A group of 494 Cubans, including many in prison, has written a letter to the U.S. Congress that Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart describes as “asking them [Congress] to maintain current U.S. travel and trade restrictions.” Babalu has the Congressman’s press release along with the letter in English and Spanish.
Meanwhile, two signers of the first letter, bloggers Claudia Cadelo and Reinaldo Escobar, respond to critics and explain their reasons for supporting a change in
Mostly, the new letter says things with which nearly everyone agrees: the Cuban government should respect human rights,
The closest the letter gets to a direct Congressional request is this:
“We believe that initiatives such as the one this letter is responding to, even with the best of intentions, tend to deviate focus and attention from what is happening on the island. For that reason we suggest that you maintain a firm and coherent policy of pressure and condemnation toward the tyranny in
It’s beyond me why they would write elliptically instead of just saying, “please oppose the bill.” At any rate, if you believe that maintaining a “firm and coherent policy of pressure” necessarily means cutting off travel, then bingo. If you think of American policies toward the Soviet bloc, where there was trade and unrestricted citizen contact but plenty of pressure on human rights, then it’s less clear.
On a positive note, not a soul has questioned the authenticity of the second letter or the good faith of those whose names are on it.