Sanctions Opponents Lobby (for Sanctions?)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
In February 2009, Cigar Aficionado published "A Memo to President Obama on Cuba Policy" by Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations ("CFR"), which stated:

"As you know, there is no evidence that any unilateral sanctions program anywhere in the world has ever been effective in changing the internal character of the target government."

In the same vein, the Washington Office on Latin America ("WOLA") states on their website:

"WOLA's Cuba program encourages U.S. policy-makers to move towards normalized relations with Cuba."

Yet amazingly, Reuters reported yesterday that:

Some analysts say the Obama administration needs to step up sanctions to pressure the interim government to accept Arias' seven-point plan, allowing Zelaya to return to Honduras to set up a coalition government that includes rival parties.

"If the United States is to send a message that coups in this day and age in Latin America are not acceptable...the message needs to be reinforced," said Vicki Gass, with the Washington Office on Latin America think tank.

Julia Sweig, a senior Latin America analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, said the threatened sanctions, to be effective, would need to be clearly and promptly stated.

"The threat must be stated very explicitly, now," said Sweig.

EDITOR'S NOTE: When ideology trumps reason, only contradiction prevails.