Despite the Obama Administration's new policy, U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba declined by nearly 40 percent in 2015.
During the first quarter of 2016, the slide continues.
From January through April 2016, Castro's monopoly, Alimport, purchased only $63 million in U.S. agricultural products.
That represents a 21 percent drop from the same period in 2015.
Perhaps one of the most interesting bits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest figures is that the Castro regime felt compelled to purchase nearly $550,000 worth of sugar from the U.S.
So let's go through this drill again.
For years we'd heard how an improvement in U.S.-Cuba relations, an easing of sanctions and an increase in travel to the island, would benefit U.S. farmers.
Well, since December 17th, 2014, the Obama Administration has embraced the Castro regime -- offering it every concession it can deliver.
As part of these concessions, the Obama Administration eased payment terms for agricultural sales.
As a result of these concessions, American travel to Cuba has doubled.
The international community has pardoned Castro's debts to the tune of $30 billion.
Cuba's GDP grew by nearly 5% during 2015 -- thanks to growth in Castro's monopolies.
And endless U.S. business and trade delegations have descended upon Havana, while senior Castro regime officials are fêted by lobbyists in Washington, D.C.
So what gives?
The biggest lesson the Castro regime has learned from dealing with the Obama Administration is that it has more to gain from hostage-taking and coercion, than from good-will or behavior.
Thus, keep cutting purchases dramatically, and watch the lobbying for financing, mass tourism and investment for Castro's monopolies continue intensify.
Call it Obama's policy of the limp hand.
At this point, U.S. agri-business should consider playing Castro at his own game -- and start lobbying for tightening sanctions.