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Monday, June 16, 2008


An "embargo" or a "blockade"?

The latest episode in the all-out economic warfare being waged by the United States against Cuba that the former insists on calling a mere "embargo," but which examples like this make very clear deserves the name the Cubans use - "blockade" (or, to be precise, "bloqueo"):
A Somerset health shop selling Cuban sugar and a London tobacconist dealing in Habanos cigars are among British businesses told by a bank to cut their ties with the island or move their accounts.

Lloyds TSB has written to customers who have dealings with Cuba saying they will have take their accounts elsewhere, apparently in the wake of threats by the US government, which operates an embargo against Cuba.

The US has said it will prosecute any businesses that have any dealings with Cuba and also have a branch in the US.
Here's something I wrote four years ago, which to my mind still is useful to appreciate not only the viciousness of the American war on Cuba, but also the strength of the Cuban revolution that it has been able to withstand that war. I've added one line to reflect this latest episode:
Imagine if Microsoft set out to crush a smaller rival, a much smaller rival, one so small you've probably never heard of them, let's call them CubaSoft. Now imagine they're doing so in the absence of any law which will restrain their behavior. Imagine if they went to their customers and said, if you buy any software from CubaSoft, we won't let you buy any of our software. Imagine if they went to software stores (back in the day when software was actually sold in stores) and said, if you sell CubaSoft software, you can't sell our software. Imagine if they prevented MSN subscribers from visiting the CubaSoft website, and prevented Hotmail users from sending email to CubaSoft. Imagine if they threatened to pull their sponsorship from a software developer's conference if they allowed anyone from CubaSoft to register. Imagine that they threatened to pull their money out of any bank which conducted any business with CubaSoft or with any of CubaSoft's customers. None of these analogies is exaggerated in the slightest compared to what the U.S. is doing to Cuba. Now think about how incredible it is that Cuba has managed to stand up to this constant pressure, the price they are paying for doing so, and the absolutely despicable nature of the people who maintain this policy, claiming that they are doing the Cuban people a favor by making them suffer.

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