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  • This is distressing, but not particularly surprising. It brings me back to a dilemma faced by all Americans, but one that few will admit.

    Why do we have an embargo against Cuba? Ostensibly, it's because of human rights abuses (this, from the country that, amongst other thing, is one of only two countries that won't ratify the international treating guaranteeing the rights of children []) and a failure to adopt democracy. This begs the question "why don't we have embargoes against China?"

    A lot of people (in the US, at least) seem to confuse capitalism with democracy and totalitarianism with socialism. Capitalism and socialism are economic systems. Democracy and totalitarianism are political systems (yes, I know there's overlap). Frankly, if people have the right to choose, I don't care if they choose capitalism, socialism, communism, or whatever. What I think is important is that they have a right to vote. While we allegedly espouse democracy in the USA, we really don't care too much about other countries so long as their markets are open to us (and the brother of the President isn't governor of a state that's strongly affected by the politics).

    Personally, I support the right of a people to choose their own fate at the ballot box. If their economic systems don't agree with mine, so be it. That's not my choice to make. Unfortunately, the right to vote (and have that vote count) is the one thing I really want and it's the one thing that's denied to me in the US. Forget about voting for a non-Republicrat. Even if a third party wins 49% of the vote, there's still a good chance that they'll get 0% representation. Big business has been buying our politicians for so long that it doesn't really matter any more and the politicians seem inclined to allow big business just as much free access to the politicians as to foreign markets.

      • Why do we have an embargo against Cuba?

      One reason and one reason only. Cuba nationalized all industry, which US interests held a considerable stake, in 1959.

      The US has made and continues to make a long object lesson out of a country so close that dares to ignore sacred property rights.

      The fear was that if the US didn't hold out against this, that other nations would follow suit and make the world, or at least this hemisphere, unsafe for International ownership.

      • Personally, I support the right of a pe
    • and the brother of the President isn't governor of a state that's strongly affected by the politics

      While one could make a case that George Bush should now consider lifting the embargo and isn't because of this kind of influence, one should also bear in mind that Bush did not establish the embargo in the first place.

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers