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Posted July 12, 2004 by publisher in US Embargo

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By REP. MARIO DIAZ-BALART

The riveting story of Jose Contreras’ family’s daring escape from Cuba has captivated the attention of millions of people. Their story has helped put a magnifying glass onto Cuba and our policies toward a hostile terrorist regime just 90 miles off our shore.

Last year, President Bush established the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, tasking the group with identifying ways in which the U.S. could best help accelerate a democratic transition. In response to the commission’s recommendations, the President acted decisively to strengthen sanctions against the dictatorship, such as taking steps that would enable the Cuban people to view TV Marti, which Fidel Castro has been jamming, and significantly increasing support for Cuba’s growing pro-democracy movement.

Some people do not understand the embargo of Cuba. Its purpose is to keep American hard currency out of the hands of a Communist thug by restricting most trade and travel. Since the military controls all tourism-related business ventures in Cuba, lifting the U.S. travel embargo would put at least $5 billion to $6 billion directly into Castro’s hands every year. That influx of cash would allow Castro to return to his practice of exporting his troops to wage terror against the U.S., as he did in Grenada.

Last year, Castro’s tyrannical regime intensified its crackdown on dissidents, executing three young men whose only crime was to seek freedom in the United States. To lift sanctions would not only reward Castro’s injustices against the Cuban people but also it would further strengthen this dying dictatorship and prevent Cuba from much needed democratic change.

According to U.S. law, the Cuban regime has the power to lift the sanctions itself if it would 1) release all political prisoners; 2) allow freedom of press, labor unions and political parties, and 3) hold free, supervised elections. Castro chooses to oppress instead.

Bush understands how important the travel embargo is, and his measures are correctly focused on accelerating a democratic transition in Cuba, while denying the anti-American, terrorist regime financial resources it desperately seeks to further repress the Cuban people and spread terrorism around the world.

Diaz-Balart is a Republican congressman from Miami

  1. Follow up post #1 added on July 12, 2004 by Angelo Moreno

    Some questions for Mr. Diaz-Balart:
    1. Does the U.S.A currently reward and/or have friendly relations with regimes which could be considered repressive? 
    2. Were any Cubans, living on the island, given significant input into the report written by the “Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba”?


  2. Follow up post #2 added on July 12, 2004 by curt9954

    Get over it Mario. You right wing Miami Cubans have made Miami the most repressive city in the whole country for free speech. Those 3 people you refer to that were executed for"seeking freedom” hijacked a boat and put other lives in danger. Hopefully you and your demented brother will be voted out of Congress very soon and our archaic policy on Cuba will change.


  3. Follow up post #3 added on July 12, 2004 by curt9954

    Get over it Mario. You right wing Miami Cubans have made Miami the most repressive city in the whole country for free speech. Those 3 people you refer to that were executed for"seeking freedom” hijacked a boat and put other lives in danger. Hopefully you and your demented brother will be voted out of Congress very soon and our archaic policy on Cuba will change.


  4. Follow up post #4 added on July 12, 2004 by MJD

    I doubt the revenue projections of $ 4-6 billion per year is accurate. The hotel room capacity on the Island wouldn’t support even 5% of that figure. And after one year the negative reports of dissappointed travelers would be a disaster.Tourists coming back with ” never again ” stories will deter future travelers ten times over.If the US Embargo were lifted today,Fidel Castro will be in for some sleepless nights. He knows that would spell the beginning of the end for his regime… No more Yankee enemies to rant against.Also, if the military is being used to manage the hotels it’ for the following reason:

    1) Keep the tourists separated from the Cuban people. We don’t want them communicating with each other perhaps spending money in places that we can’t control and infecting them with grandiose visions of a free society….

     


  5. Follow up post #5 added on July 13, 2004 by I-taoist with 213 total posts

    Life on the Animal Farm:

    The preened and plumed Rooster, feeling the quaking and trembling fencerail beneath his feet, gathered his courage.  Once again he spouted the party line to those in the barnyard.  Only, this time, few were listening.  His recent edicts had struck them where their heart was, with their families.  His cruel and inhumane new measures had left them disgusted and angry, with him and his bosses.  In mass they shook his dust off their feet as they walked away, cursing under their breath.  He could only cackle the louder. 


  6. Follow up post #6 added on July 13, 2004 by Dana Garrett

    It is a bit startling to read Rep. Mario Diaz-Balartís unabashed enthusiasm for the recommendations made in the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba report.  Followers of his charmed career might wonder why he doesnít find the reportís recommendations too weak given that they donít include his humanitarian brainchild: assassinating Castro.

    If Rep. Mario Diaz-Balartís policy proposal of murder represents the elite dimension of exile thought on Cuba, then perhaps strengthening the embargo has unwittingly spared the Cuban people from the perilous fate of frequent interaction with common thugs and would-be killers. 

    But of course we all know that Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart doesnít represent the exiles who understand that maintaining family love and connections are far more important than a politicianís need to pose as a leader uncompromisingly committed to a policy that hasnít worked in the least in 25 years. 


  7. Follow up post #7 added on July 25, 2004 by Sarah

    Those of us who have family in Cuba, do not cease to love our family on the island any less simply because George W Bush has proclaimed and passed laws stating that a Cuban person’ uncles, aunts and cousins are not “real” family, and that we don’t need to see our other family more than once every 3 years, and that we shouldn’t be sending them a few bucks, as other immigrants send their families. 

    To Cubans, family is godliness.  To us, love for family is our very identity.  George W. Bush and Lincoln Diaz-Balart have their entire families here in the U.S.  They don’t give a damn what sanctions are put on Miami-Cubans.

    Lincoln is someone that has has enriched himself within the Republican Party, as do all who become a part of it.  George W. Bush inherited a huge amount of money from his mega-rich grandpa.  They’re both living La Vida Loca, while most real Cuban-Americans are working two jobs, worried about being able to send a few bucks to our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, etc. on the island, and being able to save up enough to see them when they’re ill, or someone has passed away, or simply because they’re our family, we love them and can’t stop seeing them.

    I thought this was a free country where everyone could have input.  I had no idea that it was a country where only George W. Bush, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, the Cuban-American National Foundation the mega-rich Cubans, and the Republican Party (all of which are in bed with the CIA) could make laws that affect Miami Cubans.  In this case they’ve made laws that don’t hurt Castro, but hurt Miami Cubans every day of their lives and very very deeply.  Some of us will never get to see our elderly loved ones on the island alive ever again.  Multitudes of us are VERY ANGRY over this.  We will show just how angry we are on election day.

    Thanks for listening.
    Sarah


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