I was disappointed that the Mark Trevor Burrell’s Oct. 17 story, Capitol facelift: Restoring a Cuban landmark (Oct.17), did not mention why Havana’s Capitol, a symbol of Cuban democracy, needs to be renovated.
In 1959, the Cuban regime (for which Havana historian Eusebio Leal works), “abandoned” the building. The Castros had no need for it: They never held free and fair elections. The regime allowed the building’s deterioration because it never cared for what it stood for.
These renovations are an attempt to market Gen. Raúl Castro’s government as democratic. Many around the world will mentally equate the word “Capitol” with “democracy” and “freedom.” Yet in Cuba, the National Assembly that will be housed in the Capitol will continue to serve as a rubber stamp for Castro’s diktats.
Burrell’s conclusion that, Jose Martí’s “bust appears to await the return of the current government to the Capitolio” is appalling.
If anything, Martí awaits their exit and replacement by the ideals of freedom and dignity for which he gave his life.
Daniel I. Pedreira,