Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not in My Name

"If Ra¿l is serious about his so-called reforms," Bush said, "he will allow these phones to reach the Cuban people."

Francisco J. "Pepe" Hernandez, president of the Cuban American National Foundation, called Bush's announcement "absurd." He urged the president instead to lift restrictions that limit Cuban Americans to one visit to the island every three years and to no more than $1,200 they can send to relatives annually.

Although cellular phones are on the lengthy U.S. list of items not allowed to be sent to Cuba, Hernandez said his organization and many others regularly ship them there. "With all due respect" to Bush, he said, "you can't eat cellphones."

If I needed an example of how pervasive the tenor of our present political discourse has become, take this quote from the president of CANF. Quite the wit, old Pepe there. He sounds more like some of our political hacks than the head of a national organization. The whole thing was terribly déclassé.

And is it George Bush's fault that Cubans don't have enough to eat? What about those who don't have relatives outside the country? What do they do, eat cake? I have to ask, despite the continuation of policies unpopular with many, has any other president in recent history done as much to publicize the plight of the Cuban people?

I suspect I know the root. One need only look at the invitation to Obama to surmise that the Joe Garcia wing is firmly in charge. One need only remind CANF that the last time they smiled on a Democrat, they got a tent city in Guantanamo, Wet Foot/Dry Foot, and Elian.

Washington Post article here.

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