Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 22 March 2013

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Number six: It’s counter-productive. The embargo not only gives the Castro brothers a scapegoat to blame for the country’s economic woes, it aids them in cutting off access to information about the rest of the world.

Number seven: It’s inhumane. The areas of the island catering to tourists are fancy and up-to-date, while people in the rest of Cuba struggle to survive. Don’t we want to correct this?

Number eight: There’s oil there. Enough said.

Number nine: It’s unpopular. According to a survey conducted by travel service Orbitz, an end to the travel ban is favored by 67% of Americans.

Number ten: It restricts Americans’ freedom of movement. When our own government is telling its citizens that they’re not allowed to visit a country so nearby, there’s something wrong.  



U.N. Support

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly called on the United States to lift the embargo on Cuba for the 21st year, with 188 countries voting in favor and only two opposed.


While there are valid reasons for finally ending the Cuban embargo, it won’t be an easy sell to the current GOP-controlled Congress, which has problems passing any bills at all. If the Obama administration were to bring up the possibility of lifting the embargo and allowing trade with Cuba once more, you can bet some aging Tea Party rep from a red state who’s old enough to have vague memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis will jump up and scream, “Commies! He wants us to consort with Castro and Cuban commies!”



On the other hand, members of the GOP have been friendlier to the cigar community than the Dems in recent days, giving support to efforts to exempt premium cigars from FDA regulation. Maybe it’s time for cigar lovers to engage these pols in the debate on lifting sanctions on Cuba.

Still Illegal

Meanwhile, Cuban cigars are still illegal and the U.S. imposes steep penalties for anyone caught trying to smuggle them into the country. Late last year, an Illinois attorney was found guilty of conspiring to smuggle Cuban cigars into the U.S. He was fined $60,000, sentenced to 37 months in prison and disbarred.



Next week, we’ll get back to the latest cigar news as well as take a look at the possible effects of lifting the embargo on the U.S. cigar industry. Are today’s Cubans as great as we’ve been expecting them to be, or are they likely to suffer in comparison to what’s coming out of Honduras and Nicaragua? And will they be as tempting when they’re no longer “forbidden fruit?”


0 # There's Skepticism That It Was Meant to go on This LongDamselNotInDistress 2013-03-23 11:46
Of the many, MANY articles that have come out on this subject, one did point out how President Kennedy had papers laid out and arrayed on his desk to end the Embargo, anyway. With his having been assassinated not too long afterwards, it has been speculated that the papers, therefore, have been frozen in time. In short, had he lived, he would have ended the Embargo during that early 1960's time period and possibly sought other avenues to either deal with or befriend our neighbor 90 miles south of here. Maybe some enterprising White House office official may retrieve those papers the President at that time was apparently ready to sign - and then give those papers to this new President who is also open minded and not full of vitriol toward our southern neighbors as well!

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0 # RE: Is it Time to End the Embargo Against Cuba?FNA 2013-03-25 15:17
I'd like to comment on half of your alleged arguments:

1 You assert ending the embargo would be an economic boon for the US, but you state no reason for believing this to be true or even any reason to believe.

2 “if more Americans spend time on the island, they will have additional insight into how democracy can make inroads into the country’s culture.” Again, just wishful thinking. There is no reason to believe tourists have any concern with political questions

4 Out of date. Since the embargo was put in place to subvert the Castro government and the Castro gov’t is still in place, it is not out of date but is currently doing what it has always intended to do, bring pressure on the communist government.

5 econ benefits to US. The embargo was never intended to bring economic benefits to the US (see above), although in fact it has been a boon to US sugar producers, as sugar is Caba’s no 1 export

The areas of the island catering to tourists are fancy and up-to-date, while people in the rest of Cuba struggle to survive. So your belief is by creating more tourism we will not benefit the tourism industry but other areas in Cuba. Interesting.

I'm not saying the embargo should stay. I am saying you make poor argument against it.

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0 # end itRon Lewis 2013-03-28 07:54
End the embargo because first of all we are free to go and partake of anything in life and not to be shackled from what we like to do period and smoking Cigars is what I like to do.

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