RUSH: What do you mean, what’s the practical meaning of this? It means you can get Cuban cigars now, for all intents and purposes. I mean, in limited quantities, but you can go to Cuba and bring back cigars now. Well, if you get a license, you can go to Cuba if you get a license. So Obama, even as we speak — when was the last time he was on time for an appearance? Today, right when this program starts. If Obama were acting normally, he’d still be waiting to show up at 12:30 or so.
His announcement is that the United States has made it official, we’re gonna use taxpayer dollars to prop up another communist dictatorship in our hemisphere, 90 miles away. Obama made sure to be on time so that his announcement coincided with the beginning of this program. And that’s a problem, folks. It’s a big problem because I have a big announcement today.
I think that I have stumbled across what may be the absolute perfect presidential ticket for 2016. But I’m not gonna announce any of that while Obama’s out there propping up another dictatorship, the Castro brothers, because I don’t know how many EIB affiliates are covering it. You know, we’re not gonna JIP it. We’re not gonna join it. I mean, he’s announcing he’s lifting the — Not actually lifting the embargo. Normalization of trade with Cuba. Look, parts of this make sense; parts of it don’t.
I mean, there are reasonable arguments on both sides of this in normalizing relations with Cuba. But one of the things that’s inescapable that’s gonna happen here is that the Cuban government is gonna remain a communist government under the tight-fisted control of the Castro brothers and whoever is in power in that regime, and we’re gonna be propping it up. We are going to be essentially providing financial aid.
We’ve had this blockade, that’s what Castro called it, since JFK 1959, and it’s actually been an economic embargo. And the people opposed to it have blamed the US embargo for the economic plight of the Cuban people, which is of course sophistry. Cuba can and does trade with every nation on earth, except the United States, and since there’s nothing exceptional about us, it shouldn’t be any big deal. I mean, we’re no different than any other nation, according to the American left, so big whoop.
Okay, so we don’t trade with ’em. They still trade with the UK. They trade with the Europeans. They trade with the Saudis. They trade with the United Arab Emirates. They trade with Canada. They trade with the ChiComs. I mean, they’re in bed with everybody but us and yet the Cuban people are still living on the equivalent of, what, two bucks a day. So how can that be? There is no such thing as American exceptionalism. There’s no such thing as an exceptional America.
The left cannot admit that opening up trade between America and Cuba would save Cuba because that would mean there’s something special about us since they can trade with every other nation on earth. So how do you explain the Cuban people living in squalor, even though we must be honest, the Regime did give out some rice cookers a couple years ago. Remember that? The Regime gave away rice cookers. There’s no rice, but they gave away rice cookers. (interruption) Well, not all Cubans got the rice cookers and not all Cubans are poor. Castro doing all right. But the general population, it is a third or fourth world country, outside the military.
I know Jay-Z went there, second honeymoon or anniversary or some such thing. Yeah, Jay-Z had a good time there. Yeah, there’s lot of people of color there. Did you hear what Michelle — these two are, I’m telling you, you know Obama, somebody mistook him for a valet. What the hell’s wrong with valets? What in the hell’s wrong with valets? No, I don’t believe this. These so-called racist incidents happened years ago. You can’t tell me that somebody walked up to Obama yesterday and thought he was a valet, at whatever men’s club he was attending. Michelle’s running around saying, yeah, when she’s at Target or wherever people ask her to get something off a high shelf as though she’s an employee. I mean, it’s outrageous.
In Cuba you have these poor people, and I’m not kidding, it’s squalor down there for the vast majority of the people of Cuba, but they can trade with anybody in the world. Why isn’t worldwide trade minus the nonexceptional United States such a big deal? Well, that’s the point. Trade is not the issue. International economic trade deals are not the reason the Cuban people are in squalor. They’re in squalor because they live under a communist Regime. They live under a socialist communist Regime. It’s because of their government. There is no liberty. There’s no freedom. There’s very little entrepreneurism permitted. There’s very little free speech permitted.
And yet the left in this country wants to run around, and Obama falls into this trap — not trap. I mean, he uses it — that somehow the lack of economic trade with the US explains the plight of the human people. That’s something Castro says. Castro has been the biggest advocate of the blockade, the embargo, for the lifetime the thing’s been in place. There have been, ladies and gentlemen, there have been numerous times — Bill Clinton wanted to live the embargo. There have been numerous times since 1959 when the United States has gotten close to lifting the embargo, and Castro always sabotaged it.
One of the most vivid incidents, he shot down a little Cessna 172 that supposedly had violated Cuban airspace. There were missionaries, Christian missionaries taking Van Camp pork and beans to Cuba, and Castro shot ’em down thinking it was a military spy plane from the US. And of course that scuttled any further discussion of lifting the embargo.
Now, I know some of you youngsters, “Why would Castro want to further the embargo?” Because it gave him the excuse. He could blame the US for the plight of his people. He could keep his people focused not on him as the problem, and not on their government as the problem, but the evil United States as the problem and their blockade. Well, anyway, Obama’s decided to normalize relations. There’s a prisoner, Alan Gross released, just touched down back in the United States. He was working as an independent contractor for USAID, State Department agency, the agency for the national development.
He was down there as a subcontractor, an independent contractor, installing Internet systems, I think, if I read this right, for Jewish people in Cuba. It was a secret Internet network that was not going to be controlled by the Regime, by the Cuban government. They found out about it and he’s been in jail for the what, five years? And Obama just said that (paraphrasing), “Yeah, we’ve been working with the Cuban government, members of my Regime talking to their Regime for the past five or six months about negotiations, and we finally came to –” So we’re gonna release some Cuban terrorists.
It’s a prisoner release program. There’s three Cuban terrorists that we’re gonna release back to Cuba. They’re pro-Castro guys and we’re gonna send them back in exchange for Alan Gross, and then we’re gonna relax trade and travel restrictions. And I know to a lot of people — and don’t doubt me on this — the only thing about that that matters to them is this cigar business. That’s the only thing that matters. (interruption) And what? And what? Sugar? What else, sugar, rum? Okay, fine. Coffee? Yeah, all it’s good, Cuban.
Look, God made Cuban soil some of the most fertile on the planet. Not even the communists have been able to screw it up. I’ve got a lot of cigar buddies, and to them the United States is exceptional, and they’ve never understood why the United States is the one place on earth that you can’t buy the best of something. In their opinion Cuban tobacco is — Cuba is the only place where you can grow all three types of tobacco needed for a cigar: the binder, the wrapper, and the filler. But the Fuentes in the Dominican Republic have actually made that not true now.
The Fuentes have a great cigar so-called the Opus X. Might look like Opus 10 to those of you in Rio Linda. And it’s the first place outside of Cuba that on the same plantation, the same place, all three types of tobacco are grown. The binder, the wrapper, the filler. Most of the wrapper, Connecticut wrapper, there’s Cameroon wrapper, Nicaraguan wrapper, but Cuban soil is just what it is. And the cigars were really good when the Soviets were underwriting Cuba, what, $5 billion a year. The Soviets crashed and a lot of the Soviet economy went with it.
So Obama says, “Let us leave behind the legacy of colonization and communism.” Let us leave behind the legacy of colonization and communism? What do you mean leave behind? Is he accusing us of this? You know, Dinesh D’Souza got arguably throw in jail for arguing that Obama is an anti-colonialist and hates Britain and the US. He just said it. We must leave colonization and communism behind. In that equation we are the colonization, we run around, we colonize, conquer other countries, and they’re the communists.
So now we gotta leave both of those behind, and it’s gonna be a magical, magical new day. Okay. What is it? Official Program Observer with a question. What’s the question? (interruption) Well, Club Gitmo is a US military installation. I don’t think this has anything to do with getting into Club Gitmo any easier. You mean as a tourist? I still think you have to engage in terror activity to get into Club Gitmo. I don’t think that’s gonna be opened up as a place that you can go simply on a trade mission. Oh, you can still get the stuff, the Club Gitmo gear at the EIB Store at RushLimbaugh.com, clearly still available. It’s a timeless, timeless stuff.
Now, here’s the stuff about the cigars, just ’cause I know people, after all these years, a lot of people, that’s all they’re gonna care about, or some people, the rum. Some people, the the sugar. Let me read you the relevant paragraph here in an AP story. Here we go. “Among the expected changes as a result of the improvement in US-Cuba relations is that licensed American travelers to Cuba will now be able to return to the US with $400 in Cuban goods, including tobacco and alcohol products worth less than $100 combined. This means the long-standing ban on importing Cuban cigars is over, although there are still limits, according to a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the official White House announcement.”
Those limits aren’t gonna last long at all. But what’s gonna happen with the importation of Cuban cigars is gonna be a mess. And if you care to understand why, I’ll explain that to you. But it’s not gonna just be a simple as your local cigar store is gonna all of a sudden have Cohibas. Because you’ve had a lot of American companies and Dominican companies who have spent millions of dollars developing brands, and they’re not just gonna sit idly by while products under the same trademark are brought in and sold in competition.
My guess is that the domestic cigar manufacturers are gonna go to the State Department — all of this is understandable — go to the State Department and they’ll say, “Hey, look, we want first dibs on Cuban tobacco, and we want raw tobacco, and we want to blend it with our stuff. We don’t want Cuban product on the shelves.” They will make a big deal. I don’t know how successful they will be, but I know that was the plan ten years ago when everybody expected Castro to have assumed room temperature by then. But he hasn’t. So the scheme could have changed since the last I heard about it. But, at any rate, the sanctions, the blockade, the embargo is on the way to being relaxed.
RUSH: Now, on the cigar business. I think right now you can only bring the cigars, tobacco products back from Cuba. I don’t think it means you can buy them, yet, in Canada or the UK. If you want to be the guinea pig to try it, have at it, find out if we’re right about this.