Christian C. said:
You must admit that there is no great solution to this dilemma, but there is a least-bad one. If the embargo remains, the Castro regime stays in power and the Cuban people continue to suffer. If the embargo is removed, the Castro regime stays in power and the Cuban people continue to suffer, but perhaps a bit less than before, and definitely not under the fiction that the Goliath to the north is responsible for their plight.
Cuban exiles who haven't been to Cuba in decades underestimate how widespread this myth is in Cuba (and rightfully so). It makes them feel as if they are trapped between Scylla and Charybdis. If you remove the embargo, there can be no doubt to Cubans that the Castro regime is the enemy, not the United States. If you keep it, you give the Castro regime the lifeblood that has sustained it for half a century.
The cases of China and Vietnam are instructive. Communist Parties in both countries were far more bloodthirsty than Castro, responsible for the deaths of millions including, in Vietnam's case, thousands of Americans; and in China, the world's greatest famine. The absurdity that we've restored relations with those more horrible regimes and not Cuba aside, the restoration of diplomatic and economic ties with China and Vietnam hasn't put an end to those regimes but undoubtedly resulted in more economic opportunity and less material deprivation for the Chinese and Vietnamese people.
Ironically, the hostile policy towards Cuba championed by hardline Cuban exiles has been one of the greatest contributors to the Castro regime's longevity. Some Cuban exiles realize all of this more than they let on, leading me to believe that this is no more than another pathetic machista contest to see who has the bigger dick.
Your intentions are good and you are better informed about conditions in Communist Cuba than most. I suspect also that you are very young (as evidenced in your observation about relative penis size, which is rather puerile), so I will treat you differently from the agents provocateur who have lately opined on the subject of the embargo and do my best to educate rather than mock you.
All Cubans on the island, from the youngest to the oldest, know that Fidel Castro is alone responsible for the destruction of their country and for the miserable quality of their lives. If anyone told you otherwise it is because he does not trust you. After 55 years of practicing dissimulation as a survival tactic, Cubans are quite adept at telling foreigners exactly what they want to hear and nothing that would compromise their safety or that of their loved ones. When you visit Cuba consider yourself to be a member of the Red Cross inspecting one of the Nazis' "model" concentration camps. How glowingly the inmates spoke of their lives there. Why they even policed themselves without the need of keeping guards at the gates. The enemy was outside the gates; within, they were safe and looked after. Who would ever wish to escape from such an earthly paradise! So the Swiss redactors were told and so they concluded in their report.
Nobody in Cuba blames the United States for the state of Cuba's economy. Even after 55 years of countless betrayals Cubans still look to "the Goliath to the North" for at least personal deliverance. Now this is wrong because they should blame the U.S. for their country's plight, not because of the embargo which does not personally affect any Cuban just as lifting the embargo wouldn't personally benefit any Cuban except the stakeholders in Castro & Company, the family monopoly that owns everything of value on the island; but, rather, Cubans should hold the U.S. responsible because it installed Castro in power; betrayed the freedom fighters at the Bay of Pigs; and agreed in the Kennedy-Khrushchev Pact to act as the guarantor of Communism in Cuba, which is one commitment that the U.S. has kept.
You write that "Communist Parties in both [China and Vietnam] were far more bloodthirsty than [was] Castro." Vietnam's population is 9 times the size of Cuba's and China has 135 times Cuba's population. Even if Castro had succeeded in killing every single Cuban in the world, as he very nearly did during the Missile Crisis, there would still be more victims of Communism in China and Vietnam. But this is simply because Castro has a much smaller theater of operations for his depredations. Still, even within his demographic limitations, Castro has accomplished a great deal in the way of bloodshed. In just his first year in power, Fidel Castro executed more men, women and children than have been put to death for capital crimes in the United States in the last 225 years (or since 1608, if we also count the colonial period). Yes, take a minute to catch your breath; you are going to need it.
According to the census of June 1933, the Jewish population of Germany consisted of 505,000 people. Jews represented less than 1 percent of the total German population of 67 million. Approximately 300,000 German Jews managed to escape before the Holocaust. Of the remaining 205,000, 170,000 were killed in the Holocaust. (Source: The Holocaust Encyclopedia). The Cuban Archive Project has identified and documented 102,000 Cubans killed by Castro (and this number, of course, is always growing).Hitler killed 170,000 German Jews relative to a total German population of 67 million in 1933 (when he took over). Castro has killed 102,000 Cubans out of a total population of 6.6 million (when he took over in 1959). Proportionally, Castro has killed 7 times more Cubans than Hitler did German Jews. Even if we relate Castro’s killings to the current Cuban population (11 million), he has still killed 4 times as many Cubans than Hitler killed German Jews.Moreover, if all the European Jews killed by Hitler (6 million) in all countries to which he extended the Holocaust are taken as a percentage of the total population of Europe, Castro has still killed more Cubans per capita than Hitler killed Jews.
Now, Christian, does the real extent of Castro's genocide really matter to you? If it did you would abandon this ridiculous conceit of yours that a tyrant's morality should be measured by the quantity of pints of blood that he has not spilled.
Your last point does you the least credit of all.
You claim that the "hostility of hardline Cubans" is responsible for maintaining the Castro regime in power. So it is the victims, then, who are to blame for the crimes committed against them by their enemies. If only the Jews or the Cambodians had tried harder to understand the motives of their persecutors, and had walked into the gas chambers or the Killing Fields with a song on their lips and gratitude in their hearts, they might have been spared or subjected to a lesser chastisement. But their presumptuous hostility towards their would-be assassins whet the assassins' appetite for revenge and sealed their fate. If only they had declined to engage in "a machista contest to see who had the bigger dick," but rather tucked their dicks between their legs, or, better yet, cut off the offensive member, they might have lived serene lives as eunuchs without the least trace of that poisonous hostility towards evil that fuels evil.
So when did you put yours on the chopping block?