Marc Másferrer's excellent reply to Henry Louis Gómez (quoted in the previous post) requires no further elaboration from me. Charlie Bravo, also, has demolished with his knowledge and firsthand experience of life in Communist Cuba Henry's unsupported assumptions which are the product of his dearth of knowledge and experience. I could, therefore, spare myself the trouble of refuting Henry if I had not already promised that I would and here at RCAB we always keep our promises.
Because it's closed system Marc [I think Marc knows that]. It's a racket [I think Marc knows that too]. I know you know exactly how this works [OK, so Marc knew all along and Henry knew that Marc knew. What then is the point of telling Marc what Marc already knows and did not deny?] You send your relative $100 and the regime gets $20 right off the bat [It wouldn't allow remittances if it didn't get a cut. Remember, it's a racket]. Then with the remaining $80 [500% of their average monthly salary] they can buy materials from the state at grossly inflated prices (if they are even available) ["Grossly inflated" but not enough to make the money useless; the same materials which may not be available at the state store will certainly be for sale on the black market and probably at a lower price]. Let's say a 4 x 8 piece of plywood costs $5 here [Henry actually has to "suppose" what it costs here? This is something that Val could actually help him with]. Well they'll gladly sell it to your relative for $15 or $20 [If Henry doesn't know what it costs here I doubt that he would know what it costs there]. So the buying power of your relative's $80 was reduced by 80% [Henry's buying power would be reduced if he moved to Cuba. A Cuban, however, doesn't shop in American stores. The "80%" figure, of course, is just made up out of whole cloth].
As if that weren't bad enough, you have to consider what the regime does with the $100 that it just scammed you out of [But let's forget what your relative does with the $100 because that hundred is more important to the regime than to your relative, right?]. It builds tourist hotels [No it does not. Fidel Castro has never invested one cent in Cuba to build hotels or anything else. Castro does own a 51% interest in all hotels on the island, extorted from the foreign investors who built the hotels and run them at their expense. The only hotel that Castro ever invested "his" money in building is a 40-story skyscraper in China]. It pays for fidel's healthcare [Yes, I am sure Fidel has to wait for the remittances to come in before he can pay his medical bills]. It pays for the repressive forces the regime employs [Henchmen are a dime a dozen in Cuba, alas. The security apparatus is financed through Castro's military-industrial complex. All the "soft money" profits of Castro Inc. (the "taxes" from the remittances and "royalties" from long-distance calls) are funnelled to offshore banks and overseas subsidiaries. Besides, Castro has already stolen everything of value in Cuba and a good chunk of Cuba's $36 billion foreign debt. Why dismiss the mother lode, which doesn't help Cubans, and aim your guns at the remittances, which actually do?].
I simply don't understand what the desire is to go out of your way to fund the people perpetuating the crimes [What Henry doesn't understand is why the Cuban people need food, clothing and housing. It's funding these that to Henry is the "crime"].
Plus you make it sound like it's illegal to send ANY money to Cuba which you know is false [Marc never implied that and only a fool would believe it]. Cubans living in America can send Cubans on the island the equivalent of FIVE times the average Cuban monthly salary without sidestepping U.S. law which is easily sidestepped. [Henry makes it sound like it's legal for all Cubans here to send all Cubans there money. It is not. Money can only be sent to parents, children and siblings and the sum that can be sent monthly is also limited to $100. That may be the American definition of family but it is not the Cuban definition. At the beginning Henry belittled the sum of $100 as insignificant; now he hails it as a bonanza].
So what are we arguing about here? [Babalú's desire to starve Cubans into rebellion?]. This is crazy. [Yeah, plenty crazy]. We can provide FIVE times what the Cuban state provides and We're the bad guys? [I guess FIVE times SHIT is good enough for Cubans. And what the hell is that "we" doing there? Does Henry send remittances to his relatives in Cuba? No, Cubans who send money to relatives in Cuba are not bad guys. It's Cubans who would be content to see them starve who are the bad guys, on whatever side of the Florida Straits they happen to reside].
Please Marc. I'm afraid you're embarrassing yourself. [Marc is embarrassing himself? Oh, brother!].
Plus what do you tell the 80% of Cubans who don't have relatives en la yuma to send them greenbacks? [It was 71% last week at Babalú; next week it will probably be 90%. In fact, most Cubans on the island have relatives in the U.S. The Cuban definition of family, as has already been noted, encompasses more than parents, children and siblings]. What good does removing the remittance restrictions do them? [So if all Cubans can't benefit by remittances then none should? How egalitarian! Imagine, Raúl renounces egalitarianism and Henry embraces it! BTW, Henry recently boasted that he's making ten times more now than he ever did before in his life. Shouldn't he renounce those riches because most of his fellow Babalunians are not doing as well? What good does paying him a sultan's salary do the rest of them?]. I'd argue based on what I said earlier about what the regime spends its money on that you are you subsidizing their captors [But everything that Henry said earlier was wrong. Based on what he said I would argue that Henry is more concerned about starving the regime than about Cubans who are starving]. Perverse [Perverse doesn't even cover it].
Posted by: Henry Louis Gomez Saturday, September 20, 2008 at 12:11 AM