Monday, March 12, 2012

Odds and ends

  • While reading recent discussion of the Pope’s upcoming visit to Cuba, this message to the Pope from Guillermo “Coco” Farinas, a Santa Clara opposition figure, stood out.  He writes “in the name of the Cuban nation.”

  • What to make of this story by Alfonso Chardy of the Herald?  A Cuban doctor who served in Venezuela and availed himself of an immigration program that the Bush Administration created especially for Cuban doctors was denied permanent residence here because he was a member of the mass organization for young communists (UJC).  I’m not a big fan of the program for several reasons, one being that those Cubans who can find asylum in one country (granted, not all can) should be able to stay in that country, and there’s no need to create an entitlement to come to the United States.  But after enticing this doctor to come to the United States, the denial of permanent resident status puts him in immigration limbo, and his UJC membership seems a very flimsy reason.  His lip-service loyalty to the communist cause became clear when he deserted his post 15 days after arriving in Venezuela.

  • Talk about a win-win-win situation – if pressures from Cuba’s friends had led to Cuba’s attendance at the April Summit of the Americas in Colombia, Havana et al. could have claimed victory, and Washington would have been left to figure whether to attend.  It turns out Cuba will not attend and never asked to attend, its foreign minister informs us, and now the President of Colombia is thanking Cuba for “generously saying it did not want to create a problem for the Summit or for Colombia.”  At the summit itself, it remains to be seen if Cuba’s friends will cause a little stink and force President Obama to deal with the issue of Cuba’s exclusion.  The Cartagena summit is an OAS show, and Cuba is not a big fan of the OAS.

  • The Treasury Department clarifies rules for advertising educational people-to-people travel.

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