From The National Journal:
Moran Takes Flak For Bill To Open Farm Exports To Cuba
Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., made an impassioned case Thursday for a bill to boost U.S. agricultural sales to Cuba and end a ban on American travel to the nation, but he got little support from fellow Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee.
Moran, who is in a primary race with Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said at a hearing that the bill he is co-sponsoring with House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson would increase U.S. farm sales to Cuba while the end of the travel ban would serve "a much more noble cause" by allowing Cubans to have contact with Americans and learn about democracy.
"We deal with communist countries and offer them credit," Moran said. "Who is the biggest creditor? China? What a double standard we have created in this country. We don't worry about selling Boeing aircraft to China, but we don't want to sell wheat to Cuba."
Peterson and other Democrats praised Moran for his stand, but House Agriculture ranking member Frank Lucas said he could support agricultural sales to Cuba on humanitarian grounds but would go no further. Cuba is worse than China, Lucas said, because it has maintained government control over the economy while China has liberalized its economy.
Lucas also argued that American tourist spending in Cuba would impede development of Cuba's agricultural sector by helping its centralized economy survive. "Our priority should be finding a way to increase agriculture exports to help meet the food needs of the Cuban people without supporting Cuba's oppressive government," Lucas said.
Other Republicans joined Lucas in opposing any liberalization of American travel to Cuba.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Congressman Moran is obviously unaware that there are hundreds of Cuban political prisoners currently suffering in Castro's jails for their democratic beliefs and thousands more that the regime keeps imprisoned for "dangerousness" (in Cuba, democracy = dangerousness). Surely, they know a thing or two about democracy.
Moreover, there are Cubans resorting to hunger strikes as a weapon to fight against Castro's totalitarianism, hence losing their lives for freedom and democracy.
Mr. Moran, allow us to introduce you to Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Guillermo Farinas.
Are you going to teach them about democracy?
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