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So, You Still Think There's An Embargo - VII
Friday, May 27, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

Canoer on rafters

Here's an article from the Rappahannock News (Virginia). The reporter interviews a 60-year old former Vietnam vet who is planning to canoe from Virginia to Mobile, Alabama.  Why?

Because Richard "Freeman" Allan wants to attend a conference to normalize relations with Cuba.

"Like many people, I guess I've just always wondered what lies beyond the next bend in the river," said the gray-haired voyager. "But the fundamental reason I'm canoeing 1000 miles is to raise public awareness about Cuba. I'm proud that my hometown, Mobile, has been working for over 13 years to normalize relations, and highlight the tremendously positive and mutually beneficial trading potential between the two countries.

"We are fighting a very expensive war in Iraq to promote American core ideals of liberty and concern for the rights of oppressed people. If not for the power of a tiny, wealthy Cuban lobby group in Miami, we could achieve those same goals for freedom, right here in our hemisphere, with the simple stroke of a pen."

I'd love to meet Mr. Allan so that I could ask what stroke of the pen will release policical prisoners from castro's prisons, which stroke will pay Cubans more than $20 a month, which stroke will allow Cubans to travel freely, and which stroke will provide food for them to eat.  Because, to my mind, the only stroke of a pen that would provide those things would be the stabbing stroke of a long pen through fidel's black heart.

Like most folks, I guess, Allan has another purpose in wanting to normalize relations. No, it's not cigars or jineteras:

"Besides," concluded Allan, "I have a paddler's interest in the issue. I hear there are some wonderful waterways in Cuba, and I want the chance to visit there and explore them."

Mr. Allan, after you clear Miami on your trip south, why don't you just paddle across the Florida Straits.  You could take the reverse path of another group of sailors, and you could get first hand experience living in fidel's island worker's paradise. You can see who has imposed the real embargo.

(And man, I didn't realize some of you folks reading my site are members of the "wealthy Cuban lobby group in Miami." I guess I should put up a big tip jar. In the meantime, go buy Eileen's CD.)


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren