January 14, 2009
A Bailout for Castro Too?By Humberto Fontova
The U.S. taxpayer remains among the few in the industrialized world not screwed and tattooed by Fidel Castro. But fear not! Most "analysts" see Obama moving quickly to rectify this shameful state of affairs, by scrapping his country's obnoxious (to liberals and foreigners) penchant for "unilateralism" in foreign policy.
"Will Obama Shift Policy on Cuba?" pants a recent BBC headline.
After all, as the AP reported from the Latin American summit in Brazil last month: "Latin America leaders demand (italics mine) U.S. end Cuba embargo."
And as the Russian News Agency, Novosti, reported back in October: "UN General Assembly demands (italics mine again) U.S. lift embargo on Cuba."
Needless to say, MSM commentary overwhelmingly supports these "demands." U.S. policymakers must immediately take heed of these "demands," from those more internationally sophisticated parties, who have all been doing business with Cuba for decades.
For those actually aware of Castro's commercial record and the nature of the "Cuban embargo" a much better explanation for these "demands," is that: "misery loves company."To wit:
And remember, back then Cuba was getting $5 billion a year from the Soviet sugar-daddy.
So what happened to that debt, you ask? Well, Fidel repudiated it too. "Soviet Union?" he frowns. "What Soviet Union?...Where is this Soviet Union?" No country by that name anymore, right? So how can I owe it any money?"
In late 2006 France's version of the U.S. Government's (i.e., us taxpayers) Export-Import Bank, named COFACE, cut off Cuba's credit line. Mexico's Bancomex did likewise. This came about because the Castro regime stuck it to French taxpayers for $175 million and to Mexican taxpayers for $365 million, when these state-run banks had financed sales by some those nations' politically-connected companies' to Stalinist Cuba. Bancomex was forced to impound Cuban assets in three different countries in an attempt to recoup its losses.
Early this year, one of the Cuban regime's best friends, South Africa, was also compelled to bend over for the soap. Here's part of the AFP story: "Given the assessment of Cuba's debt position," Said South African Minister, Themba Maseko, "we are of the view that Cuba was not in a position to meet its obligations in the foreseeable future." Cuba stuck it to the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (South African taxpayers) for $117 million, dating back to 1996.
Last year, one of the world's most respected economic forecasting firms, the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked Cuba as virtually the world's worst country business-wise. Only Iran and Angola ranked lower. This firm predicts that Cuba's abysmal business climate will remain that way for the next 3 years, at the very least.
Dun & Bradstreet also rates Cuba among the world's worst, right below Belarus. Moody's rating is off the bottom of the chart as "very poor." Standard & Poors refuses even to rate Cuba, regarding the economic figures released by the regime as utterly bogus.
Yet despite all the scribbling and gabble about the "U.S. embargo of Cuba," or "Blockade" as termed by The Congressional Black Caucus and Castro lobbyists (but I repeat myself) the U.S-as I sit here and write--is Cuba's biggest food supplier and fifth biggest import partner, and has been for the past five years. The U.S. has done over $2 billion dollars worth of business with Cuba the last few years-all for cash.
And that's the rub with the politically-connected companies who sell Castro. These U.S. Agri-giants crave the same deal from U.S. officials (via the U.S. Export-Import Bank) that France and Mexico's government elites (among many other nations') gave their business cronies and cocktail guests.
Castro does much of his U.S. business with Archer Daniels Midland. For decades ADM executives and Castro lobbyists (but I repeat myself) pined for an end to the "embargo." That long gone, they now whine that restrictions on doing business with Cuba are "too onerous." Again, these "restrictions" stipulate one thing primarily: that Cuba's Stalinist regime pay cash for U.S. imports. That's basically all the "embargo" amounts to nowadays, along with a (quite flexible) travel ban.
The big push to end the so-called embargo came in 1998, after the Pope's visit to Cuba when an outfit called Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba, popped up. "Ordinary Cubans are paying a severe price for the ban on U.S. food and the most severe restrictions on the sale of U.S. medical products," mourned the AHTC manifesto. "We can no longer support a policy carried out in our name which causes suffering of the most vulnerable--women, children and the elderly." (note, it's all "for the children.")
On the Board of this AHTC sat David Rockefeller of the Council on Foreign Relations, Wayne Andreas of Archer Daniels Midland and Frank Carlucci, at the time chairman of The Carlyle Group, the world's biggest private investment corporation, which is headquartered on Washington DC's Pennsylvania avenue itself. Carlyle Group is widely regarded as the most politically-connected corporation in the world. George Soros was among its founders and major investors.
A few years later something called the U.S.-Cuban Trade and Economic Council, burst upon and scene. Lo and behold, Dwayne Andreas again appeared on the board. Follow the money trail and most of these names keep popping up on practically everything associated with easing the Cuban "embargo."
Somebody sees dollar signs, and it's not Joe the Plumber.
When it comes to political influence, liberals denounce Cuban-American lobbyists as singularly unscrupulous, diabolically clever, and awash in ill-gotten lucre -- unlike those babes-in-the-woods Dwayne Andreas, David Rockefeller, and George Soros.
The anti-"embargo" reasoning seems to go something like this: The Carlyle Group, Archer Daniels Midland, and The Council on Foreign Relations, along with congressmen representing the most heavily taxpayer-subsidized sector of the U.S. economy, spend most of their waking hours agonizing over the welfare of the Cuban people and yearning to succor them. The Cuban peoples' cousins, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters in Miami, however, want only to starve and torture their relatives.
But however valuable to the U.S. taxpayer today, U.S. sanctions against Castro's Stalinist regime were not originally enacted because of an abysmal credit rating. Following please find a list of items many in the Mainstream Media and Castro lobbyists (but I repeat myself) are frantically trying to erase or obscure:
In 1959 the U.S granted diplomatic recognition to the Castro regime in record time for such benediction, faster than they'd recognized Batista in 1952 -- faster than they'd recognized any Latin American regime. Then the U.S. lavished Castro with $200 million in subsidies from U.S. taxpayers.
A few months later Castro responded: his KGB-trained security forces stormed into 5,911 U.S owned businesses in Cuba and stole them all at Russian gunpoint -- $2 billion were heisted from outraged U.S. businessmen and stockholders. Rubbing his hands in triumphant glee, Castro boasted at maximum volume to the entire world that he was freeing Cuba from "Yankee economic slavery!" ( Che Guevara's term, actually) and that "he would never repay a penny!"
This is the only promise Fidel Castro has ever kept in his life.
Not all Americans surrendered their legal and hard-earned property peacefully. Here's court records from a suit in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court, Miami-Dade County by Katy Fuller, whose father was murdered in 1960 by "Cuba's Elvis!" (Dan Rather's term Fidel Castro) for resisting the theft of his farm.
From The Estate of Robert Otis Fuller vs The Republic of Cuba filed May 5 2002:
Here's another lawsuit against "One Helluva Guy!" (Ted Turner's term for Fidel Castro) by the family of U.S. citizen Howard Anderson who resisted the theft of his filling stations and Jeep dealership by Castro's gunmen in 1960: Anderson v. Republic of Cuba, No. 01-28628 (Miami-Dade Circuit Court, April 13, 2003). "In one final session of torture, Castro's agents drained Howard Anderson's body of blood before sending him to his death at the firing squad."
"Death to the American!" screamed Howard Anderson's communist prosecutor at his farce of a trial on April 17, 1961. "The prosecutor was a madman!" says a Swiss diplomat who witnessed the trial, "leaping on tables, shrieking, pointing, as Mr. Anderson simply glared back."
Two days after his "trial," Howard Anderson's refused a blindfold, to glare at his executioners. Medically he was probably in shock at the time from the blood-draining. "Fuego!" The bullets shattered Howard Anderson's body at dawn on April 19, 1961. "Castro is very selfless and moral" reports his friend Oliver Stone.
Yet to hear the international community and U.S. "multilateralists," we're the bad guys in this issue, were' the mean "bully"
The "U.S. embargo," has always exempted medicine and humanitarian supplies, by the way. In fact the U.S has always provided millions more in such aid to Cuba than those who scold us from the Latin American Summit and UN General Assembly.
Humberto Fontova is the author of four books including Exposing the Real Che Guevara. Visit hfontova.com.