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Thursday, April 28, 2005


This is kind of petty (but maybe speaking to a larger hypocrisy), but really funny. Via Time:
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes, according to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a cigar is an economic prop to a brutal totalitarian regime. Arguing against loosening sanctions against Cuba last year, DeLay warned that Fidel Castro "will take the money. Every dime that finds its way into Cuba first finds its way into Fidel Castro's blood-thirsty hands.... American consumers will get their fine cigars and their cheap sugar, but at the cost of our national honor."
DeLay has long been one of Congress' most vocal critics of what he calls Castro's "thugocracy," which is why some sharp-eyed TIME readers were surprised last week to see a photo of the Majority Leader smoking one of Cuba's best—a Hoyo de Monterrey double corona... (more in expanded post)
... which generally costs about $25 when purchased overseas and is not available in this country. The cigar's label clearly states that it was made in "Habana." The photo was taken in Jerusalem on July 28, 2003, during a meeting between DeLay and the Republican Jewish Coalition at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.


At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

Actually, I think Time misinterpreted this one and let DeLay off easy. There's more on my blog.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger O_Pombo said...

Coincidentally, I just got back a week ago from my trip to Cuba, for sightseeing and cigar smuggling.

Where I live many people think that "if he manages to piss the Americans so much, then this Castro must really not be such a bad guy". One must admit that it`s quite a feat for a small island 200 miles off the coast of Florida to fiercely maintain its political and economic independence from the US after almost 50 years since the revolution.

Does anyone still remember the actual reasons for the economic sanctions against Cuba? For being a bunch of commies? Well, they aren`t less red in China and I haven`t heard of one single finger being lifted against them. Because of Human Rights violations? "Do as I say, not as I do", and not as some of my new friends (like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) do, one could say.

So the ultimate reason is because of their courage to tell the US, year after year to mind his own business, for refusing to become the 51st state.

From my experience there and from speaking to the people, the system is working fairly well, though they could use some more freedom of speech. I didn`t see hardcore mysery like in other Latin American countries, and all their lacking relate directly of indirectly to the economic sanctions.


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