Every year over at the Export Law Blog, they post a humorous item how the U.S. Government “stole” Christmas from the people of Cuba. It is good anti-embargo spin, but, as readers of this site know first-hand, U.S.-Cuba sanctions are really Sanctions In Name Only (SINO – it is funnier in Spanish). We need more of them; enforced for changed.
I just returned from our annual Christmas trip to sunny but meteorologically cold South Florida. On the way over and on the way back, we took a side trip at the airport to the terminal from where all the Cuba-bound flights depart. And, yet again, as we do year after year, we can safely report that the airport was chock full of travelers heading to Cuba with hundreds of pounds each of goodies.
The pilgrimages to Havana spike during the Christmas and Three Kings holidays; however, it is a year-round affair. The Bush Administration tried, haphazardly, to stop these trips. The Obama Administration opened the door just slightly to more of them. And, in the end, the Castro regime keeps laughing all the way to the bank.
The Cuban Grinches and their henchmen’s days are numbered. The few sanctions in place have made a difference (if not, the Cuban regime would not be whining all the time to have them removed). The new Congress should send Cuba a big bag of political coal, shut the SINO loopholes and make the sanctions work for a change. Who knows, maybe next year, there will be no need for travel restrictions or other sanctions to begin with.
P.S., Does all this sound mean? Why, it is Christmas Jason! To which we say, there are political prisoners and opposition leaders on the island, people who are truly risking life and limb for freedom. These leaders want nothing of these trips. Indeed, some argue that more sanctions are needed, not less. If we had listened to these people more, there may have not been a Cuban regime in power for as long as it has.