Monday, March 16, 2009

Congress disappoints the Herald

A Miami Herald editorial doesn’t like the way Congress handled the Cuba issue in the appropriations bill last week – welcome to the club. It also doesn’t like the fact the President promised more with regard to Cuban American family travel than he delivered last week, and that he has yet to fulfill his campaign promise to end family remittances restrictions. The editorial goes on to express worry about the rules governing agricultural sales to Cuba, but it’s based on a confused reading of the legislation, which did nothing to change the law that requires Cuba to pay for U.S. exports in advance. The Bush regulations, which require payment before shipments leave a U.S. port, remain in force. A separate provision, which allows U.S. exporters to travel to Cuba without prior permission to promote their sales, has nothing to do with payment terms.

I’ll bet that nearly everyone on both sides of this debate would agree with the editorial’s implicit point – that we would be better served by an open debate on Cuba policy, in the normal legislative process.

But Congress doesn’t always use the normal legislative process, which is why last week it funded half the government in a single bill, halfway through the fiscal year. And it’s why there are many examples of unusual procedures on Cuba legislation alone, and it’s why there probably always will be.


Unknown said...

That's fine but what about the Human Rights, democracy and the people in jail?

Anonymous said...

i do understand now why the company is going bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

Lazaro, let us worry about our own house before our neighbors. Do you want other countries meddling in USA affairs. I bet you are the first one to get pissed when europeans or UN says something 'bad' about US.

Although its not equivalent, still the logic applies. I am real Cato/libertarian type person when it comes to foreign policy... sounds like you are bushie - lets invade and push the world to shape it the way we want it .

theCardinal said...

anonymous - yes it's true our house is a mess and I agree basically on what transpired in opening up to Cuba albeit the back door but human rights, democracy and jailed political dissenters are legitimate issues. Please don't compare the US to a country that has not held free elections since mid-century, where people are not allowed to travel freely, where dissidents are jailed, where opponents are initimidated.

Our policy may suck but let's not get carried away - Cuba is crap. This exchange could not happen in Cuba...well it could except I'd end up in jail right after.