cign Relations, met with legions of businessrntycoons, preached to a gathering ofrnover 100 religious leaders, generated audience-rnpleasing diatribes at assortedrnchurches and cafes, graced every majorrnnetwork’s “news” programs with inter-rniews (including a one-hour speech-athonrnwith CNN), visited the New YorkrnTimes, the Wall Street journal, and Time,rntouted the editorials from five majorrnnewspapers supportive of his economicrnand political policies, and was the focusrnof e’crv tabloid and journal in the capitalrnof capitalism. Jeff Greenfield on W’orldrnNews Sunday said that “protestors gatheredrn. . . to denounce alleged repressionrn[in Cuba] because he [Castro] is a communistrnonlv 90 miles away.” The implicationrnwas that if Castro were 9,000rnmiles away, or a Republican, but in bothrncases still a murderer, there wouldn’t bernprotestors. The “alleged” is there solelyrnto further delude the delusion.rnCouldn’t we simply ignore Castro, ourrnde facto secretary of state to the south?rnPerhaps not, for his foreign and domesticrnpolicies have cost us many lives and untoldrnbillions. The Eisenhower administrationrnin effect ignored the abscondingrnof American capital and businesses inrnCuba. The Kennedy administrationrnga’e us the Bay of Pigs and solved thernMissile Crisis by releasing pictures andrnleaving missiles on the island. The Johnsonrnadministration accepted Cuban-exportedrnrevolution into Latin America,rnmeeting the threat with billions in foreignrnaid, then cautiously taking credit forrnthe hunting down of Ernesto Guevara,rndespite the fact that it was Castro whornalerted the Bolivian army as to his whereabouts.rnThe Nixon administration ineffectiveU-rnthwarted Cuban expansion intornCentral America and Angola, again costingrnus lives and billions. And who canrnforget the Mariel boatlift, courtesy of thernCarter administration? A humanitarianrnact no doubt, since Castro eliminated, atrnour expense, the overcrowding of hisrnprisons and asvlums for the criminalh insane.rnThe Reagan administration foughtrnthe communist threat by eliminating arnheavy-bomber runway in Grenada andrnignoring the same type of runways inrnCuba. The Bush administration toleratedrnthe drug trafficking by Cuba, placatingrnthe American public by pointingrnto the show trial of the Generals La-rnGuardia, despite the fact that drug traffickingrnby the Cuban government remainsrnone of the biggest sources ofrnrevenue on the island.rnNormalizing relations with Cuba, althoughrnpopular with the media, is notrnimminent, as long as a protected sectrnstands to benefit from the present staternof affairs. The Castro regime torturesrnand murders and exports revolution andrndrugs, but as long as money is beingrnmade under the status quo, the torturesrnand the murders and the exporting ofrnrevolution and drugs merit nothing morernthan lip service, fieaven help the reelectionrn(or election) bid of anyone who seriouslyrnproposes dealing strongly with Castro,rnfor this would mean harming thernsugar, tobacco, tourist, produce, andrnprofitable drug war industries. Couldrnthese politicians justify the thousands ofrnunemployed drug enforcement personnel?rnCould they accept thousands ofrnsugar, tobacco, and produce workersrnjoining the ranks of the unemployed becausernthe prices of these commoditiesrnhad dropped? Could they tolerate thernscreaming by the airlines, which even underrnthe Helms-Burton bill pays a fortunernto Cuba for use of her airspace, but whornwould have to pay much more to flyrnaround the island? Simply put, there isrnno financial incentive to remoe Castro.rnCould we negotiate with Castro? Arnbetter question is, why should Castro negotiaternwith us? After all, he gets what hernwants right now. Both our trade and immigrationrnpolicies regarding Cuba are directedrnby him. The embargo is a porousrnshell that enriches many and deliversrnwhat is deemed acceptable by thernregime. Our conservative radio talk showrnhosts deer}’ the abominations of Castrornwhile lighting up yet another Cubanrncigar, as if it matters that they were purchasedrnoverseas, as if that would makernany difference to the thousands of individualsrnstill rotting in Cuban prisons.rnOne of the biggest trades in Miami is thernsending of goods to Cuba, and since virtuallyrnall of the people performing thesernso-called humanitarian gestures are retiredrnCuban-Americans (the ones whornclaim to have lost everything in the exodus),rnthey receive Social Security andrnMedicareAIedicaid benefits. They usernthe Social Security money to buy goods,rnshipping the products along with the freernmedicines and medical supplies providedrnat taxpayer expense to an embargoedrnCuba. Visit any clinic in Miami, and onernwould swear an epidemic had struck thernentire Cuban-American population ofrnretirement age. In essence, the embargornenriches many and prohibits little, andrntherefore negotiations will be of questionablernbenefit to all. As with the Warrnon Drugs, we have a knack for doingrnthings quite ineffectively as far as thernstated goals are concerned, but quite effectivelyrnin securing the unstated goals ofrnfinancial and political rewards.rnThe mass held in Miami for the fourrnmen brought out a small group of familyrnmembers, zealots, and the curious. Thernevent itself was quite insensible and torpid,rnkeeping in line with a Miami archdioceserndesperately wanting to placaternCastro. But what yvas startling was thernexpression of one of the mothers, whornlost her son for no real reason. She exudedrna despair, a condemning stare, not atrnany people or any government, but perhapsrnfor believing that she had escapedrnthe influence of a despot, only to findrnthat she had not escaped at all. Like arnbad dream, as lived by the solemn mother,rnthe demented in Havana controlrnthose who are there as well as us here.rnAs the only solution to this problem,rnwe should regain control of our foreignrnand domestic policies, and act purely forrnthe benefit of our national interest. Ourrnnational interest includes equitablernagreements with cooperating governmentsrnand humanitarian assistancernwhen such assistance is used exclusivelyrnfor humanitarian purposes. Our nationalrninterest entails fiscal soundness, whichrnis not gained by maintaining artificiallyrnhigh prices on certain commodities andrntrade. Our national interest does not includernthe pursuit of folly at the expensernof lives or massive foreign aid (read; taxrndollars) or by draining local resources tornthe point of annihilation. Base our domesticrnand foreign policies on these sensiblerngoals, and Castro and other despotsrnlike him will eventually fall.rnMario R. Sanchez is a graduate studentrnat Florida International University.rnFor Immediate ServicernCHRONICLESrnNEW SUBSCRIBERSrnTOLL FREE NUMBERrnChioiilcksrn1-800-877-5459rnJUNE 1996/51rnrnrn