Damien Cave of the NYT can’t figure out that making concessions to a dictatorship in exchange for nothing is not a good idea, so he debated Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), lost, and titled the article, A Miami Congressman Adamantly Defends Isolating Cuba. I hate to excerpt it, but here’s a sample (emphasis added):
[DC] But there are a lot of people in the Cuban-American community, leaders at the business and political level, who are having a more nuanced conversation — it is not so black and white. Let me give you an example. Cuba Emprende would like find a way to invest; they want to create incubators so they can find and help Cuban businesses. All of this is separate from the Cuban state. This is the beginning of civil society. They don’t have the ability to do that because the embargo prohibits that. Would you be willing to allow investment? I know the Cubans still don’t allow that, but from the American side would you be willing to support that? And if not, why not?
[MD-B] Because as I said before, because what we have to do, the question that has to be asked is: Is that something that will help free people from over half a century of totalitarian dictatorship? In other words, does the Chinese model, you know, the fascist Chinese model, is that the solution for Cuba, where you can invest in Cuba like we do in China, with no internal opposition, with no political parties, with no independent labor unions legalized, with no freedom of press, available and legal. There are folks who would like to have China 90 miles away from the United States, as fascist, totalitarian regime where big business can invest and make money with no labor unions, with no freedom of press, with no political parties, with no freedom, which is why in the law, which has strong bipartisan support in the House, in those laws it says that for those sanctions to go away, three conditions have to be met.
One the one hand, freeing all the political prisoners, free the Mandelas and the Havels and the Walesas of Cuba. Number two is allowing all those freedoms that I just mentioned, that is in the law. Freedom of press, labor unions etc. and then start the process towards free elections — and then all sanctions would go away.
So the question is which one of those conditions do the Cuban people not deserve? Before, precisely U.S. businesses go and invest, i.e. the Chinese fascist model. There are only two answers, two solutions, two possible futures for the Cuban people with the Castro brothers’ regime, one is going to Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, you name it, places where there have been dictatorships and now they have democratic societies, or, yes, the Chinese, Vietnamese model, which is a fascist dictatorship where you have foreign investment and yet the people are still not free. Those are the two options and if you ask me which one the internal opposition in Cuba supports, the vast majority of them, I can refer you to two statements made by the internal opposition saying: ‘Hey, what we want is freedom and therefore do not lift sanctions unilaterally.’
The only thing that is required for the sanctions to go away are those three conditions.
Read the whole thing.