Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Clueless in McKinney

I've gotten to the point where I just register the uniformed idiots who go down to Cuba, get the dog and pony show, and then come back spewing sweetness and light about the place. This one, though, got to me. First of all, I was peeved when this Texas deputation went down. Texas, the last bastion of individualism, one would think would be sympathetic to Cubans deprived of even the most basic of liberties. Can it be that these Texans are so ignorant or willfully blind that they don't know the score? I think it was the tourist picture, posing with the statue of Hemingway, that set me off.

Frank Walker, Sr, president of a food manufacturer, went down to sell the Cubans food. He's back home trying to put a deal together for desserts and sausages. Sausages, he says. Ordinary Cubans have not seen a sausage in years, despite having at least one substantial factory. Why? Doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure it out. And, come on, dessert is what you have after a meal, a bit difficult if you don't have enough to scrounge a decent meal. So who is this stuff for?

But the best is yet to be. Here's the kicker:

If America were to open up trade in Cuba, the population of the country would probably have a middle class, Walker said.

“We are the only civilized, modern country not openly engaging in free trade with Cuba, which is our policy, not theirs as all other countries that so desire, enjoy their business. Just who is our embargo affecting negatively? Think about it,”

How do you counter such utter ignorance and ethnocentrism? Oh, yeah, the entire rest of the world trades with Cuba and hasn't caused a seismic shift in the class structure: party apparatchiks on top, the mass of Cuban citizenry below. But he and his fellow cohorts are going to go down in their ostrich cowboy boots and Stetsons and wave their magic cheesecake and, shazaam, a middle class will appear. Of course, the crux of the matter is at the end of the quote. Just think of all the money we're missing out on. I think he might want to ask the Mexicans, the Japanese, the Russians, et al, how much money there is to be made by extending credit to Cuba. The faux embargo, however, will save those like Mr. Walker from themselves.

Comebola. Story here. Some days you just want to pull your hair out.

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