It is not often that Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey and I find common ground. But such is the case with respect to proposed American policy changes toward Cuba. There are indications that the State Department intends to relax travel restrictions imposed to restrain American tourism of Cuba. The Obama administration is seriously considering revising the nearly 50 year old regulatory prohibitions. Travel restrictions were imposed to deprive the Castro regime of sorely needed hard currency. The Castro government is one of the world’s most oppressive regimes. Basic freedoms and civil rights, taken for granted by Americans, are non-existent in Cuba. Weakening the dictatorial grip of the Castro brothers has long been a priority of the American government.
The article U.S. Gov’t to Ease Cuba Travel Restrictions, quotes Senator Robert Menendez as saying: “This is not the time to ease pressure on (Cuba)…it will only allow the Castro brothers to extend their reign of oppression.” Extending their reign of oppression is not a pleasing thought to anyone loving liberty. There are surely those who would seek to downplay a linkage between strengthening the Castro regime and an extension of their reign of suppression. But how many of them would have that same attitude toward an apartheid regime like that of South Africa, for example. The fall of that regime resulted in no small part from an effective international embargo.
This link quotes from a speech made by Senator Menendez. This quote is of particular interest:
‘The fact is the big corporate interests behind this misguided attempt to weaken the travel ban could not care less whether the Cuban people are free. They care only about opening a new market and increasing their bottom line.
This is about the color of money, not the desire for freedom.
The very fact that a travel bill has moved through the House Agriculture Committee makes one wonder why American agricultural interests would even care about travel to Cuba.’
Big corporate interests. Isn’t that something the left is said to be wary about? Why does Menendez not have more support?