Lobbying for Repression Profits

Friday, May 28, 2010
Last November, the Washington, D.C.-based "watchdog" group Public Campaign issued a widely publicized report criticizing the political advocacy of the Cuban-American community and its "influence" on U.S. policy towards Cuba.

Yet, today, the AP reported:

Hotel trade group spends $305,000 lobbying in 1Q

The American Hotel & Lodging Association spent $305,000 in the first quarter lobbying federal officials on travel to Cuba, labor and other issues, according to a recent disclosure report.

That's less than the $350,000 the group spent lobbying both in the same period last year and in 2009's fourth quarter.

And last week,

Caterpillar discloses $480,000 in 1Q lobbying

Construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. spent $480,000 in the first quarter as it lobbied the U.S. government on issues that included the health care overhaul, financial reform and labor laws.

The Peoria, Ill., company lobbied Congress, the White House, the departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury, and the U.S. Trade Representative.

Caterpillar representatives discussed issues related to health care reform, jobs, financial reform, taxes, tariffs on manufacturing components, defense department appropriations, vehicle technology, clean energy, trade with Cuba, and currency rates.

That's just two entities in the first three months of 2010 alone.

Add to that the expenditures of dozens of other trade associations, farm bureaus and corporations, not to mention the millions of dollars in foundation grants that ideological non-profits receive to lobby for the normalization of relations with the Castro regime, and the Cuban-American community is overwhelmingly stymied in its advocacy.

Apparently though, for Public Campaign, it's perfectly fine to lobby in pursuit of profits from the Castro regime's repression, apartheid tourism industry and slave labor.

However, to condition such profits to the human rights and freedom of the Cuban people is "retrograde."

We'll proudly stick to human rights and freedom.