Friday, August 17, 2007

New perspectives on Cuba

There'll be some discussion on the Miami blogs about this new position by presidential candidate Chris Dodd, the senator from Connecticut, on changing our Cuba policy: from The Washington Note, On U.S.-Cuba Relations, Chris Dodd Demonstrates What an "Adult Foreign Policy" Would Look Like.
Posted on Dodd's web site, Huffington Post and the Washington Note, Dodd begins:
I want to see the peaceful transition to democracy occur on the Island of Cuba in my life time.
That isn't going to happen if we continue the misguided policies of the last forty-six years. We must open the flood gates to contacts with the Cuban people. We must remove restrictions on the ability of Cuban Americans to provide financial assistance to their loved ones. Even small sums of money in the hands of ordinary Cuban families can serve as catalysts for private investment to gain a foothold in Cuba.

On a side note, a curious story demonstrating the long-term effect of the embargo, in the Toronto Star: Canadian heiress, 107, lives in Cuban poverty:
Canadian Mary McCarthy lives in the same mansion she and her millionaire husband moved into 62 years ago in the once-posh Country Club area of Havana.
... Her real jewellery and the small fortune she inherited when she was widowed in 1951 have been frozen in a Boston bank since the United States placed Cuba under sanctions after Fidel Castro's leftist revolution in 1959.
That's because she lived in Cuba and did not leave with most of her wealthy Cuban neighbours who fled to Miami when Castro nationalized businesses and steered the Caribbean nation toward Soviet communism.
... Since January this year the U.S. government has let her withdraw a $96 a month allowance from her U.S. bank after Canadian diplomats interceded on her behalf.
McCarthy is asking U.S. President George W. Bush to free her money so that she can live her remaining days with dignity. She would also like to have her family's "trinkets" released.

The U.S. government's answer? Move back to Canada. She says the winters would kill her. Another example of the suffering caused by this policy.



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