President Bush by-passes Cuban sugar cane as he flies to Federal Republic of Brazil

Today’s print media coverage of the president’s visit to Brazil leads me to this post.
It’s time for a short history lesson. We have a generation that was born after the Bay of Pigs who probably don’t even know what is was and what it represented. As I reflect on our former WW2 adversaries, namely Japan and Germany, resulting in the loss of over 400,000 U.S. troops in that Second World War, we eventually helped rebuild those axis nations with US dollars. Since that time they have become allies of the US and represent some of our largest supporters.

A decade later, in the Korean War, we had to contend with the People’s Republic of China. China was the principle supporter of the North Korean Army KPA. President Nixon opened the door to that Nation in his 1971 visit to meet with Chairman Mao Zedong, Founder of the People’s Republic of China. Chairman Mao’s (Communist) Red Guards tortured and killed multi millions of their citizens during their Cultural Revolution. Yet today we enjoy a trade agreement with that Nation who manufacturers products that can be found in any store where we shop.

Although considerably smaller than Brazil, the Nation of Cuba, located 90 miles south of the Florida Keys, also produces sugar cane that can be used for ethanol fuel. If our goal is to reduce our dependence on imported oil than every alternate energy source should be considered. Let me remind readers that we were the aggressors, supported the attack on Fidel Castro’s Cuba back in 1961, yet the US seems to have a dual standard on relationships with Communist Nations. We spent billions during the Cold War to stay ahead of the USSR nations who have since become our friends, have massive trade with China importing over $288 billion dollars in 2006, yet continue to boycott Cuba nearly 50 years after that botched C.I.A. attack.

Question. Should we re-visit our trade and tourism relationship with Cuba?

About Larry Gilbert