June 9, 2005


Fidel Is Afraid: Cubans daring to speak openly for freedom assemble in Havana: Castro feels a chill (Nat Hentoff, June 2nd, 2005, Village Voice)

[A]s Frank Calzón, director of the Center for a Free Cuba in Washington, D.C., told Clyne—after Castro staged a huge anti-Bush rally on May 17, rounding up many thousands of Cubans—the staging of that event showed Castro "feels threatened by this group [organizing the May 20 meeting]." After all, as Calzón's remarks were paraphrased in the Sun:

"A legitimate and freely elected leader doesn't need to rally hundreds of thousands of people to support him when confronted with hundreds of nonviolent dissenters."

While most of the American media were sleeping during the Cuban dissenters' preparation for May 20, Meghan Clyne reported that the House of Representatives had passed (392 to 22) a resolution, H.R. 193, expressing "support and solidarity to the organizers and participants of the historic meeting."

Among the 22 who voted against the resolution was New York's Charles Rangel because, he complained to the Sun, American politicians "refuse to give the government [of Cuba] the respect that it deserves." As for the imminent assembly on May 20, Rangel said, "I don't think it helps to be supporting insurgents overthrowing the government." It would be better, Rangel continued, to try "to reach out to the government to see what we can do to help both the government and people of Cuba, not just isolating them by dealing with dissidents."

Gee, what about such insurgents and dissidents as Samuel Adams, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King—and José Martí, the poet and journalist who led the Cuban Revolutionary Party and was killed during his insurgency to liberate Cuba from Spain? Havana's international airport is named for José Martí.

We can help the people of Cuba most by giving them a different government.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 9, 2005 6:31 AM

Rangel rejects the Declaration. He is un-American.

Posted by: Luciferous at June 9, 2005 11:06 AM

I have to agree with Rangel that USA politicians, by and large, do refuse to give the Cuban government the respect it deserves: none.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 9, 2005 4:52 PM

Charles Rangel is one of those strange birds in Congress who says sensible things and then plunges off the deep end with nonsense like that just as if it all were a consistent pattern.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at June 9, 2005 6:02 PM

John - I'm trying hard to come up with something Rangel said that is reasonable and am coming up empty.

Unfortunately the US plan for Cuba for the past 10 years or so is to wait for Fidel to kick off and then try and influence the new situation. Don't see that changing anytime soon.

Posted by: AWW at June 9, 2005 9:02 PM