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Cuban Cigars and Rum. What’s a Fan of the Constitution to do?

The Center’s Senior Fellow and Professor of Economics King Banaian gave me a heads up this morning on his weekly radio show: President Obama issued yet another executive order, this time allowing for the importation of the Cuban cigars, rum and pharmaceuticals, thereby once again by-passing our Congress and the long-held though not uncontroversial conclusion of our elected officials that the continued trade embargo is the better policy.

I called in to the radio show this morning to pose the following ethical dilemma to King:

Should conservatives buy Cuban cigars and rum? (I want to make damn sure I do not buy any Cuban pharmaceuticals but that is another issue.)  

On the one hand, as King pointed out, free-trade should help to undermine the Castro regime and any dictators in-waiting once the Castro brothers finally exit this earth. As King said, “Trade can be the bullet that starts a revolution that starts with economic freedom and then leads to political freedom.” Like in China and elsewhere, trade should eventually bring freedom and prosperity to the Cuban people. And of course, that is what we want for our long-suffering neighbors.

On the other hand, by purchasing cigars and rum from Cuba not only are we sending wealth to the Castro regime but we are also undermining our own constitutional order because it rewards Obama’s Imperial presidency. Obama has made good on his promise that he would work around Congress. Obama thinks, “Who needs elected officials when you have me, me, me?”

According to the Blaze: “One especially harsh critic of the measures was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), whose parents emigrated from Cuba to escape communist rule. Rubio blasted the Obama administration’s executive order today, accusing the White House of “bankrolling a communist dictatorship.” According to a statement released by Rubio’s office:

After two years of President Obama’s Cuba policy, the Castro regime has made out like bandits and received numerous concessions from the U.S. without lifting a finger to return the fugitives it is harboring from American justice, pay Americans for their stolen property, or allow the Cuban people to exercise their God-given freedoms. Today’s announcement reaffirms the fact that President Obama’s Cuba policy puts the Castro regime’s interests first, profits ahead of America’s national security, and the Cuban people’s rights and dignity dead last.

The solution?

Senior Fellow King Banaian says Cuban cigars and rum really aren’t that good. So don’t buy any. You are not missing out.





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