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Cuba's Colony?
Thursday, June 16, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

fidel and hugo

Robert at The 26th Parallel has been providing a very valuable service by translating a number of writings from Spanish to English. He has now posted translated excerpts (plus his comments) from a Nuevo Herald article on Cuban trade. It discusses how, despite the visits from U.S. governors and trade missions, Cuban trade with the U.S. has dropped off.

The reason, according to the article, is the requirement by the U.S. Treasury Department that Cuba pay for food and other goods with cash. Companies, and European countries, have complained for years that when they do business with Cuba, but don't get paid. The new Treasury rule has forced Cuba to cough up more than $100-million to U.S. banks in the first four months.

The article goes on to discuss a trade deal we referenced yesterday. Cuba plans to buy $412-million worth of goods from Venezuela. I wondered why hugo would attempt to emulate a failed government such as fidel's. Robert's translation now provides a possible answer.

fidel is colonizing Venezuela. Or trying to. The 18th and 19th century colonial powers took raw materials and manufactured goods from the colonies and paid little in return.  European fortunes were built on the work and materials of the colonies. That's what fidel is doing - taking food and manufactured goods and oil from Venezuela - at what Venezuela calls "preferential treatment within the policy of economic and social development. Which probably means fidel plans to avoid payment. In return fidel props up hugo and makes him feel important.

What will the people of Venezuela do? There are already mass resignations from the country's army, clashes between the regular army and the national guard, and strikes in the provices were oil is produced. This is a very important trend to be watching.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren