Immigration has been a hot topic in politics and it’s one issue that doesn’t seem to be making progress in Washington. As with immigration, another issue has been getting attention lately – the Cuban embargo.
When it comes to immigration, the American people are often split. Democrats want a pathway to citizenship while the Tea Party and Republicans have made their voice known that the only solution is 100 percent deportation. Republican House Majority leader Eric Cantor found that out the hard way after he lost his primary to underdog Tea Party candidate, David Brat. Cantor had begun to spend time away from his district as of late and his constituents had grown sour on his softening stance on immigration reform.
One man who has been very forceful and open about his opinion on immigration is the former governor of Minnesota and current host of “Off the Grid,” Jesse Ventura. Ventura’s recent show titled “Lift the Embargo,” covered immigration as a whole an the Cuban embargo itself. When asked what his general feeling about immigration was, the governor didn’t hold back.
“My view is very simple and very different and I’ll probably take a lot of heat for this. I’m for open borders. I believe we’re all residents of this planet. Why shouldn’t you be able to travel where you want to go without paper work? All this stuff is created by government. They put up fences, they keep us apart and they make us distrust each other. Take down these borders, let people travel freely and make the country a better place to live all around. You don’t need big wire fences with barbed wire to create a great place to live.”
The conversation became more detailed when they discussed the Cuban embargo that was singed into law by Ventura’s favorite president, John F. Kennedy. Producer Alex Logan asked Ventura if he believes the law should have been passed as it was in 1962 and if it still holds up today.
“It might have seemed like the right thing to do in 1962, but is it the right thing to do today in 2014? Absolutely not. The embargo was put in place [in 1962].They felt hopefully the citizens of Cuba would rise up and overthrow Fidel and his dictatorship. Well, clearly it hasn’t happened. It’s been 50 years. No body has thrown over anybody. I went to Cuba, I’ve met the Cuban people. I saw Cuban people who are very proud. They love the United States of American. They just don’t particularly care of our government.”
Ventura continued, even claiming that it’s not the American people who need to be worried about Cuba, but more the Cuban people who need to worry about the United States government for taking terrorist like actions against their country in the past.
“What has Cuba ever done to us? We’ve been practicing terrorism against them! We’ve blown up ships in their harbor. We’ve tried to destroy their monetary system. We’ve attempted to destroy their cane fields. We’ve tried to assassinate their president on multiple occasions. And we’ve even blown up one of their airliners with civilian passengers on board. Is that not terrorism?….We have no right telling another country what to do. It’s not our call — it’s the Cuban people’s call.”
Logan noted that 52 percent of the American people support lifting the ban on Cuba, and over 60 percent support lifting the ban in Florida where many Cuban Americans live. The issue has been a big one in the state’s race for governor. Incumbent Tea Party Republican Rick Scott supports the ban while former governor of Florida and Republican turned Democrat Charlie Christ opposes it. What would Gov. Ventura do if he was in the White House? He has an opinion on that also.
“If I get elected president, this is probably why I can’t be, I’d inform Fidel Castro and the Cuban government that not only would I be shutting down Guantanamo within a year, I would also give Guantanamo back to Cuba….What does the United States have a base in Cuba for? Why do we occupy Cuban land? For what ungodly purpose other then to hold prisoners so they can’t be tried in a regular court of law.”
Governor Ventura often gets labeled as a “conspiracy theorist” and a right-wing leaning libertarian, but he has shown over the six months since his show debuted that he is a strong progressive on many issues. When it comes to the topic of immigration, Ventura takes a human approach to the situation, something that all governments might want to consider.
“Off the Grid” with Jesse Ventura is an online program that can be viewed on Ora.tv, YouTube and through the Ora app on Roku.