Letter to the Editor: Cuban rule

Joe Reynolds

Dear Editor:
I thought Sarah Papsun’s Cuba story was well written and well researched, but I disagree with some of the reasoning.
The United States should end its trade embargo on Cuba, but she seems to imply that the United States behavior is the almost single handed cause for Cuban opression, disillusion, and unending poverty. This simply is not true, and it ignores many of the still pertinent factors that disable the Cuban people.
You are quite right when you say that America was overbearing and arrogant upon instituting the three tiers of the Platt ammendment, but this is not the reason(and certainly not the sole reason for Cuba’s futility). In fact, the Cuban government holds its own people down. If you have a skill, the government uses it for their own benefit. If you succeed, the government takes the profits for itself, “for the good of the state.”
Castro was an ideology when he came into power, but he has consistently served his own interest rather than that of his people’s. His supposed provisions of free health care and education are laughable and non-existent.
He takes what people value most, the freedom to dream in exchange for state housing and underfunded programs that are so pitiful they do more to demoralize than enhance their spirit and faith in the government. What good is “security” without hope for advancement and realization of aspiration? It is Castro who has taken this from the people, not the United States.
A government cannot negotiate with an unwilling advwersy. President Kennedy suffered his greatest embarassment in the Bay of Pigs, the failed assaination attempt that resulted in the death of 17 American servicemen in 1961.
This did not make negotiations easy, and Castro’s arrogance and ruthlessness has caused him to refuse the aid of the “imperialistic Americans.” Also, the country was ensconsed in the Cold War at the time of Castro’s emergence.
The Russians were attempting to hord missiles within Cuba. How were we to go to Cuba and break down barriers when they were acting as a willing participant in our possible destruction? The fate of not just America, but the the free world was at stake. The Cold War was an ideological struggle with catastrophic possible conclusions. The Cold War was against communism and communist states, it was impossible for the United States to offer an olive branch to Cuba while simutaneously working to obliterate its philosophy from the planet.
The Cold War has ended, and America should relax many of its restrictions on Cuba in the spirit of ensuring the universal opportunity of man, but it is completely incorrect to blame America in any way for the current plight of the Cuban people.
Let us remember that Cuba was actually far worse under Batista. Castro orchestrated the revolution with the promise of an end to dictatorship and a return to the celebration of man’s free will.
He has lied to the people that he originally pledged to protect and serve. It is this continuous denial of freedom and rejection of hope that has destroyed Cuba and its people.
Hope is supposed to be the elixir to even the greatest despair and poverty, and the government has stripped it from Cuban citizens. It is far too simplistic to look at the riches of America and the degredation of Cuba and say that the problem would be solved if we just filtered some of our privileges a few miles south.
The government must be in place to protect the endowments we give, and intrinsically protect itself from ever becoming antiquated and infiltrated with avarice and self-serving prophecy.