Moral Low Ground

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US Cuba Embargo is Height of Hypocrisy

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The US economic embargo of Cuba, which is opposed by just about every nation on earth, is more than an outdated Cold War relic. It is the very height of hypocrisy.

The embargo has been in the news lately after the entertainment world’s leading power couple, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, visited Cuba earlier this month. Although their trip was approved by the US government as an educational, person-to-person exchange, some conservative lawmakers howled holy hell over what they perceived as an expression of support for the Castro dictatorship. Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called the couple “hypocritical.” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, also a Cuban-American, invoked the “suffering of the Cuban people” under communist dictatorship in blasting their trip to the island. This, the same Ros-Lehtinen who unabashedly supports some of the hemisphere’s most notorious and murderous terrorists, men who have inflicted much death and suffering upon the Cuban people.

To any educated observer it is immediately obvious that the real hypocrites are not Jay-Z and Beyoncé, but rather the US leaders and lawmakers who have brought enormous death and suffering to a nation that has not posed any threat whatsoever to the United States in half a century. On the contrary, the US has been waging a relentless campaign of terrorism and economic strangulation against Cuba ever since John F. Kennedy declared his intention to “unleash the terrors of the earth” upon Cuba more than 50 years ago. There was the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, support for Miami-based Cuban exile terrorists who killed hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians, possible chemical and biological attacks against Cuban agriculture, and Operation Mongoose— a CIA plan under which dozens of failed assassination attempts against Fidel Castro were undertaken. There was even a plan to carry out airplane hijackings and terror bombings in American cities and blame them on Cuba in order to provoke a war. Fortunately, the false-flag operation known as Operation Northwoods never came to fruition.

And what retaliation did Cuba take against all this US provocation? Absolutely none. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why nearly every nation on earth has repeatedly voted to condemn the US embargo and call for its immediate lifting. The UN recently voted 188-3 to condemn the absurd embargo. The United States, Israel and the tiny, US-dependent island nation of Palau (population 20,000) were the only countries which voted against the measure.

As for claims that Cuba is run by a monstrously brutal communist dictatorship, well, let’s just say that the US supports far worse regimes around the world. Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iraq and Bahrain are all far worse human rights violators than Cuba. Israel, which receives $3 billion in annual US military aid, is the only nation on earth which simultaneously practices occupation, apartheid, colonization and ethnic cleansing. Meanwhile, things are slowly but inexorably changing in Havana. There are less than 100 political prisoners in Cuba. There have been no executions in many years. Economic reforms abound. And for the first time in generations, Cubans are free to travel abroad without obtaining exit visas.

Yes, the Castro regime is the only totalitarian government left in the Americas. But the regime’s days are almost certainly numbered and the US is supremely hypocritical in selectively singling out Cuba for collective punishment when Washington does business with far worse dictators– even communists. As Jay-Z rapped in his recently-released “Open Letter”: “I’m in Cuba, I love Cubans/This communist talk is so confusing/When it’s from China, the very mic I’m using.” US leaders really ought to be careful when pointing the finger at Cuba. After all, no other nation on the face of the earth has killed more innocent civilians in more countries outside its own borders since the end of WWII than the United States. No other nation even comes close. US atrocities make worldwide headlines on almost a daily basis– witness yesterday’s release of a bipartisan task force study of American torture. If you surveyed all the world’s people on which country, Cuba or the United States, is more worthy of censure, I’d bet the house that at least 90 percent of humanity would choose the latter.

The absurdly hypocritical embargo against the peaceful people of Cuba must end. It should have ended decades ago. The US has proven it can bury the hatchet and embrace nations that have actually done great damage to it (see Germany and Japan). Cuba has repeatedly expressed and demonstrated its willingness to open a new chapter in the US-Cuban relationship. Only Washington, influenced by a tiny yet powerfully connected clique of Cuban-Americans, stands in the way of open, peaceful relations. Only Washington can restore sanity. The time for action is now.

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