It's time to end U.S. embargo on Cuba tradePresident Fidel...

the Forum

January 05, 1994

It's time to end U.S. embargo on Cuba trade

President Fidel Castro's daughter recently chose to leave Cuba and to live in our country. And now her young daughter, with grandfather Castro's consent, has come to be with her mother here.

Both poignant human events have been covered by the American media. Predictably, reporters and commentators have used these two events to report also on the consequences of the breakdown of Cuban socialist economic system -- poverty, malnutrition, fuel shortages, epidemic sickness.

I have not seen or heard the media even suggest that our long-standing economic, trade and political embargoes against our close-by Cuban neighbors have contributed to the breakdown of its economic system and living conditions.

Especially since the end of Soviet subsidy to Cuba, our punitive policy has deeply hurt Cuban children and families and their ability to help themselves.

That is inhumane. It is not worthy of American tradition at its best.

Also not reported by our mass media are the universal health care and education provided by socialist Castro Cuba -- goals we believe in. They were not goals espoused by the Cuban capitalist dictator Batista, whom we supported against Castro so many years ago.

Let Cuba be Cuban. Let Cubans struggle toward a renewed economy and democracy without the dead-weight of our outmoded policy around their necks.

Let trade and tourism and understanding be free. We believe in freedom. The Cold War is over. End anti-Cuban embargoes now.

Richard Rodes


A bridge to cross

The 1874 Lombard Street Bridge sits quietly rusting by the side of the Jones Falls. Only intrepid commuters using Falls Road to come downtown, city work crews and visitors to the Streetcar Museum get to admire its elegant form.

Surely this bit of Baltimore's illustrious engineering past could be better placed.

Is there a spot for it as part of the Inner Harbor pedestrian walkway? How about the newly planned Market Place canals? The Columbus Center promenade?

Let's use it, lest it vanish in the tall grass by the side of the road.

Fran Gunther Minges


Lamenting fat

Within our culture there is an obsession with the svelte figure and the slim waist -- or is it waste?

One is that part of the human torso between the ribs and hips, and the other is defined as anything left over or superfluous.

There comes a time when these terms are reciprocal, and to some this evokes a sense of consternation -- especially when viewed in the bathroom mirror just prior to entering the tub.

We are told we must diet or exercise to eliminate that "spare tire."

The diet thing could become mighty boring. Just consider -- no more Black Forest cake or Bavarian cream pie or snacks while watching "the boob tube."

This business of exercise may be even less enticing. It means calisthenics or jogging or some other activity that will make every bone in your body ache.

The only logical solution is to let the belt out another notch and look in that bathroom mirror only when shaving or combing your hair -- and then only if you are in your bathrobe.

J. Bernard Hihn


Erasing crime

The screaming liberals of society claim it is wrong to use capital punishment for criminals who have been found guilty because it has no deterring effect on further crime.

If these cold-blooded criminals were put to death by one of our humanitarian methods, I know they would no longer be in the world to commit further crimes.

The old way of rehabilitating is non-effective.

So why not inflict more capital punishment?

Robert P. Miller


For death penalty

I think the findings of the Governor's Commission on Death Penalty are in keeping with the view of most citizens -- that is, to favor the death penalty in certain cases.

Some strong action is necessary, if we are to get a grip on the crime which keeps growing, despite some statistical data to the contrary.

To use the death penalty, where appropriate, coupled with much stricter gun registration and related controls appears the best way to make progress in this nightmare on the streets and prevent it from moving into the home.

Many of those opposed to the death penalty, regardless of the crime, have no concern for the unborn baby and condone abortion of defenseless beings.

Your statement that the "death penalty is immoral, ineffective, costly and unfair" and should be abolished overlooks entirely the injury and pain suffered by the innocent victim and family.

Whether the death penalty is or is not a deterrent to crime can't be proved, but it certainly prevents later killing by paroled repeat offenders.

The Supreme Court has not found capital punishment to be cruel and inhuman, so let's apply it in those aggravated cases and then decide if it eases the crime incidence.

John E. H. Bailey


The future of football in Baltimore

In the wake of Baltimore's snub by the National Football League, the city is understandably bitter over the lack of grace, intelligence and class shown by that organization.

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