The Lost Opportunity (for Brazil and Castro)

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Last year, Brazil announced it would finance the Castro regime's modernization of the Port of Mariel.

Immediately, advocates of "normalizing" relations began heralding a (supposed) growing trade between Brazil and Cuba, and of course, accuse the U.S. of lost business opportunities, sitting on the sidelines, becoming irrelevant -- you name it, they said it.

The same arguments they make regarding Cuba's much-hyped (yet unmaterialized) oil drilling.

Now, a State Department cable -- revealed by Wikileaks -- shows a conversation between Brazilian President Lula da Silva's foreign policy advisor, Marco Aurelio GarcĂ­a, and U.S. National Security Advisor, James L. Jones, in which the Brazilians:

"Noted that their plans to help Cuba construct a deep-water port at Mariel only make sense on the assumption that Cuba and the United States will eventually develop a trading relationship."

In other words, the Brazilians were betting on the U.S. unconditionally lifting sanctions, so they can make money in Cuba.

Thus, the U.S. wasn't missing any opportunities, sitting on the sidelines or being irrelevant.

The U.S. was the opportunity -- for Brazil to financially speculate (and for Castro's economic survival, of course).