by Ted Rudow III, MA Tuesday Feb 7th, 2012
There are no commemorations planned in Washington, D.C., but today marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. embargo against Cuba — the longest-running embargo in the world. On February 7, 1962, President John F. Kennedy formally expanded the harsh regime of commercial and financial sanctions against Cuba that have continued to the present day.
The embargo has been solidly bipartisan, notably intensifying under the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, which was passed by a Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. Castro's government has squelched people's freedom somewhat, and they have been intolerant of religious activity, but that's not entirely Castro's fault. It's largely the result of the influence of other elements in his government, as well as, at least in the beginning, pressure from his communist backers who support him. Most people think the way to get the few remaining Communist countries to open up more is not to isolate them, but to engage them in conversation, to have interaction with them. That's the way they've treated North Korea and other former Communist countries. But they're doing exactly the opposite with Cuba!--Mainly due to the Cuban-American lobby, which is very strong in Washington. It's a '60s policy toward Castro in a '2010s World. You know what's the worst thing about the U.S.?--Their hypocrisy!
Ted Rudow III, MA