José Daniel Ferrer, a leading Cuban opposition leader, has told a New York Times reporter that recent editorials calling for an end to U.S. sanctions on the regime are “based on arguments not grounded in reality” and provide “a certain amount of oxygen” that helps the Communist regime remain in power.
Ferrer, and many other members of the freedom movement in Cuba, continue to spoil the Left’s plan to deliver one last, albeit Pyrrhic, win for Cuba’s Communist government. This new generation of freedom fighters call it as they see it because they have lived with this problem since 1959 and, thanks to U.S. sanctions, a new generation of Cuban leaders is no longer scared of speaking truth to power.
The New York Times, like the Castro regime, is dying. The owners are not sure what they are going to do to remain relevant, or profitable, so they grasp at just about anything to make a buck. In the case of Cuba, they use a creepy nostalgia that got people killed in the early phases of the Cuban Revolution and will do so again.
Ferrer, and many other opposition leaders, put their lives on the line every single day in the hope that freedom-loving people outside of Cuba rally to their cause. They understand that one of the best political disinfectants is sunshine and transparency. Rather than advance that cause, the New York Times editorial pages and reporters are constantly using political poison pills to thwart any attempt for new generations of Cuban leaders to take back the island from the Communists.
The New York Times is not alone. There is a tiny army of dupes, miscreants, and all around troublemakers that see the removal of U.S. sanctions as the last great trophy to be handed the troglodytic (my apologies to Pre-Historic peoples) Communist Party leaders in Cuba. For reasons unknown, truly because it makes absolutely no sense, even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a select bunch of U.S. corporations have fallen victim to their spell.
Rather than waste time, money, and political capital on weakening U.S. sanctions, the Obama Administration should side with the future of Cuba, such as Mr. Ferrer and many others like him. While I doubt the President’s national security team has the stomach to do this right now, increase economic sanctions, they can focus on several other weapons in the U.S. policy arsenal to give a morale boost to those brave Cubans on the front line of freedom.
I’d start at the very top, with Fidel Castro. Under U.S. law, the United States can only recognize a transition government in Cuba when Fidel Castro and Raul Castro are completely out of the picture. Why wait? Fidel Castro is no longer a head of state. He is fair game and, more important, so is his money (close or more than $1 billion).
Al Capone justice for Fidel Castro, and those who support him both inside Cuba and outside of the island, is long over due. Just like the Treasury Department brought down Capone machine, and Capone himself, for violations of tax laws, so can the Treasury Department do to Fidel Castro today. Rather than taxes, hone in on foreign bank accounts where Fidel and his cronies hide their money.
Squeeze the money, squeeze the Castro machine. That money is dirty money. And, in theory, any foreign bank that is helping hide and launder that money is violating U.S. law. And there is no need to stop with Fidel Castro. There are plenty of other Communist Party businessmen and women, and family members, making a killing at the expense of the Cuban people.
I also believe that the Castro money machine is tied to money-making ventures in foreign countries, including South Florida, that have been allowed to operate without much oversight.Why? Because the Cuban economy is in shambles. They need other sources of revenue such as tourism and travel, to keep it afloat. You can’t do any of this without access to the international banking system.
A coordinated move on the Castro Cuba Incorporated money machine, one with direct links to the likes of Iran and other terror-supporting states, would send a political chill up and down the Central Committee.
But, most importantly, moving on Fidel Castro’s foreign bank accounts and money-making ventures will give a much-needed morale boost to the Cuban opposition. They need to know that the United States has their political backs. In fact the entire island needs to know that. The Cuban people need to see that Fidel Castro has been robbing his people blind, since 1959.