Is it all about those bucks?
Like many Americans, this evening I sat on my couch, winding down, surfing Facebook. Of couse, tonight’s political posts were pretty much all about Cuba. My conservative friends think it’s another sign of Obamageddon, my liberal friends think it’s only logical.
I personally think the Republican reaction is a shining example of the absurdity of our current representative government.
Let’s go back to last year. In the fall, the USDA approved four Chinese poultry plants for processing and exporting of US-bred poultry birds. This was after an audit in 2010 that produced unfavorable results and the continued restriction of Chinese poultry products in the U.S. This approval, which stipulates that under current regulations these companies can only process birds of US or Canadian origin, is a precursor to Chinese-bred poultry being processed and exported to the US. In turn, it is hoped that the Chinese will once again accept imports of American beef, which have been banned since 2003 over fears of mad cow disease.
It really is all about those bucks.
Never mind that there will be no maintained USDA oversight in the approved plants to verify production standards. Never mind that Chinese poultry products have been known for spreading avian influenza. It’s more important that certain American corporations make money, and in turn donate to certain political parties and candidates.
But we don’t want to open civil relations with Cuba. Oh, no. That would be terrible! Horrible! The country is run by an oppressive government that will only use the money made in trade to perpetuate its own power! The citizens of Cuba will continue leading horrible oppressed lives! We can’t contribute to that kind of injustice! To pull a quote from a great article in the New York Times:
“This entire policy shift announced today is based on an illusion, on a lie, the lie and the illusion that more commerce and access to money and goods will translate to political freedom for the Cuban people,” said Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and son of Cuban immigrants. “All this is going to do is give the Castro regime, which controls every aspect of Cuban life, the opportunity to manipulate these changes to perpetuate itself in power.”
Has everybody just forgotten that China is a single-party, Communist state? The oppression of the people of that country has been going on since the forties! But we willingly deal with their government, buy their products, and export our own production to them to profit from the oppression and poverty of Chinese citizens. We won’t pay our own workers shit, but we’ll pay even less than shit to the people of China to maintain a profit margin. Poverty matters less when it’s in a different country, right? Just as ethics and morals matter less than the money that can be made from parading them to constituents.
This isn’t really about the oppressed citizens in Cuba. It’s about money. It’s about power. It’s about fat cats keeping themselves in voters and VIP passes. It’s about a swing state and the next presidential election. It’s the worst kind of deception, really: our voted representatives masquerading as supporters of the unjustly ruled people across 90 miles of water, while happily counting dollars made from cheap Chinese imports. If they can play two-face with entire countries, what makes you think they won’t do the same with you?