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Cuba's Spring
The Washington Post ^ | March 25, 2004 | Editorial

Posted on 03/24/2004 10:40:23 PM PST by Ooh-Ah

A YEAR AGO Cuba's Communist government cracked down on nonviolent dissidents, independent journalists, human rights activists, librarians and teachers. Within weeks, 75 of them were in prison, sentenced to terms ranging from 6 to 28 years after one-day closed trials. Carried out while the world's attention was focused on the war in Iraq, this was President Fidel Castro's attempt to destroy a pro-democracy civil society that had been peacefully emerging. A year later, the bad news is that those 75 political prisoners are still locked away, in many cases under inhumane conditions. The worse news is that Mr. Castro has gotten away with his crime: He has set back the cause of freedom in Cuba, and suffered few consequences.

True, the Bush administration reacted to the arrests last year by tightening some sanctions on Cuba -- cheap toughness from an administration eager to please the Cuban exile community in Florida. But Congress sent the opposite message, voting to end enforcement of a travel ban. The European Union adopted some token sanctions. But European trade and tourists continue to provide the hard currency that props up Mr. Castro's regime. More help has come from Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, a Castro wannabe who supplies his mentor with oil on sweetheart terms. Irresponsible populists elsewhere in Latin America, such as Argentina's Nestor Kirchner, have courted the dictator; when the Argentine foreign minister visited Havana, he declined to meet with spouses of the imprisoned democrats.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Cuba; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: bush43; castro; chavez; cuba; cubandissidents; cubapolicy

1 posted on 03/24/2004 10:40:24 PM PST by Ooh-Ah
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To: Luis Gonzalez
2 posted on 03/24/2004 10:42:23 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Much of your pain is self-chosen. --- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
God, it's too close to baseball season. I read this at first as Cub's Spring Season.
3 posted on 03/24/2004 11:22:34 PM PST by DeuceTraveler ((fight terrorism, give your local democrat a wedgie))
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To: DeuceTraveler
Tightening further sanctions against Cuba is like chocking your chicken yet a little longer for the USA.

The sanctions have been in place forever. Come on!

Its time to bring Cuba home to where it belongs, into our brethren.

Fidel and Raul will die soon of natural causes, lets bring them home
4 posted on 03/24/2004 11:32:32 PM PST by Iberian
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To: DeuceTraveler
Me too. Soon it will be Play Ball!! for real.
5 posted on 03/25/2004 12:18:05 AM PST by xp38
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To: Iberian
There's is no "embargo".

There is however, the rejection of financing Castro with US taxpayer dollars; Fidel does not pay his bills.

Cuba can buy any American product from any country in the world, they already do, but the current government controls all distribution, so these products never reach the population; they are there for the tourists. Allowing direct commerce between US companies and Cuba, will simply increase Fidel's profit margins by granting him access to primary suppliers instead of aftermarket re-distributors.

This will not change until after the death of the Castro brothers.
6 posted on 03/25/2004 6:02:47 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Unless the world is made safe for Democracy, Democracy won't be safe in the world.)
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