The NY Times calls for lifting the Cuba embargo

It must be Friday the 13th because The NY Times wants to lift the embargo again:    

"The Castro regime has not helped. For the last four years it has imprisoned Alan Gross, a State Department contractor, for distributing satellite phone equipment to Jewish organizations in Cuba. Mr. Castro should release Mr. Gross and the numerous other political prisoners. But at the same time, Mr. Obama should press Congress to end the embargo and overhaul policy toward Cuba."

Yes, Cuba has not helped even after President Obama relaxed some travel and remittance restrictions. 

So let's lift the embargo and get what?  Another editorial in four years that "....the Castro regime has not helped."

I would be the first one to support lifting the embargo if it would improve the life of Cubans.  However, lifting the embargo today would simply send a life line to a regime "that has not helped" and continues to hold a US citizen for no reason at all.

The Castro regime desperately needs access to credit.  They have plenty of countries to do business with but credit is an issue, as recently reported:

"Cash-strapped Cuba has been feverishly trying to restructure its debt to jump start it's economy and attract investment.

Three years ago it restructured $6 billion of its debt with China, and in 2012 Japan forgave about $1.4 billion, Reuters reports.  

Mexico recently forgave $478 million of Cuban debt, and Havana agreed to pay back $146 million over 10 years.  

In 2012 Cuba's debt was estimated by government officials at $13.6 billion.

This debt is categorized as "active" foreign debt, and the other debts before its default in the 1980s is considered "passive", according to Reuters. 

Cuba defaulted on its debt to the Paris Club- a group of the world's leading economies-Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US - in 1986." 

Again, the US embargo did not stop Canada, France, et al, from selling to Cuba.  The problem is that they'd like to get paid and have not been.

Maybe The NY Times should call for tightening the screws.  Maybe that would make the Castro regime "more helpful," such as releasing Mr Gross or calling for multi-party elections.

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

If you experience technical problems, please write to