How to consort with Communists

Excellent if sketchy post on PostGlobal on the striking difference in the way American government treats China and Cuba.

Economic liberalization will bring political liberation — as we’re constantly being told that it would be the case for China. Therefore, the U.S. has been trading with the Asian communist state as if there’s no tomorrow, achieving a record trade deficit of US$256 billion in 2007. However, we’re also told, this formula doesn’t apply to Cuba, another communist state.

If denying trade with Cuba is the way to press for positive changes on the island state, then denying trade with China should also be the way to press for positive changes in the mainland state. If trading with China is the way to open up the communist giant, then trading with Cuba should be the way to open up the small communist state.

Well, the China Exception somehow creeps in again, doesn’t it?

Intellectual honesty and policy consistency demands the lifting of the embargo against Cuba. After all, the embargo has failed to bring the downfall of Castro for decades. It’s time to try something different. If free trade with Cuba could bring progress to the people there, it may strengthen the case in China where free trade has, so far, failed to bring any magic.

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