A New Political Blockade for Cuba

By on 6.17.14 | 4:01PM

The half-life of rage against Fidel Castro is roughly fifty-three years, give or take a generation and then some.

An annual poll released this morning by Florida International University revealed that the majority of Cuban Americans now favor an increase in economic involvement in Cuba. For decades, policy analysts have blamed the importance of the Cuban-American vote in swing-state Florida as the reason politicians refused to touch the Cuban embargo. Now that the key voting bloc is leaning toward a more free-market approach to Cuba, opposition to the embargo is no longer a politically unviable position to take. Right? 

Wrong. A new political blockade has arisen. Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez, both Cuban-Americans, still cling to the notion that lifting the embargo will make achieving democracy in Cuba more difficult and cede more money and legitimacy to the Castro regime.

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Cuba’s Embargo Imbroglio

By on 5.7.14 | 4:55PM

Gary Becker, a Nobel laureate, expert in applied economics, and professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago, died this past weekend. His last post on the Becker-Posner blog is titled, “The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go” and speaks to his legacy as an eminent economist.

In the post, Becker argues that resuming free trade with Cuba will pressure the Cuban government to “end its failed experiment with communism.” The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates American losses from the embargo to be $1.2 billion annually. This accounts for opportunity costs from potential gains in tourism, real estate, agriculture, and other industries.

Evidence supports Becker’s claim that opening up Cuba would do a lot more to force its liberalization than keeping it closed. Tourist areas like Varadero that have been exposed to capitalism in a limited sense are markedly different from the rest of Cuba. As Becker points out, the change would be almost immediate.

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Senator Rubio on Cuba

By on 2.25.14 | 1:19PM

Marco Rubio had one of his better moments on the Senate floor yesterday.

Watch it below.

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