Monday, August 02, 2004

New Restrictions on Cuban Americans

NBC Dateline this evening had an interesting segment on Elian Gonzalez and U.S.-Cuba relations. The transcript can be found at:

The new U.S. restrictions on traveling to Cuba, particularly by Cuban Americans, is highlighted. Reporter Keith Morrison travels with a Cuban American lawyer, Pedro Irigonegaray, to visit the man's aging relatives,whom Irigonegaray may never meet again:

"The U.S. thinking goes something like this: Each time a Cuban-American brings or sends money to relatives, that money, almost $1 billion lastyear, boosts the island's economy and helps Castro continue his dictatorship. So beginning July 2004, Cuban-Americans may only visit direct family members, and then only once every three years. If their relatives are uncles or cousins or, say, aunts, as in Pedro's case, those Cuban-Americans will never be allowed to return or send money ever."

These new restrictions seem inhumane and stupid to me. Castro has been in power for over four decades despite U.S. embargos. Isolating Cuba, particularly Cubans from their loved ones in America, will not bring democracy to the island.


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