An open letter to Congress Members Ros-Lehtinen, Rubio, Cruz, and other concerned Conservatives

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Dear Congress Members Ros-Lehtinen, Rubio, Cruz, and other concerned Conservatives,

About the renewal of US-Cuba relations, you really mustn’t fret so much, honestly. On the contrary, there are many fine reasons for Conservatives to support normalized relations between the two countries. I will give you only three.

First of all, opening an embassy in Havana will be the best thing that ever happened to the cause of overthrowing the Cuban government. An embassy comes with a Political Officer and fulltime CIA staffers. Have you forgotten all the victories our embassies have scored over the years in ridding Latin American countries of leftist governments? Remember Guatemala ’54, Chile ’73, and Nicaragua ’90? In all three cases our embassies were extremely successful: organizing, funding, and directing opposition groups until they ousted the socialists. The Women in White will multiply in droves with an embassy!

Secondly, ending the embargo, an excellent policy option. Why? Because, as we all know, Cuba is a poor country that does not feed itself. If US farmers begin selling foodstuffs to Cubans, in no time we will accomplish a couple of objectives. One, Cuban agriculture, such as it is, will be overwhelmed by the sheer flood of American rice, beans, wheat, and other staples, just as Mexican corn was under NAFTA. In no time Cubans will be dependent on us for their most basic meals. Who can dispute that having a lock on a country’s food supply is not leverage to influence their politics? Furthermore, selling grains to Cuba will mean that the island will have to borrow money to pay for them. Who will make those loans? American banks, of course. You know full well what happens when any country becomes indebted to foreign banks – we don’t have to review the history of the 1980s to figure that one out: just look Greece and what’s coming to Puerto Rico. If we both lend money to Cuba and then get that same money back in food purchases, our banks and our farmers win. And the Cubans owe us more. When they cannot make payments, we can impose conditions on them, like privatization of anything we want, starting with the Cuban banking system. Well, Cuba has no banking system, which will make it even easier for us to own it. In no time, a pile of our t-shirts will bear the “Made in Cuba” label and they will cost, what, five dollars? Because a job that pays one-dollar-a-day is better than no job at all. Just ask the Haitians next door.

Third, allowing free travel between the US and Cuba will also be good. Who can resist American culture? Imagine the island flooded with US movies, music, clothing styles, fast food (there goes the much touted Cuban national health system), sports (every Cuban baseball player will be swinging for one of our teams!). And for all you young Conservatives: can you say Spring Break??? Cuba has the healthiest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere, why stop at Varadero? Unfortunately, there will be some downsides to normal relations with Cuba, including prostitution, drugs, and money laundering. But even these will provide new opportunities and markets for our public safety private sector. When all the above is in place, how long before Cubans take to the streets, protesting and staging strikes and the rest? And guess who will be out there to repress the mobilized? The Cuban army, of course! Anyone ready to sell rubber bullets, water houses, personnel carriers, and tear gas? When the Cuban army turns on the people, what Democrat or liberal anywhere in the United States will defend the Cuban government? How long after that do you think anyone remotely related to the Cuban Communist Party will be ruling anything?

So, you see, the normalization of relations with Cuba really is a Conservative dream come true.

Myrna Santiago

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Obama and Castro traded letters confirming plans to reopen permanent diplomatic missions on July 20

(Photo/Poster Source)

About the author

Myrna Santiago

Myrna Santiago is professor of history at Saint Mary’s College of California. Her book, The Ecology of Oil: Environment, Labor and the Mexican Revolution, 1900-1938, won two prizes. She is working on a history of the 1972 Managua earthquake and is looking for witnesses willing to tell their stories: msantiag@stmarys-ca.edu. View all posts by Myrna Santiago →

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One thought on An open letter to Congress Members Ros-Lehtinen, Rubio, Cruz, and other concerned Conservatives

  1. A hoot, I love satire. And few things are more darkly satirical (actually, more farcical) than the groaning history of U.S.- Cuban relations. Ever since we hijacked their war of independence in 1898 we’ve looked like testosterone-driven amateurs on the world diplomatic stage. Maybe, maybe, our nations can begin to treat each other with respect. I hope Obama doesn’t lose his traction on this. My vote for first ambassador – Barbara Lee. The URL here shows my dad opening up the embassy there in 1953, may it be her next office.

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