If The New York Times Really Cared About Cuban "Entrepreneurs" and "Reformists"...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Yesterday, The New York Times published its seventh editorial criticizing U.S. policy, while whitewashing Cuba's totalitarian dictatorship.

As we noted, this latest editorial was particularly discombobulated.

Amid his trademark contradictions, misrepresentations and omissions, NYT editorial writer Ernesto Londoño argues that lifting U.S. sanctions would help Cuba's "entrepreneurs."

Of course, he provides no facts -- or evidence -- of how exactly that would happen.

Even worse, Londoño doesn't practice what he preaches.

For example, he raves about Cuba's "small business, such as bed-and-breakfasts."

These are known in Cuba as "casas particulares"

However, if Londoño really wanted to help Cuba's "entrepreneurs" -- why didn't he stay at a "casa particular" during his recent two-week trip to Cuba?

Instead, he stayed at the 5-star, luxurious Hotel Saratoga, owned by the Cuban military -- and under the watchful eye of Castro's secret police.

This is also were insensitive celebrities like Jay Z, Beyonce and Naomi Cambell party in Havana.

As an additional nugget, a minority stake in Hotel Saratoga that was owned by its developers, Britain's Coral Capital, was recently confiscated and its executives arbitrarily imprisoned for almost two-years.

(Read about Coral Capital's ordeal here.)

But there's another lingering question from his latest editorial.

He talks in abstract terms about the "old-guard" vs. "reformists" in Cuba.

Once again, he doesn't define who these are -- other than to suggest that among the "reformists" are some "leading economists."

So let's add some facts.

Cuba's so-called "old-guard" is the powerful 14-member military junta that controls the island with an iron-fist.

The "reformists" are apparently some powerless economists that Londoño met during his trip.

(Note how he altogether skips "democrats" as a category -- meaning those courageously fighting for democracy in Cuba.)

Londoño believes -- again, abstractly -- that lifting U.S. sanctions would help these "reformists"

Yet, all foreign trade and investment in Cuba -- according to Castro's 1976 Constitution -- must be transacted with the "old-guard's" monopolies.

So how would funneling billions upon billions of dollars in U.S. trade, tourism and investment through the "old-guard" help the "reformists"?

It doesn't.

To the contrary -- it would put the "reformists" at an even greater disadvantage -- not to mention Cuba's "democrats."

(Another fact that Londoño overlooks is that the most successful transitions of the 20th century were those where the "democrats" have prevailed -- i.e. Czech Republic, Estonia -- not those where so-called "reformists" prevail -- i.e. Russia, Romania. But we'll leave that for another post.)