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May 23, 2006

Comments

Rick Lowe

Andrew:
I regret to say that this column is ridiculous. Comparing the treatment of criminals of war by the US to Castro's treatment of Cuban citizens and suggesting that Castro is justified is a farce.
You have let your anti-US sentiment override your ability to debate this issue reasonably.
This column is so misguided I almost feel sorry for you.
But maybe it's just your sense of humour getting the best of you?
See my blog at http://www.weblogbahamas.com about this.
Rick.

andrew allen

criminals of war?????????

according to whom are the detainees at guantanamo "criminals" of war? A court of law, or the US government?

the presumption of innocence appears to be something that can be dispensed with once GWB decides that "these are bad people".

In fact, Rick, the US has unilaterally created a whole new fictitious category in which to place those it kidnaps in pursuance of its "war on terror".

They are not prisoners of war, since this would require the geneva convention to be invoked, and they are not regular criminals, since this would require a national court to try them. It simply conjured it a new category called "enemy combatants" in order to usurp the role of a court in deciding which afghan or arab can be detained indefinitely.

I am saddened that you do not seem to view with due scepticism the cynical propaganda Uncle Sam now brings to its relationship with Cuba, a country it has harassed since it revolted against its colonial status.

As for the sincerity of my views in that column, I can only state that I have been moderate to a fault.

Rick Lowe

Okay Andrew, let's agree they are not war criminals and the US fabricated the term for the sake of this discussion.
Can you now explain why Castro should keep the Cuban people enslaved because America keeps their silly embargo in place?
It just does not wash in my view.
Sorry.

bahamianworldcitizen

Consulate v. Embassy
An Embassy operates with a political mandate. A Consulate operates primarily to assist Bahamians in another State.

The PLP's decision to open an Embassy was guided in the spirit of diplomatic reciprocity. And the Embassy has only opened 'in spirit' to date. No functioning office, no clear political mandate and no public education campaign on bilateral relations.

Whether we like it or not, the Bahamas is a long-time ally of the United States and is a country supposedly founded on democratic principals. As it stands the Bahamas has established Embassies in two un-democratic countries (Cuba and the People's Republic of China). Unless our bilateral relations are clearly defined and publicised, even China and Cuba may question Bahamian political motives.

With whom do we have the most bilateral aid initiatives? Who has voted for us at the UN? Who has criticised our human rights record? Which states have sought to have us blacklisted? Will we be able to encourage trade and investment with certain states? These are the kind of questions that should be asked before opening any political overseas mission.

Choosing to engage with Castro, or indeed Bush, doesn’t necessary mean that you condone the politics of their administrations. One last comment, a quote from your friend Andrew, the sage of Robben island: ‘A Man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred.’ Politics aside, South Africa uses constructive engagement, based on economic and cultural ties, with several countries including Cuba, PR China and many South and South East Asian countries.

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