Posted: November 27, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Like so many Americans, I awoke Friday to the announcement that Fidel Castro had died.  For the Little Havana section of Miami, the mood was festive.  Thousands lined the streets beating pans with metal spoons while dancing with delight.  Ninety miles away in true Havana people were not allowed to show any emotion, in part due to fear of outbursts of excitement.  After all, Castro had been the dictator for over fifty years.

The actual death of Castro is going to have little direct effect on Cuba.  He had turned over control to his 85 years old brother several years ago.  Since that happened a couple of things happened to have some sort of normalization between the United States and Cuba.  A small amount of capitalization has taken place recently and this could be the crack in the door that opens the country to a market economy.  Also, we have now renewed diplomatic relationships with Cuba and very soon tourists will be pouring into the country.  I called for this several years ago.  Sanctions placed on the country were not working.  They have been there for half a century so if we want to end the last bastion of communism, introduce American ideals to Cuba and let is collapse from within.  How better to do this than to introduce Cuba to American capitalism and American tourist.

Resentment for the other country comes from both sides.  America views the situation as being the country that liberated Cuba from Imperialistic Spain.  This allowed Cuba to become a free nation.  We feel that Cuba is not appreciative of what America did.  On the other side of the argument Cuba feels it had been abused by America.  During American prohibition, the mafia moved in and set up Batista to rule Cuba while illegal rum flowed into America and American tourists poured into Cuba for gambling and a quick lifestyle of partying and all that goes with it; at the expense of the Cuban people.  Castro overthrew Batista and ended this.

While relations with the United States and Cuba have thawed, it is important to understand that just because Fidel Castro has died there will be no sudden acceptance of America by the Cuban government.  It is also important to note that Donald Trump’s administration must not re-instate the trade sanctions.  Sanctions seldom work and only hurt the citizens of a country and not the leadership.  If a dictator truly cared for the citizenship, the country would not be ruled by a dictator in the first place and the country would be a democracy.

The death of Fidel Castro is an opportunity for the Cuban leadership to accelerate the capitalization of the country.  This will provide an excuse to move forward with relationships with America.  At the same time America must move to continue building the ties with the country.  From a commercial aspect, Cuba can provide a new market for American goods.  Louisiana has long been allied with Cuba.  Junkets flew out of New Orleans to Havana for the party goers. This ended with the overthrow of Batista. Conspiracy theorist linked New Orleans to Cuba and the Kennedy assassination.  Commerce between the Louisiana port and Cuba was large at one time.  Recently Louisiana sent a trade delegation with to Cuba to discuss trade.  Louisiana should be forward looking and negotiate deals for its’ refined products.  Instead of providing crude petroleum products, let’s provide refined products for the energy needs of the emerging nation.

Let’s stay focused on moving Cuba to a true Democracy but let’s not look at this through the same ole tired eyes of the failed sanction methodology.  Instead let’s address this in a fresh approach and let the people decide the fate of the country after seeing what a wonderful and friendly nation close to its’ border has to offer.


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