There is also a lot of misinformation about the embargo reported in the media. It was never about "regime change." Instead, it was about making a point regarding the property and investments wrongfully confiscated by the Castro regime.
My friend Jorge Ponce came to the U.S. with his parents in the 1960s. This is what he wrote about the embargo:
The purpose of the U.S. embargo is was to penalize the Cuban Government for wrongly appropriating all U.S. interests in Cuba and not offering any compensation to this day. The President did not mention any compensation for these U.S. companies in his remarks.
Moreover, the President did not mention any compensation for the families of the U.S. of the Brothers-to-the Rescue pilots who were shot down in international water by Cuban MIG’s in February of 1996.
And has the embargo worked? The answer is yes, as Jorge Ponce writes:
To those who claim that the embargo is a figment of someone’s imagination, Cuban officials stated in September 2014 that U.S. economic sanctions had cost the island $3.9 billion in foreign trade over the past year, helping to raise the estimate of economic damage to $116.8 billion over the last 55 years. When factoring in the depreciation of the dollar against the international price of gold, the figure rises to $1.11 trillion. That's $ 1.11 trillion that the Cuban Government could not use to bankroll terrorist activities against the United States.Another question is: where is Fidel? Has anybody seen him? That's a question going around in Miami and Havana!
Fidel's absence from the stage raises two questions:
1) Is he dead or so sick that he can't enjoy the moment? I say "enjoy the moment" because Raúl Castro's speech was not as conciliatory as President Obama. In other words, Raúl Castro sounded a lot like a man who had accomplished a goal ("lift the embargo") rather than a man who wanted a new relationship with the US.
2) Was Fidel opposed to the new agreement?
We don't know if he is dead or angry. Let's wait a few days, but Fidel's absence is rather surprising.
P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.
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