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Readers' e-mails about 'The Cuba Puzzle'

"People (in general) the older they get, the wiser, more forgiven they are. Exception:Cuban exile or those who insist in representing us. When they talk about Cuba is just Castro and when they mention how much they love the brothers and sisters in the island I feel sick to my stomach. What a way to show love to human beings: embargo, travel restrictions. They rather go back to a country in ruins than seeing the homeland in prosperity. They keep saying they want to go back to take back what was taken away from them.

We left, we did not stay to fight, we flew to safety without putting any resistance, we don't have rights to claim anything. The only wish is to have a free Cuba, not only from Castro, but from these bunch of self appointed defenders of freedom living this side of pond. And the mayority of these violate my human rights and the rights of all Americans and of the Cubans in the island with the unhuman, illogical, obsolete embargo."


"The reality of Cuba is that those of us that left as children and our parents will pass on and the Cuban exiles, like overseas Chinese, will play no role in Cuba's future. Cuban society and culture has forever been destroyed or changed by the Castro's. They have succeeded in Cuba by castrating the population by keeping them in bondage and poor- Cuba is a fiefdom not a nation. The Castro's are true to the their Spanish colonial heritage. The serfs are 100% preoccupied with day to day survival in the search for basic necessities. Intellectual pursuits do not exists outside the system's strictures. There is despair, resignation, and a sense of impotence. With the press not covering the abuses and Cuba's propaganda apparatus superior to anything the Old Soviets or Nazi Germany's Goebbels had it will take a real revolution to change matters. Unfortunately it will take a bloody uprising. The power structure will not let go easily. Cuba is not Czechoslovakia with the their Velvet Glove Revolution.To add insult to injury Cuba's repression has survived because the United States abandoned freedom on the beaches of Bay of Pigs.Then we were sold to the Soviets to satisfy US geopolitics during the missile crisis. To the World, Fidel, Che Guevara, and their gang are icons-we the exiles are an irritant at best or a threat at worse."

Juan A. Vega Sr., Coral Gables

"Sad but true. To make things worse, since the late 1980s, the regime has established a parallel and oposite economic system, where the cadres loyal and close to the Castro brothers can wheel and deal in business at home and abroad. This group of some 1,000 - 3,000 individuals have been extended such "capitalist" privileges and operate around 200 - 300 dollar corporations under monopolistic rules, while the rest of the Cuban population is strictly forbidden from any sort of economic endeavor except rendering some minor individual services. The most dramatic example of this is reflected in the apartheid policies practiced in the tourist industry. This dollar-based capitalist and monopolist economy runs through Banco Internacional de Comercio and the various Castro secret bank accounts, while the dismal chavito slave economy is reflected at Banco Nacional de Cuba, with Lage cooking the books as he sees fitting the official propaganda line. The idea behind it is simple: economic power must remain in the hands of the oppressors, and specifically those who have shown total political loyalty to Raul and Fidel, as it is well understood that foreigners (yes even tourists) do not fight for other people's freedoms. While this situation exists, the Cuban exiled community must continue to fight at all cost to maintain the US embargo on the regime, as once American corporations are permitted to enter into partnerships with Castro's worst cadres, under this highly unethical scenario, their political interests (and lobbying) will shift to the side with the oppressors, and against the best interests of the Cuban people and the cause of freedom. Those in the American academic, business, political and media circles who do not see this terrible scenario and who believe the embargo's lifting will benefit ordinary Cubans, fail to recognize its long-term negative consequences for Cuba, as ordinary citizens will not be permitted to partake in such an economy. May God enlighten the folks in Washington who will be making such decisions in the near future. From Platt, to Girón, to the 1962 K-K Agreement, the past has not been indicative of far reaching lucid thinking on their part. For all intents and purposes, Cuba's regime has much more in common with the American mafia groups of years past, yet there are way too many in this country who for ideological reasons, or ignorance, believe that it is just fine to associate ourselves with Al Capone and his clan."


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