Wednesday, December 22, 2004
On this day:

Alabama to Increase Trade With Cuba

Alabama officials were in Cuba last week talking trade with the thugocracy of Fidel Castro. They even met with Fidel himself.

Under different circumstances, expanded trade with Cuba would be a good thing. Trade brings many benefits for both sides - in this case, Alabama agricultural companies and the Port of Mobile stand to gain millions of dollars from this trade deal and others that may be possible in the months and years to come.

However, Cuba is not just another country. It is an imprisoned isle ruled by a dictator who scoffs at individual liberties and the rule of law. There is every reason to believe that the benefits of expanded trade will be hoarded by Fidel Castro and his comrades, while Cuban workers and entrepreneurs continue to suffer as slaves to the communist system. Until that situation is rectified, the U.S. should be very reluctant to allow additional trade with Cuba. It would also be nice if Alabama officials would try to contain their enthusiasm when they sign up to fill Fidel Castro's pockets with cash.