Letters to the Editor

Cubans need their rights and democracy restored

The deal between President Obama and the Castro brothers to re-establish diplomatic relations, remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, release some political prisoners and allow visits by international human-rights monitors was a tragic negotiation.

For over half a century, the tyrannical Castro regime has oppressed citizens, while stripping their rights. There are no elections and no political or economic freedom.

According to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, there have been more than 3,000 political detentions in Cuba since Obama announced normalizing ties with Cuba on Dec. 17. These actions depict the regime’s continual neglect of democracy and human rights.

Cuban dissidents were not invited to the flag-raising event, which demonstrates the hollowness of the president’s claim of addressing ongoing human-rights issues on the island. His actions aren’t representative of the principles our nation was founded upon. Instead they seem all too desperate to build a personal legacy.

America is a land of opportunity and liberty, a nation where everyone can freely express their ideas and beliefs without fear of government repression or retaliation. A nation where immigrants, like my parents, are granted opportunities of which they were once deprived.

America is a beacon of hope, a light in the dark for those who cannot see. Our light should guide Cuba in the right direction and encourage the principles the Founding Fathers incorporated in the U.S. Constitution.

Jose Marti once said, “Like bones to the human body, the axle to the wheel, the wing to the bird and the air to the wing, so is liberty the essence of life.” The Cuban people need more than an American embassy, they need to be given their rights with the support of democracy.

Vince Lago, commissioner, Coral Gables