By Deirdre Cox Baker | Quad cities Iowa
Democratic Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich would work to open up trade with Cuba and kill or greatly reform NAFTA and the World Trade Organization if he were elected.
“We need to open up new markets for farmers,” he said Monday in Davenport. “We need to open up Cuba.”
U.S. Rep. Kucinich, a Democrat from Cleveland, Ohio, making his first trip to the Quad-Cities for this campaign, spoke to about 60 employees of the U.S. Postal Service at the Iowa Convention of the National Association of Letter Carriers held at the Radisson Quad-Cities.
Kucinich said the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, and the World Trade Organization must either be canceled or dramatically changed to protect workers’ rights.
Kucinich said farmers’ problems are further exacerbated by agriculture monopolies, which also need regulatory reform.
The congressman and former mayor of Cleveland laid out a platform reflecting traditional Democratic ideas, but pointed out where he differs from the other presidential candidates.
Kucinich said he is the only candidate in favor of a guaranteed single-payer health care system, making health care public in the United States.
He continued sharp criticism of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, and what he described as a “permanent war budget.” Such spending, he charged, won’t allow adequate emphasis on the domestic budget.
He said the United States squandered world-wide support after the Sept. 11 disaster, and said it is “wasting money” with its military build-up. Kucinich said the United States should go after criminals, but doesn’t need to be “armed to the teeth.”
“We need to work with the world community,” he said.
Kucinich said he is working to teach Iowans about his grassroots message, and get to know his name.
“My candidacy is a real departure from business as usual,” he said.