Sunday, July 8, 2012

Latin America: The Insanity Tactic


Political Cartoonist: Matt Wuerker
Moving forward reviewing Mitt Romney’s observations about current Issues, I opened the tab  "Latin America."
Romney opens the subject with what is rapidly becoming the Republican’s trademark: fear. He claims that the current administration is jeopardizing the “security, democracy, and increased economic ties with America.” Romney, of course, fails to mention why he believes that. Instead, he places the blame on President Obama for taking him three years to sign the Colombia Trade Agreement. To be honest, I am not thrilled with this or any other Trade Agreements; so far all they have been good for is to destroy our industries.

However, this particular agreement was already approved when President Obama took office.

Colombian workers and union members have been killed for 25 years by groups that oppose unions, and only a handful of people have ever been convicted for these crimes. The trade agreement signed by President George W. Bush required no action from the government of Colombia to protect Colombian workers and Unions. It took all this time for President Obama’s administration to negotiate with the Colombian government to secure the protection for these workers and the unions as well as the commitment from the government to investigate and prosecute crimes against workers and unions. As a result, the Colombia government agreed to the terms demanded by President Obama and the agreement was finally signed. As it is usual not only with Mitt Romney but with all republicans, he conveniently failed to mention the reason, after all it was related to the safety of workers and unions, which for Romney and republicans are both worthless. In the same paragraph Romney talks about Cuba and Venezuela, drug trafficking and the violence that is eminent in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Again, he fails to mention how or why the current administration is to be blamed for what is happening in the Americas.
On the next paragraph he outlines what he considers President Obama’s “failures.” Romney holds the President responsible for not reversing what it is happening throughout Latin America and bluntly accuses President Obama of worsening the situation by “reaching out to those nations that are working against our interests and values.” Those nations, I am assuming, can only be Cuba and Venezuela.
As every single republican has done in the past – with no results – Romney advocates the same strategy, which is to strengthen the embargo to Cuba and apparently severing all communications with Venezuela. After half a century since the implementation of the embargo that has yielded no beneficial results neither for the dissident Cubans in Miami nor for the Cubans in the island, Republicans criticize President Obama for making it easier for the exiled Cuban population in the United States to visit or financially help their relatives trapped in the island. I have always found it odd that republicans, who claim to own the sole proprietorship on family values and the likes, can't understand what it means to have a child, parents and loved ones suffering when you can help and have a government telling you "let them eat cake!"  And those Cubans holding a seat in Congress are the worst of them all, it is easy to be adamant to help the people in the island when you have no one there and you are living in the lap of luxury.

Fifty years later, republicans still support the failed embargo; I think they have never heard the definition of insanity… Perhaps, that explains their erratic, demented and illogical approach to the problems of this nation. Maybe they repeat the same tactics, over and over, expecting a different result to proof that they are insane in the eventuality that the citizens of this country ever accuse them of treason and demand their incarceration. I don’t know, but the embargo is the biggest failure that has been beneficial to one person: Fidel Castro. It is thanks to the embargo that the world sees Castro as a victim, a hero, an inspiration and a role model. It is due to the embargo that the world sides with a tyrant, viewing this tyrant as a martyr – the modern version of the biblical story of David and Goliath. Republicans know this too well, but they will never vote to lift the embargo.  There has always been a trade with Cuba but restricted to only food and medicine.  Only  big corporations can benefit from this trade, Cubans in exile, Americans and small businesses cannot. Click here to see a list of companies that were issued a license to trade with Cuba from 1985 to 2001 as well as other pertinent information dating back to 2001.
I have tried to find a current list of licensed exporters to Cuba, but it was impossible. I suspect that republicans have special interest for them to refuse to lift the embargo; they never do anything for nothing. So far, it hasn’t worked and you would think that after half a century they would try something different, but that is not the case. We all know that the only thing that motivates republicans is money and their immovable position on the matter makes me think that they must be getting some sort of rewards from the few companies authorized to trade with Cuba, which are all large corporations and many pharmaceutical companies.

The Venezuela-USA relationships are not the friendliest; I guess that Mitt Romney is following the ballistic obsession of most republicans.   Negotiations and a cold relationship between the countries is considered by Romney to be reaching out, nothing but invading to destitute the elected President of Venezuela is valid.  
Romney continues his relentless attack on President Obama by accusing him of siding with Honduras’ ex-President Manuel Zelaya. Apparently Mitt Romney has no idea what diplomacy is or that the United States will never accept or intervene in a coup d’état, which is what happened in Honduras. Romney doesn’t understand how diplomacy works or that the United States can comment, negotiate, recommend but should not interfere in matters from other countries. At the same time, unless resolved by the country in question, the United States can’t recognize a government taken by force, militarily as it happened in Honduras. That concept is unbeknownst to him.
Romney's “Plan”
Mitt Romney will chart a different course. Under a Romney administration, the United States will pursue an active role in Latin America by supporting democratic allies and market-based economic relationships, containing destabilizing internal forces such as criminal gangs and terrorists, and opposing destabilizing outside influences such as Iran.
The above is the core of what his “plan” is.  Apparently, it is his opinion that President Obama doesn’t do any of these things. He insinuates that President Obama has ignored Latin America or the violence that is infesting the continent. Romney insists in free trade, which I am sure will have no demands for workers, concentrating only in the profits corporations can obtain. He dreams of the day when, through these free trade agreements, these countries can become members of the “Reagan Economic Zone.” The “Reagan Economic Zone” is a fantasy of Mitt Romney and republicans which is nothing more than a conglomerate of countries where the lucky members [corporations] can enjoy doing business without regulations, crushing unions and paying less to their workers. The ultimate republican fantasy!
Mitt Romney also wants to create a “Unified Hemispheric Joint Task Force on Crime and Terrorism.” That's a mouthful! Romney wants military-to-military training between the United States and Mexico to combat the narco-trafficking and narco-terrorists. Every administration has failed on this absurd "war on drugs," including President Obama and so will any president that comes after unless the strategy changes. In countries where the vast majority of people live below the poverty line, the only possibility these people see to come out of the slums is by trafficking drugs. We, as a country, are largely to blame; we are the consumers. As long as there is a demand there will be a supply and Romney, who claims to be a savvy businessman, should know this. The only way the violence associated with drugs and the lure of wealth will cease is by legalizing drugs, tax them and control them. If we were to dispense the drugs as we do alcohol and control it as we do with any prescription drug the demand will greatly diminish. The income produced by the distribution of these “legal” drugs, could be used to provide rehabilitation for the addicts and the ease our debt. That is the only way we can, once and for all, end the drug-trafficking violence and reduce the drug addiction, nothing else will work.
Mitt Romney closes this section stating that we will use the “full power of the presidency” to complete the border fence. That fantastic and super expensive fence that, just as the “war on drugs,” will serve for nothing but an exaggerated waste of funds that we don’t have but that is a immense selling point to the greatest oxymoron in this country: The Right.

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