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Dear Mr. Katz,
I agree it is healthy that the US is moving to become reengaged diplomatically with other nations in this hemisphere, and the broader world. When other nations are truly open to a meaningful dialogue and to reciprocal learning, that is.
In the case of Cuba, there are grave reasons to doubt that there is any intention to reciprocate, let alone to learn. Our nation’s record on human rights, while admittedly not perfect, has been improving over that last fifty years to a point that many nations were disappointed and outraged by the conduct of the Bush Administration, as well as its’ prevalent attitude when contrasted with that of former Presidents, including Mr.Bush’s own father. There must be many reasons so many choose to immigrate to the US, by legal or by other means.
Regarding Cuba, the Human and Civil Rights record for all but the Castro family, its’ chums, and the Communist Part elite is dismal, and factually, deteriorating on the whole. There are no signs that Raul Castro has any intention of doing more than paying lip service to this value, and the state of freedom of the press, personal expression, freedom to worship or to not participate in independant religion, the economy, and the infreedom of the political process itself in a single party state where only one candidate runs for a given office…there are no signs that the region’s teeming masses are struggling to immigrate to Cuba for any reason. Twenty million Mexicans can’t be wrong, perhaps many of us here in the US need to get back to our humb;er forbear’s immigrant roots and learn some lessons from more recent immigrants about other intransigent neighboring countries?
The condition of medical care in Cuba is one area in which the government has made some positive effort to care for the well being literally- of the people. arguably, more effectively than we have caused our government to help us care for ourselves.
Education, sadly, is not a laudable public service in Cuba, since government bureaucrats directly choose for each young person what they may study, and for what career, vocation, or job they must train. You, sir, are a journalist of some stead. How would you feel had the George Bush Admin. told you it was mandatory that you train to work in municipal sanitation, and only that being a garbageman would help you truly serve the Revolution and the People, and that you’d beimprisoned if you disagreed and attempted to pursue other studies and a different career?