571. 4/9/2003

“Is such momentum for a change in U.S. policy toward Cuba now lost due to Castro’s crackdown on dissidents?…That is, the apparent strategy by the Cuban government to appeal to members of Congress through politically targeted farm purchases, and efforts to court American public opinion have been trumped by actions against human rights activists that are woefully unacceptable by most Americans’ standards…[Fidel] Castro already has taken a first step, in addition to the initial crackdown, toward setting the U.S.-Cuba debate on a negative course… A more subtle shift in commercial relations would be if Cuba reduces politically targeted agricultural purchases. The Cuban government made little secret of a strategy of attempting to stimulate interest for easing the embargo by making farm purchases from key states or Congressional districts of members of Congress who may support easing the embargo…However, should the debate remain fixated on Castro’s actions rather what would be an effective U.S. policy to advance America’s national interest and to affect a positive change in Cuba, sentiments for opening the embargo could be lost among the chorus of cries condemning Castro.” [Con Embargo]

“Embargo Update: Congress Reacts to Castro’s Crackdown: The charm offensive is over, but what course to expect in U.S. policy?” Cuba Policy Foundation, April 9, 2003

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