While Coral Gables businessman Mike Fernandez says in the March 20 column, Cuba’s dark past should not block its brighter future, that there have been more changes in Cuba since the Obama normalization policy was announced than in the past 60 years, he is not careful about the facts.
Freedom House, the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International all agree that there have been changes in Cuba — a significant increase in the level of repression of peaceful pro-democracy activists, for instance — but this is not the kind of change Fernandez is writing about.
Fernandez says that there are thousands of new self-employed Cubans on the island.
And what about these great business opportunities that are supposed to open up in Cuba? Cubans get paid the equivalent of $24 a month. Thus, there is little purchasing capacity for the overwhelming majority of them.
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Washington’s economic openings to China and Vietnam took place more than a generation ago with similar promises of human rights and democratic change, but the foreign companies, rather than lobby those regimes to permit political reforms, instead have been turning into regime advocates around the world in order to protect their investments.
Charles Donate, Miami