The Obama Administration, along with some Members of Congress, agri-business interests and their lobbyists, want Americans to believe that increased trade with Cuba will somehow benefit the Cuban people.
Except that all trade with Cuba must be funneled through Castro's monopolies.
Read the following statements carefully from three Obama Administration officials, who testified yesterday during a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on agricultural trade with Cuba.
Basically, those advocating for increased trade with Cuba want us to believe that the Cuban people will somehow benefit based solely on some purported "good-will" by the Castro regime -- or on some absurd notion of "dictator-down-economics."
Moreover, the following statements prove how when opponents of lifting sanctions argue that it will only benefit the Castro regime, it's not a rhetorical talking point -- but quite literally what happens:
"U.S. exporters, however, continue to face barriers, including that all U.S. agricultural goods are imported via ALIMPORT (Empresa Cubana Importadora de Alimentos), a Cuban state-run entity."
Office of Foreign Assets Control
U.S. Department of the Treasury
"Another impediment to trade is Cuba’s tightly controlled import policy requiring that all. U.S. agricultural import be channeled through one state corporation, called Alimport. Many of our competitors have additional options of trading with other Cuban agencies, but Alimport is the exclusive agent for the Cuban government on buying decisions and negotiating agricultural purchases from U.S. firms. Alimport not only negotiates contracts for purchase with U.S. firms, but it arranges for payment, takes control of the imports at the Cuban port, and manages the distribution process within Cuba."
Foreign Agricultural Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
"In Cuba, only state-run companies are authorized to engage in foreign trade transactions, and often a whole category of commodities imported from the United States is channeled through specific companies, depending on the sector. Shipments of agricultural commodities (specifically food) made under License Exception AGR are consigned to ALIMPORT (Empresa Cubana Importadora de Alimentos), a state-run company with the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade as its largest shareholder."
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Industry and Security
U.S. Department of Commerce
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