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Cuba In The News
Friday, August 19, 2005 By: Juan Paxety
The Dallas Morning News prints a story entitled "Cuba: an island of despair"
HAVANA, Cuba – At the risk of being devoured by sharks, Juan Carlos is secretly preparing to escape Cuba by boat.
"I've had enough," said the 32-year-old cook, who earns less than $15 a month. "When I get home from work, there's no electricity, no water and no gas. I swat mosquitoes all night, then get up at 6 to go to work again. If you were in my shoes, I guarantee you'd leave, too, even if you had to climb into a bedpan and paddle to Florida."
There's some typical MSM idiocy in the article, but there's also some pretty strong stuff for the MSM. Read it all.
The Buffalo (New York) News, on the other hand, prints a particularly stupid editorial that was reprinted in Newsday.
Protesters of American policy on Cuba can fairly be accused of a certain blindness in their zeal for change, too willing to overlook the despotic nature of Fidel Castro's regime. But that doesn't mean they are wrong.
The activists who crossed the Peace Bridge into Buffalo last week after an illegal trip to the island nation understand that U.S. policy is hurtful and hypocritical, and that it has less to do with core convictions than it does with political pandering. That wither-on-the-vine policy may have made some kind of sense when the Cold War was running at its peak, and the Soviets were trying to place nuclear missiles in Cuba, but those days are long gone. Decades have passed and threats eliminated without any meaningful change in approach.
Today, that policy is pointless, except as a cynical pitch to Florida's powerful anti-Castro voting bloc. Worse, it's cruel. It divides families, deepens poverty and risks the health of Cubans. Castro does all those things to his own people, too, of course, and while American policy should be devoted to changing that, nearly 50 years after Castro took power, there is little reason to suspect this strategy is about to work.
These people have obviously failed to consider the danger to the democracies of the world from failed states. They fail to study and understand fidel's history - his goal for 50-years has been to control the governments of Latin America and to destroy the United States. He's still working to do those things. War, death, murder and starvation are not political pandering.
Venezualanalysis.com reports that U.S. Congressman José Serrano (D-NY) disputes Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's conclusions about the troubles in Latin America - Rumsfeld says Cuba and Venezuela are destabilizing forces in the region.
Congressman Serrano called Rumsfeld's comments "baseless".
"Secretary Rumsfeld is following the careless and dangerous line that this administration has always held on Cuba, though now they have added Venezuela to their equation" said Serrano.
"For the past five decades we blamed Cuba every time impoverished people in Latin America were upset with their governments and did something about it. Now the formula is that Cuba and Venezuela are to blame," he said.
"When will we realize that it is these people's unmet needs at the root of their discontent, and not the agitation of other nations? The real causes of these uprisings are problems like hunger, lack of employment and inadequate educational opportunities. If this administration is serious about stemming discontent in Latin America and around the world, the solution is to respect our Latin American neighbors and to provide social and economic aid to the people. The administration's 'solution' of blanket condemnations and skewed trade agreements will never work," the lawmaker added.
Perhaps Congressman Serrano needs to read the Dallas Morning News article cited above.
The New York Times ledes its story on Rumsfeld's trip with one of those paragraphs that drives me crazy -
LIMA, Peru, Aug. 18-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's visit this week to South America had the throwback feel of a mission during the cold war, when American officials saw their main job as bolstering the hemisphere's governments against leftist insurgencies and Communist infiltration.
What has the reporters feeling got to do with reporting news? If he (David S. Cloud) could have quoted someone of relevence saying that, it would be a good lede - but it's obviously the reporter venting his opinion. Going on
During stops in Paraguay and Peru, Mr. Rumsfeld and his aides warned of what they consider to be troublemaking by President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Washington's old cold war foe, Fidel Castro.
It appears that Rumsfeld is paying attention - now if he can just keep the State Department from once again propping fidel up.
The article goes on to say that last year, Rumsfeld was concerned about Islamic terrorists, and contrasts that with this year's concern about fidel and hugo. Don't these reporters read? (Actually most I worked with over the years did not) fidel and the mullahs have been actively courting one another for years.