Trade Group Proposes Making Cuba America's 51st State
The political wars over Cuba are heating up as new players align themselves on how to deal with Fidel Castro, and a new proposal has upended the traditional debate on sanctions.
A new lobbying group of 30 business interests from 19 states has organized to broaden existing trade deals, and the way they propose doing it is by making Cuba the 51st state in the union.
"Frankly, I can think of no better way to undermine Cuban society than by imposing American rule," said Kirby Jones, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association, which includes giant food companies such as ADM and Cargill and heavy machinery maker Caterpillar. "All we need is one Florida-type election, and the whole Cuban government will be on its knees."
There is plenty of historical precedent for the action; the United States annexed the sovereign nation of Hawaii in 1900 and later made the former monarchy a state. However, there are many who are still coming to terms with the idea, including Florida Senator Mel Martinez, the nation's first Cuban-American senator.
"My own boyhood experiences under Cuban repression have made me strongly inclined to favor sanctions rather than closer ties," said Martinez. "But I have to admit, the Association has a point. I can't think of a more damaging course of action to Castro than to make him answerable to Washington D.C."
While Cuba has in the past represented a significant military threat due to its proximity to American shores and traditional ties with the Soviet Union, today it is considered an easy target for the world-class American military.
"Our estimates are that the battle would last approximately one hour, including flight time from the American bases," said Jones. "Assuming they even fight back. The free flow of information to Cuba during the past few years has gotten a lot of Cubans hooked on American essentials such as the Congressional steroid hearings and that fascinating drama, The O.C. Plus I have been told by people in the know that Cubans consider our recently redesigned currency very aesthetically appealing."
Cuba would likely face some significant cultural and social adaptation in order to integrate into the United States; it has been routinely condemned for human rights abuses, lack of freedom, and sponsorship of terrorists.
"Sounds like many parts of Los Angeles," remarked Jones. "I think they'd fit in just fine."
Cuban president Fidel Castro has apparently been stunned by the plan and promises fierce resistance.
"We shall make waves however we can: our state flag will be unappealing, our state bird will be an ecological pest, and our state flower will be garish," Castro vowed. "Plus, we will take pleasure in knowing that America must bear the burden of purchasing millions of new flags with 51 stars. And I shall continue to serve my people. You will rue the day you send Senator Castro to Washington!"