thumbnail of Advocates; Should We Lift Our Embargo on Trade with Castro's Cuba?; 20
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Miami Florida for the fifth largest city in America. With an average winter temperature of 68 degrees. A playground for tourists home for more than one million people. Including 200000 Cubans many of whom came here after Fidel Castro's rise to power. Ten miles away in Coral Gables is the University of Miami. With more than 16000 students. It is the largest private university in the southeast. Our setting tonight for the. Elderly. Please. Join. Hi. I'm Roger Fisher substituting once again for Victor Palmieri. We'll be back next week. Every Sunday night this time live in coast to coast the advocates look at a problem in terms of a practical choice. Tonight the problem is Cuba the practical choice is this.
Should we now lift the embargo on trade with Cuba. Mr. Carter. Yes we should. Because the embargo has not and will not achieve its goals. It's an absurd policy that has to change. You'll hear tonight from one of the men who engineered the embargo and why he has changed his mind. We have a film interview with the foreign minister of Chile on why he can no longer support us. With us tonight in the studio Carmello Mesa Lago who once served in the Cuban government. And Richard Fagan Latin American expert and political scientist from Stanford University. Mr. BAKER. Mr. Pell our embargo helps curb Castro's ability to promote subversion in the hemisphere. It is our only bargaining tool and getting Castro to give up his military links with the Soviet Union and resuming trade would be the first step in reversing our 10 year policy of opposition to Castro's brand of totalitarian communism. This reversal would deny to the Cuban people any hope of a Democratic replacement. With me tonight is deputy assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs. Robert
Hurwitz who will tell us why the embargo serves the interests of the hemisphere. And Jose Torrente and Jose formed who will tell us why the embargo serves the interests of the Cuban people. Thank you. Should we now lift the embargo. The we in our question refers to the United States and other members of the OAS the Organization of American States who for six to eight years have prohibited all trade with Cuba. Should we now make a decision to resume trade with Cuba. There are three critical ingredients in any political decision. What people think. Reasoned arguments and what people do. We're about to hear some reasoned arguments. We're going to give you a chance to do something. But first let's take a look at what people think. On the question we were discussing tonight. He advocates has just conducted a national public opinion poll and here are the results. 17 percent said trade with Cuba. 63 percent said no don't. And 20 percent had no opinion. Let's get the opinion of this audience oh over 100 people invited at random for Among those in the
Miami area written the advocates or otherwise expressed interest in the program. Just before the broadcast we took a first vote. Maybe see the results please of that vote. Trade with Cuba. 83 Yes 56 no and 61 not voting at this time. And you see that in percentages please. It's 42 percent. Yes. Now let's compare that with national public opinion poll which was 17. Well there's this audience is more firmly for trade than the national public opinion. After the arguments we will take a second vote to this group to see if anybody has changed his mind. And what happened to those who were in the middle. Sitting next to me is Senator Claiborne pal of Rhode Island a ranking Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. When and if we change our policy or that committee may well play a key role in it Senator Pell is one of the I guess he's the last member of Congress to have been in Havana some 10 years ago. Senator I know you have an open mind on our question tonight but what has been your thinking on trade questions
like this. Well I thought about it in connection with trade with other communist nations like China Russia or Eastern European countries. I've always believed our best national interest is served by contact by trade. I have not formed an opinion as yet whether there are any special circumstances that would mean that this policy would be incorrect vis a vis Cuba. You have not spoken out on the Cuban trade question at all. No I haven't the others your open mind well we're not asking you to decide tonight on that question. You're here to hear both sides of the case. Please feel free to ask questions of our advocates or of our witnesses. We ask each advocate to present not his personal opinion but rather what he considers important and responsible arguments. And now the cases Mr.. Terry what is the case for resuming trade with Cuba. Senator Paul in the early 1960s Cuba was mistakenly considered one of America's most serious problems. The American public saw Cuba as a threat to its security. And typically we overreacted to this supposed threat. One of President Kennedy's
closest advisers Richard Goodwin was affected by this emotionalism. Mr. Goodwin is in Maine and we have him on the telephone. Mr. Goodwin has the embargo prevented Castro from exporting revolution. I think it demonstrated the business of finding a job and really politics that hasn't worked for reveler to get you to buy something as funny or a revolutionary idea. A final thought here. And if you're willing to finance an invasion of money it has ready access. Easy to. Take your word to get all those that get out. The fact is that is the way I like what I have put down. By the government by the governments of those countries I think together with us with their reaction to Apocalypse has nothing whatsoever to do with it. It seems
to me that the trying to make Cuba totally dependent on the Soviet Union. And of course Cuba was closer relations with the United States over policy that prevent them from doing so. So that a fact though because that's out of Europe why are you in Germany now. I think if we can if the future follow the path of what will be in the after the Soviet Union and all I think that the FBI really supportive of the fight over there. Thank you very much Mr. Goodwin. With me tonight is Dr. Camillo missile Alaka Presently the assistant director for the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Formerly an official of the Castro government and a noted Latin American economist. We're glad to have you here.
Doctor this a lot. The embargo was designed to weaken the Cuban economy. Has it been successful in doing so. Not a has not been successful essentially because the economic problems of Cuba are a direct result of internal mistakes of policy and not of the embargo. That Cuba has been able to get materials and supply socialist oil and weapons. So this is what they have been able to get spare parts. Through triangled or trade from Canada and Western Europe. They have been able to get transportation equipment like the railroad bosses. And. Vessels from Spain Great Britain and France. And they have been able to expand trade with Western Europe. The problem is not the embargo. The problem has been that Cuba has not as profitable big enough to trade with a truck that has the embargo hurt the United States. I think that the embargo have hurt the United States. When you have created a bad
image of this country now down in the third world the United States has been presented as a big Colossus. Trying to strangle small country and even worse. You have to play a role because he has been successful. He has you with us. Number two the embargo has been used as a scapegoat as he's seen in his speech right now to justify term mistakes. Number three the embargo has created friction between the United States and our allies in Western Europe such as Belgium Great Britain. These countries I say have some easier. Also straight lines. Vessels in this country have been exerting pressure to impede trade between these countries and these countries and Cuba. So I think that there has been some frictions within the audience member so recent members such as Jamaica and also with Wait a minute recently.
And finally I will say that the embargo have strengthening so interference in this hemisphere. Thank you doctor. Get take some questions but to myself this was not for us. Let's just clarify one or two things right at the start. The United States is not alone in imposing this embargo is it not. There are the abode of the organization of American States voted in 1964 to impose an embargo isn't that true. Correct. And over two thirds of the member nations of the Organization of American states voted for that embargo and are supporting that embargo today. Isn't that also correct. That's correct. But I would like to clarify you or your question. We are not discussing what we are discussing here. What is it will see the other to eliminate the embargo. We are discussing whether the embargo has been efficient or not a policy. I want to clarify. Well let me let me finish. On the on the embargo I think that we will be importing a very slight point which is
increase in our cost of transportation between Cuba and the Soviet block. But that's all what have resulted. Well but I just want to clarify the point that the other nations of the hemisphere have supported this embargo for their own reasons and not just because the United States. We want to get that point out on the record. Now you've written a good deal about the incidence of forced labor Cuba. Can you tell us a little bit about that. For instance you've spoken of a term many years of forced labor in Cuba. How many many years of forced labor of schoolchildren grammar school children occurred last year. It's quite difficult to say how many school children. I'll be because she's not structure us all there are sections of the economy. Shall we say workers et cetera. So I can answer that question but would you say that's a significant amount of schoolchildren time is taken up and forced labor. Yes it has been entering the country and therefore they are both working on this
story. Can you give us an estimate of how many man years of forced labor involved for an unemployed women in Cuba. Again this is difficult to say that yet they are not very accurate. So I don't think I can answer the question now how about the number of man years of political prisoners. I do recall I think from your article somewhere the figure of 200000 man years of labor about political prisoners. That's correct. What percent of the labor force now what that means. Can you explain a little bit. Two hundred thousand man years means there's at least two hundred thousand people working for a year as political prisoners for a particular period of time. Is that right. No you are talking of political prisoners. You know first of all I don't know how many political prisoners are in Cuba. Twenty one thousand. I shall estimate the number of
hours that each prisoner I have put in perhaps 12 hours per day. OK. A final question. Just very quickly what constitutes a political crime here that you can get into force labor. Well I am not a lawyer in Cuba but I am not aware of what is the correct definition. Well why did you leave Cuba. When I left Cuba in 1961 because I wasn't this with any Cuban I feel I am. Thank you. Thank you very much Totanus a lot. Thank you. Doc laga has told you how the embargo has not worked. I don't know what the political prisoners have to do with it but we have seen it has backfired. The embargo made us look ridiculous. It's about time to lift the embargo and follow the
example of Canada and Mexico. And I would like to read in direct quotes if I may. Mexico never adopted the embargo in the first place as the foreign secretary said at nineteen hundred sixty four. The interruption of relations would be of no use to anyone in any way. And even more would jeopardize indispensable communications. Canada never adopted the embargo. Prime Minister Trudeau said of Washington last year and I'd like to read the quote. Most countries in the world trade with a lot of governments with policies of which they do not approve. One of the best vehicles of understanding and closer relationships is trade in international relations as in domestic relations. The catch word is communication. The key word is dialogue. Now sir that is true of our allies in this hemisphere Latin American countries many of whom willingly supported the embargo. We engaged in some arm twisting to get it through the OAS are now beginning to speak their minds in recent months. Venezuela Bolivia Peru Trinidad
Tobago and Chile have all called for a re-examination of our relations with the Cuban country. Now. One of the leaders of the rising tide of Latin-American opposition to the embargo was Chile's foreign minister Gabriel Valdez. He gave us this exclusive interview last week at his home in Santiago. Nothing worse. I think for America to try to put those of us in different places where they really Castro is not responsible for revolutions in a make shift solution ceased before Castro Castro is not responsible for many actions for the kids in Latin America for lack of development. They were there before us and it will after us if no legal existence
is a practice when the United States has agreed with Soviet Union in a certain way of co-existent. And that is good for peace when the United States is trying to so do some links with China communist China in a very very imaginative action. We think that that is good for peace. When Mr. Willy Brandt the chancellor of Germany is trying to solve the German problem that is going to have these when the United States is. Trying to withdraw from Vietnam that is good for peace. But Cuba remains as a unique case completely freeze. That is not good for peace. That is not good for America
and Cuba is a Latin American country. We cannot continue having a country in Latin America. Absolutely. Outside of connection with us this is not normal. This is not saying this is not logical. We have to find a way to combine the cells that the nation of the Cuban people the. Non-intervention. And the respect of ideologies. Rigid vague vague and is a professor of political science at Stanford University author of the book Cubans in exile and a man who has visited Cuba three times in the last few years at the request of the State Department. And we're glad to have you here in Miami with us tonight. Dr. Fagan Why must we change our Cuban policy. Let me make three points in the first place. Over the last decade and I'm speaking about the decade of the 60s we have followed what I would consider a disastrous and certainly uncreative policy in Latin America. Just to note some of the things that have happened 1961 the Bay of Pigs a
disastrous episode for the Kennedy administration. 1965 the massive intervention invasion of the Dominican Republic 1969 Governor Rockefeller sent back sent by President Nixon on a goodwill in fact finding tour of Latin America could not even visit two countries which were considered showcases of the Alliance for Progress. Venezuela and Chile. It's simply time for a change to break out of those policies. Second point that I'd like to make is that President Nixon has called for a change in a very impressive speech on October 31st. Nelson Rockefeller called for a change in his report and we simply must begin this change some time. There's been rhetoric from political figures there's been rhetoric from public figures has been rhetoric from lots of people there hasn't been any action in one place to begin this action. Is without question with the Cuban revolution. Now Doctor how do you feel we should change our policy towards Cuba to begin with with the embargo. We should end the embargo. Let me point out that ending the embargo does not necessarily in any
sense mean picking up the trade a burden that's not borne by the Soviets and by others. It simply means letting political nature take its course in this hemisphere. It means letting the full play of forces come free once again to see what in fact resolution there will be the Cuban policy it means diplomacy instead of what we have now which is diplomacy. It means small events perhaps cumulating into a saner and healthier kind of policy in the hemisphere it's frozen out. It's time to break it free. Thank you Mr. BAKER. Just some questions from the Fed. Yes before I forget to talk to Dr Fagan I'd like to just point out to Senator hell of a few items about Mr. votaries film. Mr. Oteri innovates by producing several examples of hemispheric shifts in opinion that the whole hemisphere feels this way. This is not necessarily so. Other nations Brazil Argentina for instance are still strongly in favor of continued embargo and blockade of Cuba. Second it's very easy for Chile to come
around and make this statement it abstained from the original vote to impose a blockade. And secondly Chile is a nation distant from the dangers of Cuban subversion. It's never really felt itself under the gun. Yes. Now Mr. Fagan you said that. You said several things and interests me. One is that our policy now has begun to wear thin. Now. Mr. Pell Well Senator Pell is interested in trying to find out whether Cuba is somehow a special case that's different from our relations with China and other other communist nations. Now in your article you've said that Castro is totally dependent on the umbilical cord of a tie economic ties with the Soviet Union. Isn't that correct. Two comments. First of all I take my witness's liberty to point out that what he said for instance about she holds in just the opposite sense for Venezuela Venezuela was the country that brought the sanctions against Cuba in the OAS and it is the president of
Venezuela President Caldeira who has called within the last three days for a reopening to renegotiate some of the Cuban chaos. But you forget the important condition he placed on that call that is been done within the context of the OAS with no one is necessarily the condition that Cuba renounced its aims of subversion. An intervention in the hemisphere of all that convention what the president said is that we have evidence now that Cuba has in fact by its policy by its actions renounced this. He did not call for Castro. No. He called for a condition if I may correct you. And I think we'll have a chance to explore whether Cuba is in fact pronounced in the later part or not. Nothing to this notion of the umbilical cord. There's no question on the cost to receive aid from the Soviet Union of course he receives aid from the Soviet Union. A normal figure positive is about a million dollars a day. This is approximately what we spend in a couple of dozen hours in Vietnam and it should not be seen I think as anything that looms large in the scale of worldwide trains like in the Soviet scale though because I would say it does not.
Not for the country of the world that has the second largest gross national product a million dollars a day is certainly something they can absorb and something which it is clearly in our interest to diminish in some fashion and that you're interested in trying to reduce the burden on the Soviet Union. Absolutely. This is no way whatsoever to conduct diplomacy to punish and make difficult and make as financially risky as possible. The conduct of foreign affairs we can punish the Soviet Union if one is interested in that. Obviously by building missiles they have to build anti missiles which are a hundred times as expensive as any trade or a missile. Now we're debating I'm talking about Somalo as well as a question for you that surprised you this year because generally speaking we've felt that you can gain strength from one of his opponents. That's probably in your own national interest. Now this may be selfish. But I always thought one of the reasons for the embargo was the fact that a third of a billion dollars bought it was being drained from Russia. Yes sir I think it is one of the reasons and I think it's a kind of false logic because it
was precisely this kind of false logic which brought us to the confrontation in 1962. And this is something and of course the same logic that the Soviet Union is using now with us and Vietnam that we're being drained some 80 billion that they're just not seeing that conflict not to attack a nation. Absolutely. But I don't take their behavior as a point of departure for ours. Now with the rules of national interest apply it both sides. Yes but I would say that this is minimal in those terms. It's not even a good argument from that point of view because it is not Vietnam in terms of the Soviet economy. Yes sir. Wait a minute. And you've written a good deal about the extent of political control inside Cuba now can you tell us how many newspapers were in Cuba before Castro came to power. There were dozens and how many are there now. There are about three national and about three. Three local. Now what constitutes a political crime in Cuba. I asked Mr. Mesereau. Yes.
Well I would point out what I think he pointed out very well that what constitutes a political crime is totally irrelevant to the question of our relation to this. The same question could be asked about the Soviet Union which has in its history executed a thousand persons for every person who's been incarcerated probably in full is relevant in the question of what kind of conditions occur inside the country and it's useful for the American people to know what kind of man we're dealing with. I tell you what is. Well I'm talking about the relevance. Well let me decide the relevance if you can answer the question of what's possible what's your precise question Mr. BAKER. My question is what constitutes a political crime in this in within Cuba that would involve walking. I take it your answer Dr. Fagan's whatever it constitutes whatever kind of whatever they choose to constitute as a political crime clearly. So there's no intangibles and no definite standard just whatever the government feels like can be a political crime. No it's not that's him. Well thank you very much. Thank you. And.
Resuming trade with Cuba. And now let's turn to the other side of the question Mr. Baker will you give us the case against resuming trade with Cuba. Senator Pell Mr. rotaries witnesses say in general that the embargo has hurt the Cuban people while so many Castro in power by letting them letting him use us as a scapegoat for his mistakes. But the embargo has become a threadbare excuse after 10 years of mismanagement and economic stagnation. And Castro is in trouble now and now it's no time to give him some help by lifting the embargo. Now Mr. Goodwin can sit quietly in the fire in the in his cabin in the main woods and opine about what we should do in Cuba but we have here tonight a man who sits on the hot seat a policy decision. He's a man who has to make these kind of decisions and be responsible. Know and they have a very interested to know why they're in trouble now I don't the study is still up and I saw the r r of refugee witnesses will speak to that in a minute.
But I like to call now Robert Krulwich who is deputy assistant secretary for inter-American affairs and the Department of State to her which we're very glad to have you here from the State Department. I can fashion some of the path. Mr. Horowitz. What is the basis of our policy towards Cuba. There are two reasons why we have a trade embargo against Cuba. The first. Is Castro's. Publicly announced policy of exporting his revolution by overthrowing other governments in the hemisphere. The second reason. Is the military ties between Cuba and the Soviet Union. Which presents a danger to the peace and security of this hemisphere such as we experienced in 1962. During the missile crisis. Now Mr. Goodwin says if that policies fail. Is he right. No he's by no means right. I think our policy has gone a long way toward accomplishing our goals and I think we should be very clear and be not be
mistaken and that our policy is not designed to bring down Castro or overthrow the Castro government. Our policy is designed to limit Castro's ability to export his revolution and overthrow other governments. And the second part of our policy is to discourage the Soviet Union from other adventures in this hemisphere. Now Mr. Goodwin says that you can't stop the spread of an idea but has the Castro given up at least the spread of arms and men in Latin America for subversion. On the contrary today there are young Latin American men who are being trained as subversives in Cuba. They are learning guerrilla warfare and they are learning terrorism for the city's. Funds and arms are being transferred. Cuban agents are being infiltrated into the hemisphere. Not too long ago a high ranking Cuban Communist Party member in Havana said privately it's a mistake to think that we have abandoned our policy of exploiting the revolution. We
are continuing at a lower level. But nonetheless we are continuing. Now what is the cost to the hemisphere of resuming trade with Cuba. Well I think we should be clear on a couple of things. Mr. Baker first the United States as well as the other countries of the hemisphere would welcome Cuba back to the American family of nations providing. It abandon its policy of subverting other governments and provided it cut its military ties with the Soviet Union. However there is no evidence that these cost Joe is about to do this. The Cuban government has not sought to re-enter the American family of nations or the entire American system. As long as Cuba retains this policy it would be foolish on the part of the United States to abandon the trade embargo policy. Otherwise what we would be doing would be strengthening Castro strengthening his ability to export his revolution and we would relieve the Soviet Union of the costly
financial burden that Cuba represents. And finally as you know resumption of trade will mean trade missions to the various Latin American countries and it would not at all be surprising if Castro used these trade missions which is a typical communist disguise for infiltrating agents and subverting these governments. So it's an almost Oteri has some questions for you and Senator Helms to tell you once you start. Thank you. Mr. Hoyer what would you say that Castro is training revolutionaries in Cuba. Is that the same kind of training we give to right wing governments in this country at our military installations. No not at all. After all right. You say that they're being smuggled into Latin American countries to subvert. Is that correct. How many Latin American countries have gone Communist since Castro took over Cuba. It would have probably been more if our policies had it would have won. They are right now. Is that correct. That's correct. And we are going to try to keep it right. We're going to need an embargo fine now so we need the embargo so that Latin American countries can not determine for themselves who they want to govern them or how they want to be got right now.
On the contrary these same Latin American countries were the ones who voted in favor of the embargo with a little arm twisting for no harm to the Bolivia Peru Trinidad Tobago Jamaica Canada Mexico Chile they all want to open some kind of a dialogue. Is this Should we ignore them. I think if you listen carefully to Mr. Baker you would have heard that all these all these countries have placed conditions upon and he talks with Castro Cuba. They are the same conditions that we laid out. There's nothing. Same conditions we might as we maintain the blockade. These other countries don't. That's not true. It's not true. No. Does any of the other countries have ships floating around Cuba to keep things out. And the other kind of thing not a physical block. I just want to stop any other country stop ships coming into its ports. There are no other Latin American countries with the exception of my sister. The senator has a question right.
Wouldn't that would it not be correct to say that the level of export is Services subversion from Cuba to the countries of Latin America it is substantially less now than it was five years ago. Senator Pell I would say yes it is less but probably not substantially partly because of the the subversion is more concentrated in the urban areas rather than in the rural areas and therefore the amount of people need it for training and so forth are. So in other words even with the embargo we have the same amount of subversion now that we had five years ago so the embargo hasn't contained anything I thought I said less said about the same amount than I said. Let me ask you this. Do we trade with Iron Curtain countries. Yes we do. And we don't try and tell them that they can't have ties with Russia or that they can't have communist governments doing things right. Right. But we do think that Castro because he's 90 miles off our coast should have the kind of government that our State Department tells him he can have. Is that right. No no absolutely wrong. Let me repeat for you I've never said anything about the nature of the Castro government. I have said two things that the State Department holds. One is the export of
revolution that is interfering in other people's business and in other countries. The other is military ties with the Soviet Union. Neither of those have anything to do with how the Cuban people have arranged their own societies and I think we ought to be very clear on that. All right now let me ask you I just took two cars here. One is don't we interfere in other people's countries. Also on occasion and try to change their government. No I don't I don't I don't think Senator that we have an announced policy of calling for revolution in any country in the world. One last question sir. Did you support the intervention of 20000 Marines in Havana and the World Bank the Dominican Republic. No I didn't. You did not do to that. That's right. Thank you very much Mr. Hurwitz you ought to thank all of us get back.
To. Baker senator one index of the dissatisfaction that the people within Cuba must feel for this regime is the extent to which they will try to leave. This raft was used by two people who went 90 miles from Cuba to get to get to the United States since 1959. Fourteen thousand people have come by boat or to get to the United States from Cuba. Over 1 million people have left Cuba or are waiting to leave. Now if you took the same amount of people in terms of the United States that's 30 million people would have left the United States think of what a mass exodus that would mean to us. Now the two men who came over on this rap were joined by. He was killed by machine gunfire. The two men were 18 and 20 years old and they were both workers. It's not the rich and the fluid who are getting out of Cuba. Now I like to call Jose Tauri answer to the stand. He's a long time leader not a longtime
leader but he is now a leader of the Cuban exile movement in the United States Senate Trent Lott. Until then to have you here you're. A. Senior Oriente. Why were the riff why were these refugees that uses rap and others who came over opposed to Castro's regime. Very simply because they were taking away their right to dissent. In other words when Castro went on the television and said what would be the election for. Anybody. And that means roughly at least a million people who have left you both felt that once the right of the century was taken from them everything else was used as. Now would Castro be able to claim a moral victory if we abandon our embargo policy. Absolutely yes. Because. In my opinion
it would undermine the confidence of the other United States allies. That. Would probably feel that you haven't followed your policy whereas you have asked a lot of people to follow up on this. Now what would be the effect on the people within Cuba if we abandon our embargo. I would feel betrayed just like the million people were outside of Cuba. Now why is it important not to abandon the embargo now. Because I think that Castro at the present moment is undergoing the biggest crisis since he has been in power. And I think am wrong to give them my hand at a time when he's practically on the run. Thank you very much Mr. Turner your witness for cross-examination. Mr. Cheney could you tell me Sir when did you leave Cuba on April 7.
Nineteen hundred and sixty. You were not political reasons why you've been out of there 10 years then sir is that correct. And sir do you think that an embargo that has been in effect for eight years and that has not toppled the Castro government that has not stopped the spread of any revolution in and of itself is a worthwhile tool to be continued. I would say yes I will give your reasons for at least. Basically all human history is based on United States machinery which they are probably buying through Canada England. But it's been made a lot more costly to them and therefore they have undermined our hold on the Cuban people. But the Cuban people still have Castro in power eight years after the blockade. Now I don't know. I beg to disagree violently Castro has the Cuban people to revoke right which is an entirely different thing. I point something out.
This is we got to get one thing straight. We are not pro-Castro. Let's understand that we are pro Cuban people as you were. Now this kind of thing right here that forces people who want freedom that forces people who want to be free to get on something like this and risk their lives for freedom is tragic and should stop. Do you feel sir that if the American government. Lifted the embargo ships were coming in and out of the harbors the American consulate and embassy was open. Don't you think that instead of a hundred and sixty Cubans a day being able to go out on a real level we might be able to expand that we might be able to make access and access them from Cuba more free so we won't drive with desperate people to use this kind of thing to escape from a tyrant. What give you the answer. Please tell us. Which is very plain in
the first place if. The renewing of trade would cause a lot more people to leave Cuba. I don't think it's helpful if the renewing of trade would enable the Cuban people to be free and have elections I would be for it. But I don't think it will. We're. In a position where we disagree on what will help the Cuban people. It's obvious the embargo hasn't helped them want to force them to risk their life on this. Don't you think in fairness to those thousands of Cubans who will be driven to this in the next few years we ought to lift the embargo and take a chance at dialogue with our Cuban Brothers and hope we can something. Them. I think Mr. Terry that you're bringing a little bit unrealistic unrealistic in the center has a question I didn't from where I've been sitting.
I've been hearing people say for years. Carry on the same policy. We're almost there. Let's just see light at the end of the tunnel. What is your hard evidence that you believe Castro has been on the ropes. Excuse me. What is your reason for believing that Castro on the ropes in the first place has been making promises promises and promises. Most politically I have never heard a one promise. You're. Not only in Cuba Bob but I mean the promises that you make to become a senator. I've tried to keep why I say I'm a great guy but I do try to get it to the best of your ability. But when you fail you're not cussing the people are voting for you. Any Archer. But when Castro fails and it continues to create more and more hardship and more intolerance. Right. Do have any more specific thought than that. Because this is the same
thought I've heard it five years ago and for three and two and one. But do you have any specific evidence that this unrest in Cuba is why haven't happened to have seen. An intelligence report made by a very good intelligence agency or a very serious European government are in the states that although there is no organized opposition in Cuba against the Castro regime there is. The feeling amongst the people who have cameras that 90 percent of the people are against country costume which is entirely opposite from what you heard during the first year second year third year because I for one told the US government at the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion that it was a great political mistake. Time has proven me right. Thank you very much Mr. Tuireann. We're glad to have you here. Approach. The critical question is what lifting the embargo would do to the Cuban people
their sense of the psychology of that shift in our policy. Not so much the economics but it's a political act and what a change in policy would do. I'd like to call a young Cuban who has a vision of what Cuba could be like. Jose Ford is twenty two years old. He used to study student in this country for several years and would like to return to his homeland. Stefan we're glad to have you here for joining us tonight. Mr. Khan what are your hopes for Cuba's future. Well. I would say very firmly that I do not believe that any people can. Achieve Happiness without the freedom of mind to seek for truth. The freedom of mobility for life. The freedom of changing that where we find the state of knowledge freedom of existence.
This country says that they provide for its inhabitants. And that freedom. Must exist in a nation to go forward. Furthermore I believe that with the experience that such a nation like Cuba had. The tremendous knowledge of a system which we call capitalism which up to 1959 we had pretty much MUCH OF A knowledge. Secondly the tremendous experience with sexual revolution has brought about. To the Cuban people the minds that have been created in the youth. Which fueled the. Reactionary attitudes at this moment of customer demand which have been cultivated in their youth outside of Cuba. I think they will blend in they will create hybrid formula. Still the House is going to be one of the solutions to the third will I don't know believe that communism or capitalism or anything is necessarily the best one.
I'm just going to get asked the question to how old were you when you left Cuba. I was 12 years old. 12. So you haven't been back there in 10 years. Yes. So it's fair to say you really don't speak for the Cuban youth. Today I try to keep in touch very much with the Cuban youth. Let me ask a question sir. If you were able to go back to Cuba tomorrow if Castro were overthrown and you could go back to Cuba tomorrow and we had a government set up that was acceptable to the Cuban people and it was acceptable to the United States of America. And in a few years the United States decided because we have refugees this government is no longer acceptable to us. Would you wish a free Cuban who took part in the election of that government want the United States to tell you that government cannot exist because we don't approve of it. You must be made to suffer. Is that the kind of freedom you want to. I don't. Disagree with the Cuban situation because the United States disagrees. I disagree because I know that there are 7 million inhabitants who have been driven like slaves. We have no rights of
any sort that you today have the rights. I agree. With. Your. Point. That we both agree freedom is what we need. So we're going to rush to this. How does the embargo keep people in chains. Very short answer. Well see I don't know take it as an economic point of view because I do not believe that Cuba will exist as it is for much longer. Find something that isn't helping. Well see I am going to if you're going to take my man. Thank you very much. We'll talk about. I wish you all. Thank you very much. Thank you. 30 seconds. Just very briefly Senator Breaux inefficient dictatorship will sow the seeds of its own destruction if we only have the patience to let them grow and mature. If we lift the embargo right now that would give aid and comfort to Castro when he needs it most.
All we have to do is just wait him out and we shouldn't trade embargo for we shouldn't lift the embargo for nothing. We should wait and get something for a short term like 30 seconds on hurt one single argument I proposed tonight by our opponents as to why you should lift the embargo. What an effect of her it is a lot of things we all agree on including freedom but the fact of the matter is that you don't wait all dictatorships. We haven't succeeded in doing it. Russia in Greece and Spain are in Vietnam and it seems to me as though if we were. Going to. Have a dialogue with the Cuban people and let's help them as people to people rather than government to governments. Now's the time for any of you who are undecided to make up your mind. Should we now trade with Cuba. As you've heard there are risks and benefits and decide either way if we now resume trade with Cuba that we take a first step toward reconciliation. We recognize the
right of self-determination that we preach and bury a foreign policy based it is set on punishment but resuming trade runs the risk of strengthening the economy of a regime which was supported which has been supporting revolutions in Latin America which is unacceptable to many Cubans and to Americans if we decide the other way if we kick the embargo we continue to show our disapproval of the Castro regime and we discourage a violent approach to social problems in other Latin American countries. But this course imposes economic hardship on other Cubans. It runs the risk of further isolating Cuba from the rest of the western hemisphere and of strengthening the Soviet role on the other with this choice in mind let's now take a second boat of the audience here in Miami. What each of you please pick up the voting box and be prepared to vote when I get the signal. I'll remember to hold the voting lever down while I count. Get ready for the second vote. The question is should we now trade with Cuba. Vote now.
5 4 3 2. 1. Now before we look at the results how would you vote. Think about the choice whether you want to lift the embargo or continue it. You can make your position felt. You can vote by writing to us the Advocate's box. 1970 Austin 0 21 34. We will tabulate your views and we'll make them known to Senator Pell and every other senators and congressmen. Please let us know the station on which you heard this broadcast. If you usually don't write letters you aren't alone. One Colorado viewer told us I've never written in response to a television show prior to this. Whether I like to admit it or not it must be because I was not sufficiently concerned. A man in Philadelphia wrote. I've never written to a TV program before. The advocates should become an important and regular forum for public debate on America's problems. We hope that you too. Think of the advocates not just as a television program but as your public to be a participant not a spectator. And now that the views of the audience here in
Miami on the first vote before the argument the number voting each way let's see that again if we can on the display you see the first vote on the display. It was originally 83 Yes 56 no. 61 no opinion. And now may we see the impact of the arguments. Will you please put up the second vote. Now if you can have it. Wow. The second vote shifted to 124 in favor of trade. Forty six against and only 30 undecided. This. Morning just taken is not a scientific sample of national public opinion. It is only what happened in this one is far more important is what you do. Remember that address the Advocate's box. 1970. Boston no. 21. 34. Two weeks ago we debated the problem with foreign aid. As of yesterday more than 2000 of you had written it. Twenty eight percent were for more
foreign aid and 69 percent were for less 3 percent expressed other views. These results are being sent to under Secretary Richardson who was with us that night on November 9th. The advocates debated the question should we prohibit lawsuits over auto accidents and had each driver buy insurance for his own injuries. Two thirds of you who wrote in favor of the proposal. The results of that mail in and some of the letters themselves went to our guest that night Mr. Richard Stewart superintendent of insurance of New York State. Mr. Stewart's recommendations to Governor Rockefeller for a new no fault insurance system which would prohibit a typical personal injury lawsuit is about to be made public. Mr. Stewart. The New York state insurance department has now finished a careful study of auto liability insurance. Our report. Concludes that the present system is slow. Wasteful cruel and unfair.
If you as a consumer. Want to get your money's worth from auto insurance. And if you want a chance to get what you need if you're ever in an accident. Then this present system has got to be changed completely. The New York report recommends an entirely new system. One that would cut premiums by a third to a half. And that would get the money to the victims who need it when they need it. The proposal should help highway safety generally and would be especially tough on the drunken driver. If enacted this proposal can save you a lot of money. And someday might save you a lot of hardship. The report is written for the kind of concerned intelligent citizen who watches the advocates. If you'd like to read it. Write to Governor Rockefeller. Albany New York and he'll send you a copy. Unlike auto insurance the report. Is free.
Thank you Senator for joining us tonight. Thanks to our advocates and particularly to our witnesses. Join us next Sunday night at the same time. I'm Roger Fisher. Good Night. Hope. To. Help you understand both sides. Our thanks to the University of Miami for their cooperation in this program. This program was made possible by crumbs from the Ford Foundation. And. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Should We Lift Our Embargo on Trade with Castro's Cuba?
Episode Number
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-n58cf9jg33).
Moderator: Roger Fisher Advocate: R. Lisle Baker Advocate: Joseph Oteri Guest: Sen. Clayborn Pell - (D) Rhode Island Witnesses: Richard Goodwin - JFK Advisor (On Film) Carmelo Mesa-Lago - Economist, Univ. Pittsburgh Richard Fagen - Political Scientist, Stanford Gabriel Valdes - Foreign Minister, Chile (On Film) Robert A. Hurwitch - State Department Jose de la Torriente - Miami, Florida Jose Font - Miami Florida Taped at the University of Miami.
Social Issues
Goodwin, Richard N.; United States; United States--Relations--Cuba; Cuba; embargo; Stewart, Richard E.; Cuba--Economic conditions--1959-1990; Baker, R. Lisle; Fagen, Richard R.; Valds, Gabriel, 1919-2011; Mesa-Lago, Carmelo, 1934-; Pell, Claiborne, 1918-2009; Fisher, Roger, 1922-2012; Hurwitch, Robert A., 1920-
Rights Note:,Rights:,Rights Credit:WGBH Educational Foundation,Rights Type:All,Rights Coverage:,Rights Holder:WGBH Educational Foundation
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Guest2: Baker, R. Lisle
Guest2: Stewart, Richard E.
Guest2: Goodwin, Richard N.
Guest2: Pell, Claiborne, 1918-2009
Guest2: Mesa-Lago, Carmelo, 1934-
Guest2: Hurwitch, Robert A., 1920-
Guest2: Valds, Gabriel, 1919-2011
Guest2: Fagen, Richard R.
Moderator2: Fisher, Roger, 1922-2012
Publisher: Supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 476fd07ee367a36c017cf1d6abcd7401878c5d4d (ArtesiaDAM UOI_ID)
Format: video/quicktime
Color: Color
Duration: 00:00:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Advocates; Should We Lift Our Embargo on Trade with Castro's Cuba?; 20,” 1970-02-15, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 1, 2023,
MLA: “Advocates; Should We Lift Our Embargo on Trade with Castro's Cuba?; 20.” 1970-02-15. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 1, 2023. <>.
APA: Advocates; Should We Lift Our Embargo on Trade with Castro's Cuba?; 20. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from