July 27, 2009, - 12:41 pm

Castro Bro Gets it Half Right, Utters Wrong C-Word

By Debbie Schlussel

Can’t believe I’m saying this and I already regret it, but one-and-a-half cheers for Cuban President Raul Castro.  Actually, I’m kidding.  I don’t give any cheers to the human rights abusing Cuban dictatorship and its head honchos.


But, incredibly, Castro finally admitted that the U.S. and our embargo against Cuba is not to blame for the country’s food shortages.  That’s something you’d never hear out of the hairy lips of bro Fidel.

But Raul Castro only gets it half right.  He blames the wrong C-word for the problems:  Cubans.  But they are not to blame.  It’s the other C-word–Communism–that is.

Introduce the free market and take away government restrictions on land-owning and farming, and Cuba will have an abundant harvest and a much better economy.

Sadly, he won’t go nearly that far.

“Raul Castro said Sunday that the global economic crisis means tougher times ahead for Cuba, but the country has no one to blame but itself for poor farm production that leads to frequent shortages of fruits, vegetables and other basics.

In a speech marking Revolution Day, Cuba’s president said the island can’t pin all its problems on Washington’s 47-year-old trade embargo. He implored Cubans to take better advantage of a government program begun last year to turn unused state land over to private farmers.

‘The land is there, here are the Cubans,’ he said, pounding the podium. ‘Let’s see if we get to work or not, if we produce or not, if we keep our word.’

The line did not get much of a response from a crowd not thrilled about working under the island’s scorching tropical sun, but the 78-year-old Castro called agricultural production Cuba’s top priority and a matter of national security.

‘It is not a question of yelling ‘Fatherland or death! Down with imperialism! The blockade hurts us,” he said, referring to U.S. sanctions begun in 1962. ‘The land is there waiting for our efforts.’

He made almost no other mention of the United States.”

We have no food shortage here in the U.S.   Yes, our government is big and resembles Big Brother all too often.  But it’s nowhere near what’s going on in Cuba.  We have capitalism.  And that’s why we have an abundance of food, and none of our leaders needs to lecture us about farming the field.

Is this a sign of a thawing of Cuba toward the U.S.?  We’ve heard that before, and it’s been about the new Castro leader.  But not much has changed.  The language has softened.  But the punishments and human rights abuses haven’t.  Nor has the absolute government control of people’s lives there.

And that’s why all of this Raul Castro rhetoric is likely more of nothing.

Tags: , , , , ,

7 Responses

I am not sure how anything (other than the high price of sugar in the US which I think is due to the US embargo against Cuba) can be blamed on the US embargo. Almost all other countries have little or no restrictions in either direction for trading with Cuba. Whatever the US embargo would take away from Cuba the Cubans can get elsewhere.

What we need to do, and what might actually cause Europeans and others to stop helping Cuba is for the Hussein to not sign the waiver of Helms-Burton. That waiver prevents the US government from punishing those who help the Cubans. Unfortunately that waiver has been signed every single time it has come up since the law was passed under Bill Clinton.

I_AM_ME on July 27, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Perhaps Cuba would be a free country by now if we only stopped the trade embargo a long time ago. In the following 2001 statement, Ron Paul comments on the futility and deleterious effects of sanctions we imposed on Cuba, Iran, Iraq, and Libya:


ramjordan on July 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm

The Castro regime is nightmarish and attempts by European, Canadian, and even American leftists to whitewash the crimes of the past 50 years is hypocritical at best, and disgusting at worst.

With that said, the embargo should end. There are regimes with MUCH worse human rights abuses with whom we trade and do so happily. Even the conservative former Spanish PM Aznar told Bush that if the embargo were to be lifted, Castro would fall within weeks. There would be no more excuses. People could say, “look, no more ‘blockade,’ and things here still suck.” That is a possibility worth exploring. Also, it just hasn’t worked; the government is still in power, and now China is Cuba’s number one trading partner and is exploiting oil abutting our maritime border that Americans, not Beijing, could be profiting from.

Additionally, end the ridiculous and offensive travel ban. What right does the “land of the free” have in telling its citizens where they can and cannot travel to? Americans are legally allowed to travel to North Korea or Iran or Libya (whether those countries will let you in is up to them, though I know Americans who have been to them…but the American government won’t stop you). Considering we are not at war with Cuba and it has today been reduced to a mere paper tiger with little to no influence in the world, there is no sound reason to keep Americans from traveling there.

Brad on July 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Ron Paul’s statement about ineffective and inhumane trade embargos and sanctions imposed on other countries (see my message above) is even more relevant today as sanctions and/or a trade embargo will probably be imposed on Iran soon.

ramjordan on July 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Agricultural professors have been going to communist countries for years and years to show the people how to grow crops effectively. But the regimes won’t budge in their determination to do things the ‘official’ way.

rickster on July 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Perhaps Cuba would be a free country by now if we only stopped the trade embargo a long time ago.

cookiecool on July 28, 2009 at 2:51 am

Yes, what cookiecool said.

Tim on July 29, 2009 at 9:45 am

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field