Lobbying for the IMF

Thursday, May 7, 2009
Castro and Castro, Inc.
Wall Street Journal

Brazil, which is eyeing money-making opportunities in Cuba these days, is lobbying for the Castro regime to be allowed to join the IMF, World Bank and InterAmerican Development Bank. Open your wallet for the dictator.

Cuba is the "only country in the Western Hemisphere that is not a member of this institution. The time has come to open the doors," Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said last weekend at the IMF semi-annual meetings. Letting Cuba into the fund, he added, would "correct an omission that has lasted a long time and . . . allow the IMF to achieve universal membership."

Ever the humanitarians, Brazil seems to want to help the Castro regime even as hundreds of political prisoners rot in its jails. "In a climate of [new] understanding, it would be an additional step," Mr. Mantega said dreamily.

Fidel and Raúl Castro, who spend most of the country's resources spying on the citizenry and suppressing peaceful dissidents, are above discussing such vulgar topics as foreign aid for the economy they have wrecked for 50 years. They let others do the pleading. Despite constantly citing the U.S. embargo as form of warfare against Cuba, they also aren't eager for the freer trade with the imperialists that might come as an aid condition.
Two weeks ago the Obama Administration offered to allow U.S. telecom companies to invest on the island. The regime responded with a cold "we'll think about it."

What the Castro brothers want are handouts with no strings attached. Under a recent plan by the G20 countries, all IMF members will eventually be entitled to millions of new "Special Drawing Rights," even Burma and Zimbabwe. So forget the fact that Fidel himself took Cuba out of the IMF in the early 1960s, claiming the institution was a tool of U.S. aggression. If Western governments are prepared to fund his slave plantation without asking questions, he might deign to take their money after all.

-- Mary Anastasia O'Grady