Cubans' Problems Clearly to Be Solved With DVD Players, Internet-Free Computers & Cell Phones

While Hillary Clinton counts her $21 million in campaign debt, Barack Obama and John McCain have been engaging in an age-old American squabble: Cuba. Yes, the tiny island nation 90 miles south of Florida is still a huge deal in American politics. With all three of the candidates either in Florida now or recently departed from its sunny shores, the issue was bound to come up.

Yesterday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain (we are sooooo tired of writing "presumptive") told a group of Cuban-Americans in Florida that he plans to keep the same, tired, 50-year-old Cuban trade embargo in place if he becomes president. That means no cigars from Cuba, no movies into Cuba, and no (legal) vacations in Havana for los Americanos (i.e. los gringos).

"Senator Obama wants to sit down with no conditions and negotiate with [Cuban President] Raul Castro," McCain told the crowd. "That will not happen when I am President of the United States.

Obama shot back in a statement sent out to reporters: "There is nothing more naive than continuing a policy that has failed for decades. And that's all John McCain offered today." Ouch.

Back in 2000, when McCain was running against President George W. Bush, he took a more moderate stance on Cuba. He suggested normalizing relations with the tiny-but-oh-so-influential country in a similar fashion to how we dealt with Vietnam. (Remember Vietnam? That evil, Communist country in Asia where McCain was tortured...?)

Anyway, while the candidates were arguing over Cuba, today El Presidente Bush lifted a ban on sending cell phones to the island. Raul benevolently allowed his people to own cellies earlier this year, but of course, like the now permitted DVD players and Internet access-free desktop computers, nobody can afford them. ("Also, are they edible?" ask the many Cubans who don't have enough to eat.) Bush's special delivery is really a challenge to see of Cuba's Communist government will let its people use the phones.

Too bad they'll get them too late to vote for David Archuleta. That's our true democratic process, right? (For chrissakes, we are being sarcastic, get out and register if you haven't yet!)