Cuban Embargo "Should Be Lifted For All"

So sayeth conservative blogger Patterico:

I am not a fan of the policy of prohibiting people from traveling to Cuba. I understand the purpose of the ban, but I am generally for freedom. My default position is that we should be able to travel where we want to travel.

But wait, there's more:

But if the ban should be lifted, it should be lifted for all not just those who are friends with Obama.

Hmm. I' going to Cuba this summer and I'm not "friends with Obama." How am I managing that? Why I'm a Cuban- American that's how. If it should be ok for me to go, why shouldn't it be ok for Beyonce and Jay-Z?

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    If Rodman can go to North Korea... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 01:12:58 PM EST
    ...and get a hug and peace message from the Dear Leader, well, then certainly anyone should be able to visit a wonderful people a few bills off the coast of Florida.

    And congrats on a net positve MM, btw BTD (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 01:14:38 PM EST
    Louisville made me a few bucks, as well, but you turned a profit on the long haul bracket.

    YEAH... (none / 0) (#21)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:45:44 PM EST
    ...off topic, but I have been meaning to mention that since Rodman left, NK has really ramped up the BS.  Have to call that 'peace mission' a steaming pile of failure.

    Say it once, say it loud... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 01:14:19 PM EST
    We should all be allowed to travel the earth freely.  From Key West to Havana, Juarez to El Paso, North Pole to South Pole.

    In fact, "allowed" isn't the right word.  We are born "allowed".  We should cease to prohibit free movement of free people, anything less is uncivilized...that's better.  

    It's not a problem unique to the USA, every government in the world has it wrong, some more wrong than others.


    Guns and butter (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 01:16:28 PM EST
    Equals buns in the gutter for most souls. Dipsh*ts with power always make the rules. If cool people ever ran the joint, we'd never stop smiling. Oh the horror.

    It's even simpler than cool... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 01:36:35 PM EST
    it's common sense natural law.

    No one questions where a bird is allowed to fly or a buffalo is allowed to roam .  Animals have more "human rights" than humans in this regard...it's an unacknowledged outrage when you really think about it.


    animals get pretty territorial (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 01:46:40 PM EST
    and we do, too. more so, cuz we have weapons a bear or weasel or osprey don't. boom boom boom. splat.

    humans are animals with electricity. more dangerous and more enlightened, and that equals...

    i think if we started from that point, an acknowledgement of our shared brutal nature with the nature our religions say we have "dominion" over, well, i would hope a new sort of humility might rule the day. although brute force usually talks loudest, and the average cool person, sh*t, we ain't gots a chance. so you live it up, hard as you can, as often as you can, as well as you can, and maybe, just maybe, things get a little better.

    fat chance, i know, but that's better than a thin line to walk.


    Oops, Dadler beat me to it. (none / 0) (#12)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:07:16 PM EST
    All living beings are territorial. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:05:56 PM EST
    That is the natural law.

    Ever seen what a weed does to your lawn? Kills all the grass near it. Fish on a reef? Defends it's piece of coral to the death. Wanna keep the bluejays from eating the fruit on your grapevine? Put up a hummingbird feeder, those mean feathered bastids will keep all the other birds out of your yard. Dam geese at the lake in my town could probably chase off a grown bear.

    Anyway, I'm not saying we should just give in to all our base instincts, considering how civilized we sapiens are and all, just saying that territoriality is actually natural law...


    Point taken... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:25:53 PM EST
    gentlemen...but there is no question the animal kingdon is free to roam.  It might get an animal killed, but they can roam.  

    I'm not asking for the right to safety north pole to south pole, nor the right to food nor shelter.  Just the right to move.


    Although I often wonder how a dog (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:28:22 PM EST
    feels about walking on a leash.

    Good analogy... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:41:49 PM EST
    the purpose almost seems noble...protect the dog and protect from the dog.  In practice, hard to deny the cruelty.

    One of my old hounds grwoing up was never happier than the moment when you took the leash off to let him run free in the park chasing squirells. You knew he knew it was coming too on the leashed walk from the house to the park, the excitement could not be contained.  If he had been killed by a bigger faster stronger dog out exploring, I can't think of a better way to go.

    I've never leashed the current Notorious D.O.G., but he is fenced in on the 1/2 acre, which is also cruel to a lesser extent.  The leash and cage is kinda akin to our prisons (shackles and cells), the yard is kinda akin to our countries.  

    Don't fence me in.


    you leash the dog (none / 0) (#23)
    by nyjets on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:50:43 PM EST
    You leash the dog in case the dog will atack  a person. And because some people do not like or are afraid of dogs.

    Well, if that's the only way your dog ... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:18:41 PM EST
    ... can keep you from running off into the park to chase a flock of pigeons or out into the road to catch a pickup truck, then a dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do, y'know? A good dog is also a responsible dog.

    however (none / 0) (#18)
    by nyjets on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:37:57 PM EST
    Countries and people in that country have the right to keep other people out.
    If a country has to many people, the last thing they need is more people. Espically if there are not enough jobs and resources for the people currently living in the country.

    Again... (4.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:44:12 PM EST
    purpose sounds noble, the practice is cruel.  And our country is by no means "full", I see open spaces everywhere to build a hut, never mind vacancies & foreclosures.

    we are full (none / 0) (#24)
    by nyjets on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:51:29 PM EST
    THe number of people looking for jobs are more than the number of jobs currently avaliable

    Good Point... (none / 0) (#25)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 03:00:50 PM EST
    ...except animals territory usually covers the area in which they sleep/live/hunt, whatever, and area that they could fathomable protect, not entire continents or even countries.

    This territorial business has nothing to do with instinct, a human being cannot grasp the vastness of say America or Russian, and they sure as hell couldn't even visit the space if they wanted.  Humans are the only animals that will fight over land they have never visited, don't want to visit, and in some case, couldn't actually visit.

    This is about good old fashion human misfiring Synapse and the never ending need to control people for the sake of feeling important.  Cuba wants us, it's not them keeping us out, it's 1950's mentality.  Cuba is about as threatening as Greece, they could make a little fizzle, but in reality we could crush them in a week.  Our government allows us to visit nearly every country in the world, but not the backwoods right off the coast, pleaze.

    "Aiding the Enemy", only in a hawks super wet-dream would spending money in Cuba equate.


    Yup. All living things (none / 0) (#26)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 03:13:39 PM EST
    control their "world" to the maximum extent of their abilities.

    If there is a cause (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:09:47 PM EST
    you know Jackson has a song for it. Good video footage of Cuba too.

    Good grief you guys... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by fishcamp on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 11:10:40 PM EST
    it ain't gonna change until "we the people" lift the embargo.  And guess what?  We, in all our brilliance are not going to lift the embargo.  There isn't going to be any travel to Cuba for us...unless you go with me.  I can get us in and out and regardless of any customs stamps or HLS checks it's simple to do.  I'm not trying to be weird or illegal but it's just easy to do from down here if you know how to do it.  Maybe Armando can get us all a group pass and we TL folks could go on a goodwill tour.  If not I'll run us all over for mojitos.

    This is a wonderful idea. The very first (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 12:53:11 AM EST
    TL travel opportunity. I'm there!

    PS. I do enjoy modern dance! (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 12:53:53 AM EST
    I'd be in (none / 0) (#60)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:17:31 AM EST
    just to hear oculus go "Woot" after a performance.

    Kdog's Woots are more impressive. (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:36:11 AM EST
    I'd be in (none / 0) (#59)
    by sj on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:54:45 AM EST
    Beyonce and Jay-Z (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 12:38:06 PM EST

    Its okay for them.  Laws are for little people.

    Laws are for the little people... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 01:44:55 PM EST
    no bout a doubt it Abdul.

    But the answer isn't to treat every rich and/or connected person as sh*tty as a prole, the answer is to extend the rich and/or connected treatment to the proles.


    1,000% agree (none / 0) (#10)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 01:47:06 PM EST
    Are they "little people"? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:29:59 PM EST
    Legal on the shady side... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:46:58 PM EST
    no mention of the reason Treasury gave the permission slip...sure looked like a vacation to me, run of the mill tourism.  

    Not there is anything wrong with that.  But you or I ain't getting a permission slip from Treasury to go on vacay in Havana...take that to the bank Yman.


    I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 04:21:35 PM EST
    I just did a search for the "people to people" exchange program (Cuba) and got a whole bunch of hits from travel agencies - doesn't sound very difficult to get approved.  not to mention that their itinerary doesn't sound like anything I'd want to do on a vacation in a tropical paradise (visiting with another singer - Haila Mompié, a children's theatre company, students and teachers at Havana's Superior Art Institute, and the country's national contemporary dance troupe).

    I'd need some evidence before I'd accuse them of receiving preferential treatment, as opposed to something I could do by signing up for a trip with a travel agency.

    That being said, I'm in favor of eliminating the ban entirely.


    Any US Citizen Can Travel to Cuba... (none / 0) (#2)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 12:39:15 PM EST
    ... so long as they pay the cash to have an escort that the US Treasury sanctions/licenses.

    National Geographic Expeditions will take you there for 9 days and $5,795.
    And they aren't the only game in town.

    And while I don't know, I can't imagine the Carters went there without the license from Treasury.

    What is kind of humorous, the 2 republicans,  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Maro Dias-Balart, that are throwing a fit are of Cuban descent and can travel their freely.  I see Rubio jumped on board as well.  It would be interesting to know how often they go there.

    I have a friend going in May with (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:06:08 PM EST
    a group from the League of Women Voters. Can't wait to hear all about it. She is a wonderful elderly leftie and will make lots of friends.

    comment brings to mind (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 11:09:13 PM EST
    elections, if the League of Women Voters were still handling Presidential debates, another "elderly female leftie" would have been included and not shut out; Jill Stein

    open discussion on issues is best, even if you're on the losing side


    The daily airplane from Miami (none / 0) (#28)
    by fishcamp on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 03:47:43 PM EST
    to Havana for Cuban Americans is almost $500 r/t so it's an expensive situation.  The only way the US government will lift the embargo is when the Cuban government returns all the land, banks, homes, businesses, etc that they nationalized in 1959.  If they do that there will be a mad dash from all the previous owners to re-aquire their property.  They would have a revolution on their hands.

    Thought I Read... (none / 0) (#32)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 04:37:14 PM EST
    ...they were giving farms and houses to people who have lived in them for several generations.  That was a couple years ago, when Fidel stepped down I think.  Speaking of, is fidel spanish because, to me, it's real close to infidel ?

    $500 from Miami, that's crazy.


    The name comes from (none / 0) (#34)
    by Zorba on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 04:44:12 PM EST
    the Latin originally, and means "faithful."
    Remember Adeste Fideles?  Oh Come, All Ye Faithful?

    $500 is indeed crazy. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:07:14 PM EST
    And in some cases, I've heard that the cost can run as much as $800 R/T between MIA and HAV, which can't be more than 250 miles, each way.

    But really, it's no more crazy than being charged $580 for a R/T ticket between Nome, AK and Anchorage, which is what I paid Alaska Airlines eight years ago. That was $150 more than I had paid to fly R/T between Honolulu and Anchorage on the same trip, which is four times as long, distance-wise.

    When you've got a monopoly on service for a particular route, you can apparently get away with just this side of murder when it comes to your fares.

    As far as travel to Cuba is concerned, if you can't go via the MIA charters, then I believe that Aeromexico, Air Canada and Iberia offer regularly scheduled flights to Havana from Mexico City, Toronto and Madrid, respectively.


    my guess is they do not go there at all (none / 0) (#41)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:24:41 PM EST
    republican Cubans from south Florida would be against anyone going.  They still think they can make the ban work and bring the commies in Cuba down. From their perspective it makes perfect sense.

    The Reason Cubans Can Visit Cuba (none / 0) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:56:41 PM EST

    I have a friend that goes back every couple of years, he has invited me, but we aren't that close so I never got the particulars, like if a non-Cuban friend can go legally with a Cuban.

    While I agree with you, many Cubans travel to Cuba because they have family still there.  And it's funny that you think they care about this issue more than the anti-Obama angle.  Pretty sure if Chuck Norris went to Cuba they wouldn't calling for an investigation.


    Walker Texas Ranger? (none / 0) (#43)
    by CoralGables on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 07:04:42 PM EST
    everyone knows that would be a cultural exchange.

    Scott, You wouldn't be able to go... (none / 0) (#49)
    by fishcamp on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 11:15:23 PM EST
    not funny at all (none / 0) (#55)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:59:09 AM EST
    having lived in south Florida for many years and been involved with the politics there, I can tell you they care much less about Obama than they do about their ever lasting grudge against Castro and the communists.  If ever there were a case to be made for all politics being local, this would be it.

    You've been removed too long (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 08:16:13 AM EST
    My entire Latin neighborhood (yes I'm the only gringo) were Obama voters. Dade County voted for Obama 61.58% - 37.87% in 2012.

    Fidel has seen 6 US Presidents go to their graves since he took power and he's now been on the sidelines for five years. Castro is such little force in Miami now that the official Dade County plans for the Castro death rally is scheduled at the Orange Bowl, and the Orange Bowl was demolished five years ago.


    To Be Clear... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 08:51:06 AM EST
    ...you think if this couple was friends of the Bush family, the same people would be making the same stink ?

    Fidel Castro advises N. Korea (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:18:04 PM EST
    against war:  Reuters

    Will this make any difference re U.S. barring unauthorized visits by U. s. passport holders to Cuba?

    It'll make no difference... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:27:27 PM EST
    but Lil' Kim should listen to Fidel...if anybody knows about staying alive and in office while in the US crosshairs, it's f*ckin' Fidel.

    This lingering hardline attitude (none / 0) (#27)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 03:44:51 PM EST
    is 90% about appealing to the swing state descendents-of-Alpha 66 crowd, no? Or is there a lot more to than that?

    Does the first pres to do away with all travel restrictions to Cuba get grassy knolled by Felix Rodriguez and Frank Sturgis, or is it just that they run the risk of losing the South Florida vote in the next presidential election?


    More likely (none / 0) (#29)
    by CoralGables on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 04:19:30 PM EST
    they would win the South Florida vote by an even larger margin by opening up travel. While Democrats have often feared the Cuban American voters who loved Reagan, it should be noted the Dem candidate has won Miami-Dade County for at least the last 5 presidential elections. Miami-Dade is overwhelmingly Latin but not Cuban. It's not your father's Little Havana anymore.

    Between the Cuban embargo (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by fishcamp on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 04:28:49 PM EST
    and Jeralyn's excellent post about the DEA in Africa I'm suddenly thirsty for a Mojito.  Most local bars down here grow their own mint...entonces no problemo.

    OT but vaguely related (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by CoralGables on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 05:40:58 PM EST
    thought you might enjoy how an angry Marlins fan beat the DMV with his personal license plate order.

    Excellent. (none / 0) (#36)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 05:47:11 PM EST
    Make an extra one (none / 0) (#33)
    by Zorba on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 04:40:28 PM EST
    for me while you're at it, fishcamp!
    Or perhaps, a Cuba libre?    ;-)

    No Drinks... (none / 0) (#58)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:14:23 AM EST
    ...without the some music, unfortunately, this is the only pseudo-Cuba music I own, the good news it's really good.

    Clocks by the Buena Vista Social Club from the album Rythums Del Mundo.  It's album of US songs set to Cuban Music.

    Open to Cuban Music recommendations.


    Honestly, after all the places I've been ... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 05:48:07 PM EST
    ... in my life -- including the then-Soviet Union and East Germany, China (pre-Tiennamen Square), Sandinista Nicaragua, Gen. Pinochet's Chile, Cambodia and most recently, Zimbabwe in 2010 and Vietnam last year -- the very idea that I should be prohibited from visiting Cuba seems so ridiculous and far-fetched, that it must've been concocted by some obsolete cold warrior who's smoked too much opium while facing off with Charlie back in the day.

    I think I just decided where The Spouse and I should consider going for our next overseas adventure. Thanks, BTD.

    This Florida story (none / 0) (#40)
    by CoralGables on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:19:42 PM EST
    consider it the follow up to the Elian Gonzalez story, will have more to do with normalized relations with Cuba than Jay-Z and Beyonce

    yeah CG, that's a bad one... (none / 0) (#50)
    by fishcamp on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 11:19:23 PM EST
    We beat the USSR... (none / 0) (#44)
    by unitron on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:58:51 PM EST
    ...with blue jeans and The Beatles.

    Anyone think the Castros would really survive an influx of American tourists, their dollars, and their cultural influence?

    Especially if they came bearing J.C. Whitney catalogs full of parts for those old American cars?

    good point Unitron... (none / 0) (#51)
    by fishcamp on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 11:46:12 PM EST
    they wouldn't survive our input because we are too jaded.  However, the car thing would be wonderful for the Cuban people.  They have the most outlandish array of old American cars down there that are kept together by homemade parts and cleverly smuggled in stuff.  Fidel hated Harley Davidson motorcycles and rounded up and destroyed most of them.  They're are still about one hundred Harleys running around Havana.  They are all old pan heads and knuckle heads...classic Harleys.  I love it down there.

    This exhibit at ICP (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 12:51:36 AM EST
    included  an official Cuban government video mocking the Beatles, but Cuban young people were not deterred:



    Well, if we're not willing to open up and ... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:37:20 PM EST
    ... allow trade and travel with Cuba, there are a lot of other countries in Europe and our own hemisphere which will be more than happy to fill the void caused by our absence -- and already are.

    Very true Donald but... (none / 0) (#63)
    by fishcamp on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 08:27:35 PM EST
    if you want to go to Cuba all you need is an invitation from the yacht club and here's how you do it.  Contact Isaura, secretary to Commodore Escrich , Hemingway Int. Yacht Club.  yacht club@cnih.my.cyt.cu.  Contact Isaura and request an invitation to either their fishing tournaments or sailing regattas.  Their other email address is yacht club@cnih.mh.tur.cu.  And there you have my secret.