  We can also apply this to war.  Nevertheless, I would like to show a video that shows the negative effects of tariffs and embargos and the rest of protectionist policies. 

    http://mises.org/Controls/Media/MediaPlayer.aspx?Id=3688


  7. Follow up post #7 added on October 26, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Erick and Juan (same person)

    1. Please do not post with different screen names.

    2. Stay on topic. I’ll give your posts some leeway but this post is about my endorsement of Barack Obama.

    You will have plenty of opportunities to voice your opinions here but please do so with one screen name and stay on topic.

    Thank you.



    Cuba consulting services

  8. Follow up post #8 added on October 26, 2008 by Erick Mendez

    McCain thinks along old lines.  Before he was competing with Obama, he was competing with several Repubs. for the Repub. ticket.  When he uses his so-called “campaign strategy” (in other words when mainstream politicians lie so they can pander to the general public) it is in support of the embargo.  There is evidence on the web where he believes the embargo will one day make Cuba replace Communism with the great American democracy and capitalism.  Then this b.s. about Cuba being a terror state when you have Alpha 66 and other terrorist organizations that the US turns a blind eye toward.  America still think it’s in the Cold War, and it’s foreign policy ruins its trading and economic policies.  This country should lead by example.  Not police the world, and create intl. institutions to support its abuses, that’s why people ran to Communism in Latin America because of our imperialist policies.  It’s going to bite the US in the butt.  Nevertheless, the only chance we have right now to open trade talks is with Obama, however, he’s going to prolong the status quo with interventionist policy, and we will see our tax dollar going spent into nothing and more agression against Americans from the outside world.

    According to Bernie, “17 times the US refuse the UN resolution to end the embargo??????

    7 years in Afghanistan????

    5 years in Iraq?????

    Keep telling me, that the US is interested in human rights and democracy is the only way to go????  It’s about time that we vote every politican out of office
    and vote a totally new bunch in ??????”

    Listen people our interventionist foreign policy will hurt the United States in the long run.  As we can see it already has with many historical examples like 9/11.  Anyway, my point here is that the trade embargo is an interventionist policy that ruins our economic policy or just the fundamentals of capitalism.  The embargo is benefiting certain American industires that are hurting everybody else.  This violation of capitalism is eveidence that our country is truly not capitalistic, now so much news, right?  Anyway, these industries are profiting at the expense of consumers, taxpayers, and other industries alike.  We can also apply this to war.  Nevertheless, I would like to show a video that shows the negative effects of tariffs and embargos and the rest of protectionist policies. 

    http://mises.org/Controls/Media/MediaPlayer.aspx?Id=3688


    I posted with different screen names because this limited system allows me to only post once.


  9. Follow up post #9 added on October 26, 2008 by Erick Mendez

    I don’t care anymore.  I’m spamming.  Lol, I’m so off topic.  Obama is a product of a globalist agenda just like McCain, no difference.  Publisher you can go to hell!  %&#! NAFTA and if Cuba has free trade, I am sure the US will push them into its North American Union.  Obama and McCain can go to hell too!


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