Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon: Global

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon: Global

Article excerpt

One of the arguments advanced in favour of the war on Saddam Hussein's regime is that it will enable the West to end economic sanctions against Iraq. But Iraqi businessmen shouldn't hold their breath. You don't need to be at war against the West in order to qualify for a trade ban.

From the early days of Fidel Castro's rule, Cuba has been subject to a complete trade embargo with America. The ban extends to Americans travelling to Cuba to spend their money on the island itself, as Joan Slote of San Diego discovered to her cost last month when she was fined $8,000 by US customs. Her crime? To travel to Cuba on a cycling holiday. Although she believed the holiday to be within the rules of the embargo, since she had entered Cuba via a third country, Canada, she had made the mistake of bringing home two souvenirs worth a total of $1.

Fidel Castro may be a brutal dictator whose communist regime has impoverished his country, but it is hard to see what a trade embargo does to help Cuba's poor. …

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