Sugar Tycoon Eyes Sweet-Deal With Castro

Monday, February 3, 2014
For decades, Alfy Fanjul has enjoyed the support of the Cuban-American community -- not to mention the generosity of American taxpayers.

This support and generosity has allowed him to amass a great fortune.

While amassing this fortune, Alfy pretended to be a great supporter of Cuban freedom.

Now, despite the continued brutality of Cuba's dictatorship, Fanjul wants to invest part of this amassed fortune in the Castro brothers' business monopolies.

According to The Washington Post, Fanjul has been traveling to Cuba, seducing Castro regime officials, in pursuit of business opportunities with the island's repressive dictatorship.

Of course, this is music to the ears of the Castros, who see Alfy as someone who can channel their interests to 2016 presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

Sadly, Fanjul knows well that the Cuban people -- his brethren -- are strictly prohibited from engaging in foreign trade and investment. This "privilege" is strictly reserved for Fidel and Raul Castro's monopolies.

But monopolists understand each other.

Fanjul also knows well that repression in Cuba is at record levels; that courageous female activists are subjected to weekly beatings and abuses; that democracy leaders are being mysteriously killed; and that hunger strikers are sacrificing their lives for freedom.

But the rights and dignity of the Cuban people seem to no longer bother him.

Fanjul is now willing to put his business interests ahead of their democratic aspirations. The only remaining obstacles for him are a technicality, namely U.S. sanctions, and profit margins.

To wit, in one of his trips to Cuba with The Brookings Institution, they canceled a scheduled meeting with a renowned democracy leader in order not to offend the Castro regime.

(For the last two-years, Brookings has been pursuing "CELAC-style" engagement with Castro.)

Fanjul is joined in this greedy endeavor by two other Cuban-American businessmen, Carlos Saladrigas and Paul Cejas.

Their track-records aren't comforting. These are the same businessmen that, in private negotiations with former President Bill Clinton in 1994, devised the infamous "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy that still afflicts freedom-seeking Cubans.

(As an aside: Why is it rightfully insulting to refer to Hispanic immigrants as "wet-backs," but outrageously accepted to call Cuban refugees "wet-foots"?)

These were also the same businessmen who in 2000 were "negotiating" a solution to the Elian Gonzalez saga with then-Attorney General Janet Reno. Actually, Saladrigas was literally being distracted (at best) on the phone by Reno as federal agents stormed into the Little Havana home of Elian's family.

And now, they are the enlightened "leaders" who are negotiating with the Castro dictatorship -- for their own self-gain.

Fortunately, this trio is the exception and not the rule.

Last year, as rumors of their immoral dealings with Castros swirled in the community, over a dozen Fortune 500 Cuban-American corporate leaders released a public letter rejecting such actions as a betrayal of the Cuban people's aspirations for freedom.

If Alfy wants to continue his business dealings with the Castro regime -- that's for him to reconcile with his conscience.

But American taxpayers should not fund such immoral aspirations.