May 5, 2007


Deadly hijacking attempt reflects younger Cubans' discontent (South Florida Sun-Sentinel and The Associated Press, 5/05/07)

Cuba analysts said the deadly hijacking attempt reflected the discontent among the island's young people. More than 20 percent of Cuba's 11.4 million people were born after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the economic hardship that followed the fall of Cuba's once-powerful benefactor. At least one-third of the nearly 1 million Cubans who have left the island for the U.S. since Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 did so after 1999, according to a Pew study of U.S. Census data.

"These were 19-, 21-year-old kids, and they obviously felt extreme desperation that they were willing to take those risks," said Brian Latell, a Cuba analyst and author of "After Fidel: The Inside Story of Castro's Regime and Cuba's Next Leader."

A government statement said the American policy of letting most Cubans stay if they reach U.S. soil encourages violent attempts to leave this island, such as Thursday's incident that led to the fatal shooting of Acuña Velazquez by the two army deserters.

The headline in the Communist Party newspaper called the hijacking attempt an "act of terror promoted by the United States."

...for the relation America bears to Cuba is an "attractive nuisance."

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 5, 2007 6:50 AM
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