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    Writer blind to sad truth about Cuba

    Writer blind to sad truth about Cuba
    For the Monitor
    July 17. 2006 8:00AM

    Much is wrong with student Elizabeth Morrow’s article “Why not
    Cuba?”(Sunday Monitor, July 2). Her comments about what she saw and
    heard while in Cuba – the generosity of the Cuban common people, their
    beautiful music, etc. -must be attributed to the reactions of a young
    scholar with some credit hours beyond an undergraduate degree. During my
    years of teaching history, I read hundreds of essays that, like hers,
    let enthusiasm blur the real picture.

    Ms. Morrow wants the United States government to allow all Americans,
    without restrictions, to travel freely to Cuba based on the point that
    we permit it with China, a grand violator of human rights. In other
    words, Ms. Morrow proposes that two wrongs would make a right. Human
    rights violations are universal, and if we erred in China, as we
    certainly did, we should not compound it with Cuba.

    Besides getting her facts wrong about Cuba before the revolution, (the
    old tired story of gambling and prostitution), Ms. Morrow calls
    attention to the generosity, kindness and beautiful music of the Cuban

    This is not a product of the present regime. Cubans from all walks of
    life, since time immemorial and under all kinds of political situations,
    have been like that and also made “beautiful music.”

    It seems that Ms. Morrow was not able, not allowed or did not care –
    lest her fanciful picture of Cuba be shattered – to see what is under
    the surface in that country. I bet that she was not able to talk to some
    of the hundreds of political prisoners, or to those who today oppose a
    regime that has executed 25,000 of its citizens and exiled more than 2

    I wonder if she talked to Martha Beatriz Roque, who a month ago was
    again brutally beaten for demanding the freedoms that Ms. Morrow enjoys
    here in New Hampshire. Should not Ms. Morrow also mention the thousands
    of would-be millionaires drowned in the Florida Straits while escaping
    that revolutionary Eden with its “beautiful music”?

    I love young scholars, and I want them to do the best. In fact, if Ms.
    Morrow would not be afraid to face the truths about Cuba, I would extend
    her an invitation to chat about the topic over coffee or tea.

    I am sure that she would learn a thing or two about Cuban history before
    Castro, which, by the way, the kindest of taxi drivers and other
    citizens there are not allowed to know.

    (Manuel Marquez-Sterling lives in Plymouth.)

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