Cuban-American Intellectuals Disagree with Miami Line on Cuba
AN open letter signed by more than 100 prominent Cuban-American academics, writers and artists was published as a full-page advertisement in the daily Miami Herald. The letter describes U.S. policy on Cuba as a "political and moral failure for almost half a century."
The letter says, "We have organized ourselves to voice our outrage at a policy that is inhumane, unjust, ill-conceived, hypocritical and contrary to American ideals."
"Every time the embargo, travel restrictions or any other issue related to Cuba comes up, it is the same small group of people who are consulted and interviewed," she said. "We want everybody to know that, among Cuban-Americans, there are many different positions. I would dare say that a majority in the Cuban-American academic
community disagrees with U.S. policy toward Cuba."
The New York Daily News columnist calls the "unmistakable message" in the open letter a "categorical and even angry denunciation of Washington's obsolete Cuba policy." Ruiz says that the group "seeks to reverse a U.S. policy that, for almost 50 years, has had as its centerpiece an economic embargo whose cruelty to the people of Cuba is legendary."
The article adds that "The letter is bound to resonate loudly from Washington to Miami given the nature of its signatories. Most of them are professors affiliated with 60 universities, including some of the nation's leading institutions. The rest are artists, writers, curators, playwrights, poets, novelists, attorneys and editors, many of them very well known." The signers include professors from Columbia University and New York University.
"For too long, this debate has been dominated by one sector of our community. We are determined that no longer will others in our community speak for us as they continue to insist on taking this country down a misguided path that has served neither the best interests of the U.S. nor those of the Cuban people.
Albor Ruiz, a columnist with the New York Daily News, notes that the letter was published a few weeks before a Bush administration panel - what he calls "the clearly interventionist Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba" - issues its second report and "tightens even further restrictions on travel to Cuba," and comments that the letter "is sure to cause a stir in the Cuban-American community."