Lately, anti-“embargo” sentiment has even “crossed the aisle.” Pro-embargo Cuban-exile lobbyists managed to get Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal, Chris Dodd and Larry Craig, Pat Buchanan and Antonio Villaraigosa, George Will and Noam Chomsky, The Brookings Institution and the Cato Institute, the Wall Street Journal and The Nation, The U.S. Communist Party and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce–all on the same side of an issue. All of the above have come out publicly against the so-called Cuban embargo. All blame it on the “politically-powerful” and “well-heeled” Cuban-American lobby.
Not that Castroite sponging started recently. In fact, per capita-wise, for years Cuba has qualified as the world’s biggest debtor nation with a foreign debt of close to $50 billion, a credit rating nudging Somalia’s, and an uninterrupted record of defaults. In 2008, one of the world’s most respected economic forecasting firms, the London- based Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked Cuba as virtually the world’s worst country in terms of business. Only Iran and Angola ranked lower. This firm predicted that Cuba’s abysmal business climate would remain that way for the next five years, at the very least.
Standard & Poors refuses even to rate Cuba, regarding the economic figures released by the regime as utterly bogus.
In 1986 Cuba defaulted on most of its foreign debt to Europe. Three years ago, France’s version of the U.S. government’s Export-Import bank, (named COFACE) cut off Cuba’s credit line. Mexico’s Bancomex quickly followed suit. This came about because the Castro regime stuck it to French taxpayers for $175 million and to Mexican taxpayers for $365 million. Bancomex was forced to impound Cuban assets in three different countries in an attempt to recoup its losses.
Last year, the Castro regime suddenly froze $1 billion held in Cuban banks by foreign (mostly Spanish) businessmen. “Cuban banks informed depositors that they had no foreign exchange to back up the convertible peso in which many were doing business,” explained Reuters Havana Bureau.
However valuable to American taxpayers today, U.S. sanctions against Castro’s Stalinist regime were not originally enacted due to their abysmal credit rating. In July 1960, Castro’s KGB-trained security forces stormed into 5,911 U.S. owned businesses in Cuba and stole them all at Soviet gunpoint – $2 billion were heisted from outraged U.S. businessmen and stockholders. Rubbing his hands in triumphant glee, Castro boasted at maximum volume to the entire world that he was freeing Cuba from “Yankee economic slavery” (Che Guevara’s term, actually) and that “he would never repay a penny.”
This is the only promise Fidel Castro has ever kept in his life.
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