Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Díaz-Balart vs. McGovern: The Lincoln-Douglas Debate It Wasn't

Henry Gómez's critique of the C-Span debate on the trade embargo is actually rather good. The Lincoln-Douglas debate it certainly wasn't. Díaz-Balart was an ineffectual advocate for the trade embargo and Cuban freedom. Not exactly outfranked by his dim partner, Díaz-Balart did not manage to do what McGovern did — get his talking points across. Lincoln Diaz-Balart simply cannot think on his feet. I don't know whether this is because of a paucity of brain matter, tired feet, or both. Henry's riposte was 100 percent on target. If Henry had debated McGovern and limited himself to this statement, he would have won easily. Henry, who suffers from a painful lack of gravitas and decomposes when exasperated, would not have done better on stage than did Díaz-Balart. But it is a fact and I will not deny it that not in a million years, working like the proverbial monkey at the typewriter, could Díaz-Balart produce Henry's eloquent and reasoned brief for the trade embargo.


Leftist bloggers are not satisfied with Congressman McGovern's performance either. Left I On the News (how cute!) had this to say about it:

"McGovern, the liberal? Not one word of rebuttal! All he had to say was, the blockade (they called it an "embargo" of course) is a "failed policy" ("failed" because it hasn't overthrown the government), and if we really want to "change things" in Cuba, the best way to do that is to drop the blockade and let American college students on spring break "invade" Cuba. [L]iberals like McGovern are so frightened about being "tarred" by association with Cuba that the thought of saying one word in Cuba's defense is simply too much for them to deal with, even on a subject like the end of apartheid. Instead, he retreats to the "safer" area of "Americans' Constitutional right to travel" and the "best way to change things in Cuba. Feh."


Charlie Bravo said...

What do one can expect from Diaz Balart?
His political career is tied to his uncle's political career. As long as his uncle is in power he will be in power. He hasn't repelled the dry foot wet foot, so what the hell does he cares about Cuba and Cubans?
Isn't his hapless show of ineptitude enough for people to understand that?
Since one half of our blogs is in Washington DC, I've been bombarded since last night with e-mails about his comparecence and "debate" on C-SPAN....
The hyphenated politicos only respond to their party agendas first, and to their personal agendas first too. Cuba? Well... that's not even remotely on their radar, judging for the policies they don't oppose or for the "ideas" they manage to "think".

Anonymous said...

And yet, we will elect him again in the next election. Why? Because he represents the views of the majority of Cuban-Americans - those that can and do vote. Unless you think things have changed that much in barely 12 months...

On the WFDF policy, the operative word for Mr. Diaz-Balart is "don't rock the boat" (no pun intended). There is no national will towards a return to the terms of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, nothing but a pipe dream. So we are faced with only 2 choices: WFDF or elimination of ALL favoritism towards Cubans. Political asylum is not going away for those who can prove persecution but it IS getting harder to claim persecution when 1 year and a day after asking for "asylum" most return to Cuba without any fear ... and bearing gifts. Today you are in "fear" of your life and 12 months later you are not? Give me a break.

Is the US Embargo working? Of course it is. It is keeping billions a year out of the hands of the regime. It is keeping their hands off the IMF and it is keeping many multinational companies from investing in Cuba. Is it air-tight? No. But keeping 50% out is better that zero. What do you think Castro Inc would have done and will do with another $5-10 billion a year? Give them to the people?

And on unlimited remittances, where do you think that money ends up? The storekeeper of course.

That said, I have a compromise idea. Make remittances unlimited but apply a 50% tax. Now that is something I could vote for. For every dollar you give to castro (via your family) you contribute 1 dollar in support of anti-castro activities.

Vana said...

Guess that anonymous was Diaz-Balart talking, the embargo has worked, really? what embargo? the one Castro has on the Cuban people?
I guess 48 years of no fruition means it's working, the purpose for the embargo as I understand it is to topple the regime, well guess what? it's still there enslaving the people, and starving them!

And yes the Miami crowd will again vote for them, because all their heads hold is hair, no brains there I tell you, NONE!

Charlie Bravo said...

First of all let me address your other comment on the other point. This guy is not Biscet, who know is not seeing as independent enough by the Cubans in Cuba, since he "owns" this one to Ros-Lehtinen. That guy's just someone whose dignity has been trampled in public. By a regime you oppose.
The embargo, it doesn't exist, because as you know, and as the politicos know, 34 states are dealing full blast with Cuba, including cattle ranches from Florida... Hardly a secret. So it's not a matter or working or not working.
Diaz Balart represents the people who are turning a blind eye to that reality but who told me that my five dollars and a flask of aspirins to a family member, mind you, family as defined by them, is just another crutch to support the regime.
The Dry Foot Wet Foot is criminal, period. Anymore on that? If you agree with the Dry Foot Wet Foot, and with Cubans being abused on the high seas, hunted, and beaten and sent back to Cuba, all I can tell you is that you do not deserve to call yourself a Cuban in my humble opinion.
Freedom means also that if those Cubans want to come to the US and do what you don't think that is correct, well, they have the right to do it. That's called freedom.
Besides, you know very well that you go back to Cuba with an American green card in your pocket and the PALESTINOS and the TYRANNY think twice before touching one of your hairs with a feather. Because you have the US backing you, and they would not mess with that.
The regime of Cuba is getting millions, and zillions, from Venezuela, Iran, and yes, American businessmen who are using from companies everywhere. Ask ATT about the land they own in Cuba. Don't they pay taxes to Cuba on it?
Of couse Castro don't give anything to the people of Cuba, that's what it's a tyranny, right....
Now, where on Earth did you get that I (I suppose that you were responding to my comment, smile, I bit your bait) am against the embargo?
Why are you mixing the non-existing embargo with the inhumane Dry Foot Wet Foot, the limitations in travel (a nice complement to Castro's policies of separation of families) and the limitation of remittances (another nice complement to Castro's socialized mysery to control the people of Cuba)? Are they the same? I think not.
It's interesting that you think that money taken of sent to Cuba end up all with Castro.... I can offer you one example in the open that it's not that way necessarily: black market. People use the dollars sent to them to pay for black market goods, to buy things stolen from the government, and to pay for services like painting a house or repairing a toilet. As you very well know, those services are not given or offered by the government. That's all black market. All who are in the black market are not part of the government. The same with the ones who install antennas to watch American TV, the same with the ones who will steal medications from high honcho hospitals (don't worry, the hospitals for regular Cubans have nothing as you know) and so on and so forth. That's your anticastro activity right there.
Now, you don't have to agree with me. I don't have to agree with you.
Happy that I bit your bait?
Ah, you said one very good thing in your comment, "And yet, we will elect him again in the next election. Why? Because he represents the views of the majority of Cuban-Americans - those that can and do vote."
Yes, he represents the ones who can vote. And evidently, he doesn't care about the ones who are newcomers who have families left in Cuba. News: they don't care about him either. And they will have the right to vote sooner than later when they become citizens.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Bravo,

Thanks for taking the bait. And thanks for a well thought out reply. We can agree to disagree, but maybe we agree on more than we disagree. Who knows.

To clarify.

WFDF - it is a morally dubious policy, no disagreement there. The question I pose is this: is it better than nothing? Because in today's American immigration environment, "nothing" is the only realistic alternative to WFDF. Nothing is safer for the balseros because a big part of the incentive will be gone. Getting on a balsa was never been about safety, it was about opportunity.

Embargo - it is leaky. "n" states SELL to cuba goods for cash. But there is no inflow of cash only outflow - I see no problem with this.

Yes, companies will find a way into the market. You can buy iPods in Mexico and sell them in Havana. But again, as long as their limited cash reserves are used to buy our goods, we benefit and they benefit little.

The part of the US embargo that is keeping foreign investment money out of the hands of the cuban army may be only 50% effective but I see this as a victory and not a defeat. We will never know how many countries in latin america are free today because castro just couldn't afford to export his revolution to their shores.

Remitances - The thing with the black market and remittances is that you know full well that if the floodgates are opened the cuban army will become the #1 competitor to the "black market." All they have to do is let remitances arrive as convertibles and they'll get their 20% up front and another 50% on the profits from goods sold in army-run stores. Stupid, they are not.

Again, I am against anything that gives the cuban army dollars. And if all I can do is reduce the inflow, in my opinion it is better than nothing.

If the US "embargo" will not end the regime (failed so far), it will reduce their ability to project their power - I'll settle for this until a better idea comes along.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


The trade embargo was never intended to "end the regime." It was meant to cripple it and that it has done for 45 years. Without it the regime's potential for mischief would have been much greater. It was a punitive measure and by that measure it has certainly punished Cuba's despoilers. It also contributed, indirectly, to the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe since Cuba's upkeep bankrupted the Soviet Union. It's economic collapse was a necessary prelude to its political implosion. It was not only the arms race that accomplished this but Communist Cuba's chronic mendicancy.

Charlie Bravo said...

Thanks to you, Anonymous, for having your opinions, and for taking the time to defend them. I think that we coincide in many points, disagree in methods, and see past the fog. There's nothing perfect about destroying such a well put together tyranny, because even in the most meaningful destruction, perfection does not exist. Unless we talk about what we are taking about, the perfect destruction of the perfect hell that has been impossed on the Cuban people.
I just simply wish that the politicians understand that they are creating an animous against the U.S. in the only country where it has never existed, at a population level.
I just simply wish they understand that the future of Cuba belongs to the Cuban people through democracry, not through manipulation....
Until now, the regime of Cuba is crippled, not destroyed. They will always find a way to bail themselves out of whatever is imposed of them because they have a department of the Direccion Politica del Partido, el departamento America where they have analists who understand America as well as your next door neighbor always thinking how to solve the worst case scenario. How to stop this? With well collected and well used intelligence. Going contrarian on them.
I will put you a simple example. Let's say that I was in a very unequal fight when I was in my twenties. The guy was in his forties, heavier, stronger, and taller. A cop. With his damn tonfa (a japanese style club) and swinging to a crowd, where I was. My old judo professor had told me that my only advantage was to equalize the conditions between me and my adversary, I could not grow muscles and inches in a second. But I could lay on the ground and make the guy come to the ground for me (bait, as the one you put for me) and then fight him. So I threw myself in the ground and kicked his knee to bring him down. Then I had and advantage, and could hold him till somebody took his club and kick him off of me, and we ran. The guy was limping and thanks God he was one of those cops without a gun (that was the eighties, not now!)
This is exactly what we can do with the tyranny.
We need to cripple it, but besides that, we have to disarm it, and to hit it with all our force.