Cuba Travel Vote Postponed
According to The Hill, the House Foreign Relations Committee's vote on Cuba Travel, H.R. 4645, was indefinitely postponed because of insufficient supporting votes. Nothing was said about when they would attempt again. They probably want to catch everyone off guard before holding it (and hold on to their congressional seats as well). So we'll probably (thankfully) have to wait until after the November 2010 elections.
In the meantime, you might want to take a look at these stories if you haven't already done so:
From Reuters via Capitol Hill Cubans
Cuban Military Prepares for Berman's Bailout
From the Wall Street Journal -- Mary O'Grady of the Wall Street Journal tells it much more eloquently than me.
Weekend at Fidel's
From The Atlantic Part III
Castro: 'No One Has Been Slandered More Than the Jews' -- In this article, Journalist Goldberg, following Fidel Castro's explicit instructions, helps him reach out to Israel and to U.S. Jews, hopefully to erase all of his (and Chavez's) past slurs. Israel, of course, always needs friends, but specially now in the middle of the Palestinian talks. Thus, Benjamin Netanyahu and Simone Perez immediately reciprocated by thanking the Cuban tyrant while completely putting aside the 51 year plight of the Cuban people. (Everyone else does it, right? Even some U.S. Republicans and almost all Latin Americans do it. Well, why not us?) Castro scratched their back so perhaps now they will be motivated to help him get this Cuba Travel bill passed; something the Palestinians would never have been able to accomplish.
From The Atlantic -- Part II
Fidel Tries To Wiggle Out of One
From The Atlantic - Part I
Fidel: 'Cuban Model Doesn't Even Work For Us Anymore'...retracted days later...see link above this one. A tyrant is a tyrant. This particular one (and now his brother, the latter says) controls everything in Cuba, like, hmmm, all media. He can say whatever he wishes and later retract as many times as he wants.
For example, one of Castro's first promises, 51 years ago, was to restore Cuba's 1940 democratic Constitution, the one Batista had violated through his 1952 coup of a legitimately democratic government (Prío). At the time (1959), Castro also promised immediate legitimate elections, unlike the illegitimate ones Batista held after his coup.
Instead, like Batista but far worst, Castro ruled by decree for 27 years, created an absolutely militarized totalitarian state and pushed through his bogus 1976 constitution guaranteeing 'the revolution', that is, him, absolute rights.
Nonetheless, there are now some in the United States who want to help him. That's not what they say of course. He is bankrupt but they want to finance him. It's just a trick, they imply. Their real intent, they claim, is to free Cubans from tyranny.
Something similar took place with Batista after his coup, that is, President Truman and subsequently President Eisenhower supported him. Why? Would President Lincoln ever have supported a Batista or a Castro?
No. I don´t think anyone could argue that, except slave owners. That´s part of what is really happening today. There are those who will significantly financially benefit from resuscitating Castro´slave state. They have sales contracts and their calculation is that if they enable Castro to bring in hundreds of millions of U.S. tourist dollars, he will be able to purchase, and most importantly, pay for the U.S. goods they want to sell him. Right now Castro can´t pay them, and so their exports have significantly dropped. The argument is logical but only if one reasons in a vacuum, that is, if one dismisses the fact that US Travel dollars will effectively enable the Castro regime to continue denying the Cuban people their most basic rights. I'm referring to those all Americans hold most dear.
Another reason to support him, of course, is that one is a Marxist, that is, one would want to import Castro´s system to the U.S. in whole or in part. Many of those who support him fall in this category, or they are naive temporary Marxists.
Both slave owner clones and Marxists will go to absurd extremes to convince one that free travel and trade with Cuba will end the tyranny, or even that there is nothing seriously or fundamentally wrong with the Cuban regime. But they know it's not true.
They will allude to renowned Cuban dissidents such as Ms. Yoani Sanchez or Mr. Guillermo Fariñas, and to their support for legal U.S. travel to Cuba even if it means financing Castro. My response is that any dissident who supports financing Castro, as US citizens traveling to Cuba most surely will, is either naive (the most likely explanation and what explains almost all cases), or partly irrational, or is deriving some hidden personal benefit, or, the unspeakable: they are on his payroll. I don't believe the latter is the case with either of these highly idealistic dissidents.
One other spuriously Kantian and naively idealistic argument is that one can't deny others a right one wants respected for one's self. Thus, if Cubans want for themselves the right to travel to the U.S. they must support the supposedly equivalent right of US citizens to travel to Cuba. But that's comparing apples to oranges and only a very naive person would not realize as much. Cubans can't travel anywhere without the tyranny's permission which is almost always denied. Thousands have risked their lives, and died, attempting to escape by sea. Those that are allowed to travel must request permission to return before one year lapses or their homes are taken away. In addition, they may not even be allowed to return, even to visit their parents or children. Those who are not permitted to travel (almost all) must remain their lives trapped inside an island surrounded by powerful waves, currents and sharks, unable to change their leaders and forced to work for an average of $18 per month in whatever the tyrannical regime assigns or permits, or else risk illegal work. B.F. Skinner's daughter's cage was paradise compared to this.
US citizens can travel almost anywhere and return when they wish. That's why what Cubans are subjected to is simply inconceivable to Americans; and why some naively compare situations. The right of an American to travel to Cuba cannot be paid for by Cubans living under a tyranny. In the hierarchy of human rights, Cubans' right to the fundamental freedoms all Americans enjoy supersedes the right of Americans to travel to Cuba. Furthermore no country or people (including Americans) has the right to finance a tyranny. That would be a crime against humanity, and against a particular people, not a right.
Once Cuba is free, all Americans should of course be welcomed.
Good and reasonable Americans will be concerned about their Cuban neighbors in Cuba and Florida while praying, voting and acting such that a tragedy like the one the Cubans have faced for 51 years never strikes the United States.
House panel delays action on Cuba bill
U.S. Senate Closer to Financing Cuba's Tyranny - UPDATED
H.R. 4645: Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act