Wikileaks Vindicates Cuba “Embargo”


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The Wikileaks cables have revealed that nations that sell to Cuba on government credit get stiffed.  In other words, we have a confirmation of what has been evident — for those with eyes to see — for a long time: Castro does not pay his debts. This explains why the so-called “U.S. embargo” of Cuba has saved the American taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars — because it has saved him from being cheated by Castro.

The embargo on Cuba is a “so-called” embargo because this unilateralism in U.S. foreign policy does not prohibit commerce with Cuba, as would a genuine embargo. In fact, for going on a decade now, the U.S. has ranked as one of Cuba’s top food suppliers and its fifth biggest trading partner. In 2008, for example, the U.S. sold $710 million worth of products to Castro’s fiefdom and has transacted more than $2 billion worth of business with Cuba in the last decade. The key here is that, since 2001, the so-called U.S. embargo has merely stipulated that the Castro regime pay cash up front through a third–party bank for all U.S. agricultural products; no Export-Import  (U.S. taxpayer) financing of such sales is allowed.

Enacted by the Bush team in 2001, the eminent wisdom of this cash-up front policy was displayed by a recent Wikileaks cable, as noted in the Miami Herald:

The [Wikileaks] cable reported on a breakfast hosted by a U.S. diplomat in Havana with commercial and economic counselors from five of Cuba’s largest trading partners — China, Spain, Canada, Brazil and Italy — plus key creditor nations France and Japan. The diplomats reported continuing problems collecting their Cuban debts, with the Japanese noting that after restructuring all of Cuba’s official debt in 2009, Tokyo had not received any payments….”Even China admitted to having problems getting paid on time and complained about Cuban requests to extend credit terms from one to four years,” the cable said. “France and Canada responded with ‘welcome to the club.’”

Last month, South Africa was also forced to write off 1 billion Rand debt owed to them by Cuba.

Despite the obvious savings for the U.S. taxpayer ensured by this “embargo,” opposition to it remains widespread and vehement.

“The embargo against Cuba is the stupidest law ever passed in the U.S.” (Jimmy Carter)

“Cuba policy isn’t made in Washington,” griped Bill Press in a CNN column. “It’s made in Miami by former Batista supporters who think they can reverse history.”

“Bush’s defense of the [Cuban] embargo serves a family voting bloc and little else,” Kathleen Parker complained in a column.

“A small number of powerful exiles in South Florida cow our politicians into keeping the crazy Cuban policy,” bewailed media baron Al Neuharth in USA Today.

“The powerful Cuban exile lobby has long dictated the U.S.’s Cuba policy,” said Tim Padgett of Time.

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  • IcelandMarc

    In 1983, Fidel Castro wrote a book calling on all of the world's debtor nations to default on international loans and credit. The Castro regime has kept it's word and no one should be surprised by this situation. The left's continued infatuation with all things Castro blinds them to these actions. Castro is and always will be a thief, and a petty one at that…

  • Steve Marquardt

    Nothing new here in Cuban financial practices, going all the back to Che: "Guevara … As a guerrilla fighter, he had suggested financing the revolution by robbing banks. Now as head of the country’s leading financial institution, he was beginning to build the revolutionary economy on two basic principles – print money and refuse to pay your debts." (p. 294 of the biography "Fidel Castro," by Robert E. Quirk (W.W. Norton, 1993)

  • cuidate

    The point that is completely missed here is that it should not be a political decision about who can sell what to whom. Free enterprise is not free if one government can dictate to its private businesses who they can or cannot sell harmless products to. If Cuba's credit is bad then it's up to private business to make the decision to sell to them or not. The idea that requiring cash up front is not a crippling factor in doing business is foolish. Cuba had been mandated to pay for the goods sold to them, before they ever left a US port. The US has frozen Cuban money in US banks on more than a few occasions so that's a risk. As Jimmy Carter says, the embargo is a stupid law that serves no one except the Castro Regime. It most especially does injury to the very people it is ostensibly intended to help, the average Cuban citizen.

  • http://www.cubartenewyork.com Paul Maurer

    cuidate:
    Thank you Sir and allow me to repeat just for the other two commentators:
    IT MOST ESPECIALLY DOES INJURY TO THE VERY PEOPLE IT IS OSTENSIBLY
    INTENDED TO HELP, THE AVERAGE CUBAN CITIZEN.

    - please research USAid and other taxpayer’s money spent on the ‘democratisation of Cuba and follow the money – thieves galore.

  • Sandokan

    What the Castro’s regime really wants are loans and lines of credit guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury Department, since it doesn’t have hard currency to pay the interests on the lines of credit for the importation of merchandise. These credits and loans will not be paid and the US taxpayers will be the ones to pick up the debt, as it happens at the present time with the taxpayers of Spain, Argentina, Canada, Venezuela and other countries. The regime owns $31 billion to the Paris Club (EU countries), $22 billion to the countries of the old socialist campus, $15 billion to Venezuela and another $12 billion to other countries, for a staggering debt of $80 billion.

    US sales to Cuba in 2008 reach $801 million. Import totaled $14.25 billion. The United States government’s embargo has had little effect on the Cuban economy, since this only represents 5.62% of the regime commerce with the rest of the world. Without the embargo the debt with the US could be similar to the debt of 31 billion with the EU countries.