On Feb. 16, for the fifth consecutive day, The Tampa Tribune prominently had an article about Cuba and the supposed need to change our approach to the government there (“Cuba: Is it time to turn the page?” Views). It seems that almost all the comments dictate that since our position toward Cuba has not produced changes there, we must rethink ours and try to open a dialogue. But what about Cuba? Has it changed anything?
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor comments, “We hear about civil rights issues in Cuba, but if there is no dialogue, there is not going to be any advancement.” What “dialogue”? Cuba arrests people just because they openly declare that they want more freedom. The Ladies in White are a prime example. Recently in preparation for an international meeting in Havana, hundreds of individuals labeled activists were incarcerated. They even have a law by which people can be put in jail before they commit any offense against the government. Is that the civil rights issue Castor mentions like a byword?
Raul Castro “allows” small business? Please. If you are limited to a number of employees, if it is a business that the government agrees on, if you buy all supplies from the government and pay an enormous tax — then yes. No wonder no businesses are opening.
Buy a car? Yes — if you pay $200,000 for a Kia.
Jose Cabañas’ meeting with the newspaper shows the typical communist approach to an interview — deflect, turn the table and say nothing, or simply lie.
Regarding the North Korean ship being intercepted in Panama, Cabañas said Cuba provided Panamanian authorities with all the information, that he personally gave information to U.S. authorities and that we knew in advance what was going on. Really? Then why hide the MiGs and other weapons under sugar sacks? If Panama knew about it in advance, then why did they react? Why notify the U.S. of the transport of MiGs and other weapons? At the end it is a violation of a United Nations resolution, and Cuba knew about it.
Why trust a government that recants on everything?
Alan Gross? Turn the table and talk about political prisoners in the U.S. without saying what political prisoners. The list goes on and on.
Instead of focusing on us turning the page, is not time to ask why Cuba does not turn the page?
People are poor, oppressed, and the country is in shambles — all for a cause championed by two dictator brothers of an idea that has never worked and will never work. No country in human history can show success under communism.
Let them turn the page, not us.