Don't blame the embargo for shortages in Cuba

It did not take long for the Cuban regime to bring up the embargo in the context of the coronavirus.  This is from an NBC News report:

The island faces chronic shortages in basic goods that have worsened with the Trump administration's tightening of the embargo, citing Cuba's human rights record and its support for Venezuela's government. Long lines and crowds outside stores are a normal way of life here.

Soap and detergent are difficult to find right now in ration stores, which are those that sell by the "libreta" or ration book. But they are available in dollar stores for those who can afford it.

Well, here we go again.  Let's end the embargo, and Cuban socialism will finally work after 60 years.

Yes, it's true that President Trump tightened the embargo by actually enforcing it.  But it wasn't only Trump; after all, the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 connected lifting the embargo with improvements in human rights in Cuba.

The shortages of food and medical supplies have nothing to do with the embargo.  My mother can tell you about standing in line for hours hoping to get her milk ration for the week.  My mother did not have to do that in pre-communist Cuba.

So lifting the embargo will only give the regime a political victory.  The shelves will still be empty the next day.

It's about socialism, not the embargo.

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