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March 25, 2006


Rick Lowe

Dear Andrew:
Cuba does not allow freedom of the individual, so how can we continue to support the actions of Castro?

andrew allen

Let's look at this in context:-

CASE 1. Cuba, a developing country of 10 million inhabitants, is subject to a 40 year campaign by the most powerful country on earth, including attempted invasions, assassinations and constant attempts to undermine its stability through the use of opposition forces (some of them committed international terrorists). It responds by restricting 'personal freedoms'.

CASE 2. THe US, a massive established 'democracy' is subject to a hopeless surprise attack by an asian island nation with an economy one 17th its size. It responds by creating concentration camps where second and third generation americans who happen to descend from japanese ethnicity are forcibly interned.

CASE 3. 2001. THe US is attacked by terrorists without even an army or a state apparatus behind them. IT responds by kidnapping people in distant lands, torturing them outside the geneva convention (and, of course, not subject to its own domestic human rights requirements). It justifies this by its politicians stating that these are 'bad people' (the very matter that a court is designed to determine). It creates unilaterally a new class of 'combatant' that allows it to torture (in Cuba) people it thinks may be involved with its enemies, outside of any democratic or juridical oversight.

Come on, Rick!

andrew allen

I almost forgot CASE 4:-

a vicious, racist regime in South Africa places black people in prison and kills them for agitating for the right to vote, freedom of association and unimpeded travel. THe regime makes it illegal for people of different races to intermarry and stomps schoolchildren to death in full view of the world's cameras. While washington cannot bear itself to let Cuba live without freedom, it systematically opposes any attempt originating with anyone (even its allies) to subject the South Adfrican regime even to the mildest economic sanctions, although these are pleadewd for by all the credible leaders of the oppressed majority. In fact, it and Britain covertly organise to sabotage the careers of black south african sportsmen in order to spare the regime embarrassment over its policies at world sporting events.

andrew allen

Incidentally, I suspect we agree in one respect..we should let the cold war and its antagonisms die. Let Castro, Kissinger and all the unhelpful dinosaurs of the past fall along the wayside and be replaced by those with clean hands and unstained minds, who want to seek an equitable and progressive world of the future.

And let's hope to god that Bush and his hideous band of pirates are an anomaly, a grotesque throwback to a reactionary past that even his poor old decent father must regard with sadness and regret.

Rick Lowe

Thanks Andrew.
I do not recall suggesting that the U.S. is perfect. They are far from it. Like our little country.
However, I would put my lot in with them before I would with Castro.
What would you do?

andrew allen

I would go with neither as a matter of exclusion. I would be friendly primarily with the US because we have far deeper cultural, social and economic relations with them. Many of my antecendents were americans, as I am sure were many of yours.

But I would not accept their attempts to use us as puppets of their foreign policy. Further, it is obvious if you look at the US' attitude to its friends abroad that they do not expect that of anyone. That is why I wonder why so many Bahamians seem intent on prodding them to expect that of us.

Incidentally, I am on holiday (in Japan again) which is why I am finally sending in these long-winded, monotonous replies!


Rick Lowe

I think we agree Andrew.
No one has suggested that there should be no relations with Castro that I am aware of. However, I do not think we want to be too cosy with him or Chavez etc.
Let the business people trade as they are risking their personal capital, not that of the Bahamian taxpayer. Any losses will be their burden and not that of all Bahmamians.
In addition, I do not think we should be 'selling' Bahamians on the virtues of Communism etc when history has informed us what a fallacy those policies are.

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