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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"I'd rather lose those millions than lose my self-respect"

Now that Scott Walker (my first choice) and Carly Fiorina (my second) have faded back into the woodwork, I suppose I back Donald Trump.

Many people say Trump is a Johnny Come Lately to the conservative cause. I do not know about that. On June 25, 1999, he wrote a piece in the Miami Herald about the possibility of a Trump Casino and Resort in Havana. European investors knew he could find a way to dodge U.S. law. The Cold War was over, right? Hey, help the Cubans out. Nothing person, just business.

He wrote:
Castro urgently wants the United States to lift the embargo because he is desperate for hard currency to keep his faltering communist economy afloat. Now, without the generous subsidies from the Soviet Union -- between $5-7 billion dollars a year -- Cuba's economy is reeling.
Of course, he would love Donald Trump to come to Havana and build casino hotels. Why? Not to raise the standard of living for the people of Cuba. Quite the contrary. Almost every dollar would go to prop up his police-state. Why? Because foreign investors cannot legally do business with private Cuban citizens. They can go into business only with the Castro government. It is highly illegal in Cuba for anyone except for the regime to employ a Cuban citizen.
Foreign investors are not allowed to hire or pay Cuban workers. They must pay the government directly for the workers. Castro then pays the workers in worthless Cuban money and keeps the rest. Under these circumstances, my investment cannot help average Cubans -- it can only replace the Soviet subsidy Castro no longer receives.
If I opened a casino/hotel in Havana, I would be required to pay Castro about $10,000 per year for each Cuban worker. But the workers would not benefit. Castro would pay them the equivalent of $10 a month. The rest he uses to pay for the brutal and violent system that keeps him in power -- and deprives the Cuban people of basic human rights. In other words, my investment in Cuba would directly subsidize the oppression of the Cuban people.
Yes, the embargo is costly. If I formed a joint venture with European partners, I would make millions of dollars. But I'd rather lose those millions than lose my self-respect. I would rather take a financial hit than become a financial backer of one of the world's most-brutal dictators, a man who was once willing to aid in the destruction of my country. To me the embargo question is no question at all. Of course, we should keep the embargo in place. We should keep it until Castro is gone.
Now what is this noise about Trump not being a true conservative or not knowing about foreign policy?


  1. I suspect a Trump administration will be a wild ride. But at least he won't be actively seeing how much damage he can do to a country he hates.

  2. Also in 1999, Trump said he was "very pro choice." A true conservative???

  3. On choice, what would a libertarian say? I think it is wrong and my wife really thought it was wrong but I don't see it as a litmus test for President.