Friday, August 04, 2006

Interfering with Cuba is wrong

Herald-Tribune, Florida

In your recent article, "Castro's health crisis stirs political drama," President Bush arrogantly admits that his administration is working to undermine the Cuban government. This is a blatant violation of the United Nations charter's goals of respect for another state's self-determination and nonintervention in matters that are within the domestic jurisdiction of another state.

Mr. Bush's plan is the latest attempt by our government to control Cuba for our own economic and strategic purposes, just as our government has tried to do for the past century in Cuba and many other Latin American nations. The only time we have not been able to control Cuba has been during the regime of Fidel Castro. Even then, we have maintained a base at Guantanamo, despite Cuba's opposition, because of a lease written by our government around 1900.

Cuba thus represents a small country successfully standing up to the U.S. on principle. If I were Cuban, I would be proud of my nation's defiance of a superpower in the name of independence and Cuban identity.

While the U.S. hypocritically disparages Cuba's lack of economic progress, it has done everything in its power to prevent its economic development. It has even gone so far as to prevent Americans from visiting Cuba to see for themselves what is going on. And one of the reasons for Castro's iron grip is the continuous attempts of the U.S. to overthrow him. The irony of the situation is that Cubans leave their homeland to come live in the country that has oppressed them economically and placed their government under duress.

John K. Steinmeyer

Bradenton

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