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Posted May 15, 2003 by publisher in US Embargo

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Mr. George W. Bush
President
United States of America

Excellency:

I distract your precious time to express my concerns over the decision
that is expected you would adopt regarding the Cuban government.

I believe that a reinforcement of the measures already imposed by the
United States would be counterproductive because:

- It would be used as pretext to enhance the repression on those who
have overcome fear, and express their ideas, continue informing as
independent journalists, are human rights activists or pacific opponents.

- It would increase the harsh jail conditions endured by the prisoners
of conscience and political prisoners, and the repression on us, wives
and mothers.

- It would augment the hardship of the Cuban people, if the remittances
were curtailed.

- Hundreds of thousands of American visiting Cuba could contribute to
the flow of ideas, and the progress of democracy.

- The possible sale of medications and food could demonstrate if in
fact the Cuban government is capable of buying, or if the lack of them is
due to its economic and productive inefficiency.

My husband, Oscar Espinosa Chepe, independent economist and journalist,
was sentenced in a summary trial to 20 years of imprisonment only for
expressing his ideas and proposing measures to overcome the political,
economic and social crisis our homeland faces. He has been sent almost
900 miles from Havana, where we live, to a prison with very bad sanitary
conditions, even though he has a very delicate health due to liver
cirrhosis and other illnesses.

I, as well as the other wives, mothers and relatives of more than 75
persons unjustly incarcerated since March 18, do not rest in our efforts
to obtain the release of our peaceful loved ones, who are under very
harsh circumstances.

I appreciate your attention, and receive my respect and consideration.

Signed
Miriam Leiva Viamonte
Independent journalist

  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 16, 2003 by I-cacique with 18 total posts

    Miriam,

    You have my deepest, heartfelt sympathies for the plight which you are presently living. I hope and pray that your husband retuns to you soon and healthy. However, I must disagree with your opinion on the reinforcement of the imposed measures.
    It is impossible to lay the blame on the US for the lack of respect for human life and dignity that the Castro regime poses to its people. Castro, being the political opportunist that he has been for over 40 years, has tried to take the present administration’ foreign policy and circumstance and used it to his favor. He has recently cracked down on dissidents and jailed them. Why? because the world has allowed it. He has torturred and murdered those who dare to speak against him. Why? Because the world has allowed him. It is not a time to be negotiating with Fidel Castro. Nor can this country allow him to dictate our foreign policy.
    You state:
    - Hundreds of thousands of American visiting Cuba could contribute to
    the flow of ideas, and the progress of democracy.
    Well, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been free to visit Cuba for years and the regimes policies remain unchanged, if not worse. While I agree that there is a certain exchange of free ideas between Cubans and their tourists from abroad, the mere fact that these same tourists may still freely travel to Cuba and has had no effect on Castro’ crackdowns and human rights violations proves that no matter who travels there, the regime will remain unchanged.
    You say:
    - It would augment the hardship of the Cuban people, if the remittances
    were curtailed.
    Yes. Of course it would. But its a necessary evil unfortunately. We exiled Cubans are in a way responsible for the regime still being in power. We send money to cuba to the tune of 1 billion, yes billion, a year. And I can assure you, the entire 1 billion does not go directly to the people its supposed to go to.
    As for the sale of medication and food has never been banned by the embargo. Any food sales allowed freely now would only go to the tourist shops and hotels. The Castro regime will spend very little, if at all, to feed his own people.


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