But the Helen III was the first to carry cargo under a U.S. flag and with a U.S. crew. It was also the first vessel from Mobile, Ala., to carry cargo under the recent rules. Fabian said the barge carried 1,614 metric tons of newsprint and about six tons of timber.
As tugboats maneuvered the barge to the docks, Fabian stepped aside to make a phone call to check the company bank account. ''By law, the money has to be in our bank account before we can unload,'' Fabian said, referring to the U.S. regulations that set conditions on trade with Cuba. Fabian said the shipment, worth about $1.5 million, was part of a contract to ship a total of 10,000 tons, with another 5,000-ton deal in the works.***
Not surprisingly, these repressive regimes are proposing rules that, if adopted by an upcoming U.N. Summit on the Information Society, would not only allow but encourage widespread censorship of the Internet, as well as growing state controls of TV and radio stations.
The World Summit on the Information Society, scheduled for December in Geneva, is organized by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the International Telecommunication Union, another U.N. affiliate.
WRITTEN BY CUBA?
UNESCO, you may remember, is the organization whose campaign for a ''New World Information Order'' -- with greater state controls -- led the United States to withdraw from that group 18 years ago. The U.S. government is scheduled to rejoin the organization this year.
When I heard about the proposals to regulate the Internet, I went into the summit's website, www.itu.int/wsis/, and read key portions of the draft declaration that is scheduled to be adopted in December. It contains alarming proposals.***