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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 15, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Cuban travel limits eased

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Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A listing for Havana and Holguin, Cuba, is seen on the departure display at Miami International Airport on April 7. The Obama administration is loosening restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba.

A step toward restoring honor and integrity

Editor, The Times:

I applaud the Obama administration’s easing of travel, gift and telecommunications policies [“U.S. will ‘reach out’ to Cuban people,” page one, April 14], which shifts the direction of a contradictory foreign policy that the leaders of this country have enforced for some time.

Those who have supported isolating the Cuban government, led by Fidel Castro and now his brother, Raul, often cite how Cuba is undemocratic, holds many political prisoners in its jails and restricts personal liberties for its citizens. This sudden shift in policy, coupled with legislative bills in both houses of Congress that would address lifting the 50-year-old trade embargo with the Castro government, will bring with it a renewed debate that will begin in earnest next week at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

Part of the debate should be a discussion on freeing those innocent political prisoners still being held in the southeast part of Cuba, in Guantánamo Bay. If looked at objectively, what the United States government has authorized and carried out in Guantánamo prisons the past seven years is far worse than any treatments the Cuban government has practiced on its “dissidents.”

It is time to move forward with constructive dialogue with the Castro government and restore this country’s honor and integrity with its neighbors in this hemisphere.

— Herman Gilman, Seattle

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Cuba

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