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Announcement :: Environment : International
A letter to my congressperson RE Cuba
06 Jan 2004
Modified: 11:36:05 PM
This is intended as a model for anyone interested in sending a letter to their people in Congress, urging them to limit or lift the sanctions against Cuba. In October Bush made a frightening speech RE Cuba that was not covered much in the media. The purpose of this letter...
The purpose of this letter is to bring attention to Cuba...BEFORE Bush and the State Department do. This Spring the State Department will reveal it's plans for "bringing democracy" to Cuba.

For Bush, the sanctions are a lose/lose situation because he needs the Cuban-American vote so bad that he wouldn't dream of even limiting them, and on the other hand many people, including in Congress, would like to see them lifted.

As we speak Washington is rattling it's saber at Cuba. It's almost comical, but then what else can we expect from GW? Note--if your senator/rep. is a republican, some changes would need to be made.

Dear senator/congressman/woman,

In October 2003 President Bush announced the tightening of trade sanctions against Cuba. He also announced that the Department of Homeland Security would be utilized in this effort. Lastly, he announced that the State Department has begun working on plans to "bring democracy" to Cuba.

I write you today as a concerned citizen from _____ who worries that all three of these new efforts are unnecessary and counterproductive, costly to the American public, harmful to the Cuban people, and potentially disastrous. Let me elaborate:

On the tightening of trade sanctions: Communism fell 14 years ago, and Cuba doesn't pose as much of a threat as it once did.

On using Homeland Security: It seems that this agency was created as a response to terrorism. I realize that many agencies have been incorporated into it, but wouldn't tax dollars be best spent if Homeland Seurity was used to monitor people coming IN to the country, and not to put intense scrutiny on people traveling to Cuba?

On the plan to bring democracy to Cuba: To me, this is the most troubling part of President Bush's October speech. He listed a few reasons why America should get more involved in Cuba, one of which was that there is an illicit sex trade in Cuba involving women and children, and that Castro is encouraging that. As someone who watched closely the events leading up to the invasion of Iraq, I have a hard time believing this claim. It's about the worst thing you can say about a country, or the leader of a country.

I watched closely as the US brought democracy to Iraq, and I'm not alone in worrying that that model will be applied to other countries.

While Cuba is in desperate need of economic and political reform, tightening the sanctions isn't going to remedy that, or drive Castro out of office. In fact, it seems that nature will drive him from office, and sooner rather than later. Since he came to power, he's been able to point to the sanctions as the reason Cuba is so impoverished, and has thus excused himself from any of the blame. Limiting or lifting the sanctions would let the Cubans see how dysfunctional Castro's Communism really is. It would also help lift them out of poverty, it would benefit American companies that could trade with Cuba, and it would end 45 years of "bad blood" between the two countries.

The speech that President Bush gave was a short speech to a small crowd of Cubans, but it contained a big message.

For all of these reasons, I strongly urge you to support any future congressional measure(s) to limit or lift the trade sanctions against Cuba.


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