Constituent to U.S. Rep. Emmer: You Lost Me on Cuba

Saturday, August 8, 2015
A Letter to the Editor in Minnesota's St. Cloud Times:

With Emmer on Cuba’s side, I will vote differently

I was furious to see U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer recently filed a bill to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba. I grew up in North Miami, Florida, and went to school with kids whose families escaped communist Cuba with only one suitcase and the clothes on their backs. They were forced to leave behind their land, homes, cars, furniture, clothes, jewelry and even the kids’ toys. And they were the lucky ones.

People who were too poor to leave behind anything for the Castro brothers and their henchmen were stuck in Cuba. Fourteen-year-olds with machine guns manned the street corners to make sure everyone toed the Communist Party line.

Emmer has been duped. He didn’t speak to everyday citizens, dissidents, the Ladies in White or political prisoners. I believe Emmer spoke to Communist Party members pretending to be everyday citizens when he went to Cuba in June.

Businesses whose owners think they will make a profit dealing with Cuba are in for a big disappointment. The economy in Cuba is abysmal. When it was time to harvest sugar cane, everyone, no matter his or her occupation or condition, was forced into the fields to cut cane. Teachers, shopkeepers, students, tailors, mechanics, the elderly, women who were eight months pregnant, it didn’t matter, it was mandatory to cut cane.

U.S. businesses will find when it comes time to pay the bills, Cuba won’t. Either the U.S. taxpayers will need to subsidize the deals, or the businesses won’t get back the cost of production.

If Emmer’s bill becomes a reality, he can count on me to vote for his opponent in a primary. I am thoroughly disgusted.

Rosalind Kohls
St. Cloud, MN