News, Opinion and More About Cuba
END THE EMBARGO/BLOCKADE AND THE TRAVEL BAN
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Lovely videos! Thanks very much!Most Cuban-Americans believe they should have the right to travel to Cuba, to visit with family and friends, and not to have to request permission from the federal government to do that.Cuba is the only country on earth to which people living in the U.S. are supposed to ask permission to visit.THE ONLY ONE ON EARTH.Here's a report from the Wall Street Journal, a paper which hates the Castro regime stridently, but even they have to admit that Cubans don't agree that they should be forbidden to visit their country of origin.Those who don't want to go should not go, but those who DO want to go should have that freedom.Isn't that what freedom is all about?Thanks,Walter LippmannLos Angeles, California.p.s., my father and his parents lived in Cuba before they came to the United States where I was born.Democrats Focus PitchesTo Connect With LatinosBy CHRISTOPHER COOPERSeptember 10, 2007; Page A6MIAMI -- Democratic presidential candidates tried to burnish their credibility with Latino voters in a debate yesterday evening that skewed heavily toward immigration policy, international relations in the Americas and universal health care for U.S. residents.The forum at the University of Miami drew attendance from all major Democratic candidates except Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, with the group intent on gaining the support of an estimated 16 million Hispanics who are eligible to vote in the 2008 contest. Sponsored by Univision Communications Inc., a U.S.-based Spanish-language broadcast company, the forum featured a bilingual format in which candidates were questioned in Spanish and answered in English.All the candidates pledged to make immigration overhaul a top priority. Most hinted that their reform programs would include some sort of legalization arrangement for illegal immigrants already residing in the U.S.; many echoed Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who said the immigration issue was being "demagogued" by Republicans.Recent immigration-overhaul legislation pushed by the Bush administration died in large part because conservative Republicans favored border enforcement over a guest-worker program favored by President Bush and plans to allow illegal immigrants already in the U.S. to earn legal status.On foreign affairs, most of the candidates argued for moderation in dealing with two of the region's biggest problems for Washington: Fidel Castro in Cuba and President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut drew applause when he said the time had come to "begin to unravel" the longstanding U.S. embargo against Cuba.The format limited interaction between the candidates, heading off an increasing tendency among Democratic candidates to attack each other. Instead, most of the candidates expended much energy trying to identify with the 3,000-person attending audience and those watching the debate on television.Mrs. Clinton, for example, let it be known that her campaign manager is Latino, while Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois noted he was working on legislation with a prominent Hispanic colleague. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio harkened back to his days as a Cleveland mayor, laying his success in winning that seat on a Hispanic voting block.Bill Richardson, the New Mexico governor and the only Latino in the presidential field, upbraided Univision moderators for refusing to allow "one of their own" to answer questions in Spanish. He also criticized them for narrowing the debate to Latino-centric issues. "Latinos care about civil rights and immigration but we care about all other issues," he said.There is little surprise that Democratic candidates are courting the Latino block in this coming round of elections. Conventional political wisdom holds that Republicans, after enjoying moderate success in recent years at wooing the ethnic bloc, are seeing that support vaporize, largely over the immigration issue and the Iraq war.Perhaps more than many recent debates, yesterday evening's event was an opportunity for Democratic candidates to prove their liberal stripes. The audience was dominated by college students from the University of Miami, and candidates who advocated the most left-wing stances were generally afforded the biggest applause. Mr. Richardson received whoops when he noted that a 12-foot-tall wall being planned for parts of the southern U.S. border was likely to result in "a lot of 13-foot ladders."Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina may have drawn the most sustained applause of the evening when he said a status report on Iraq to be delivered this week by Gen. David Petraeus is "essentially a sales job by the White House."
Thank You Walter.
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