BLOCKADE OF CUBA

 

Sir, Twice in two days, front page articles in The Irish Times quoted John Bruton on the issues of democracy and human rights in Cuba and on the Helms/Burton Act (US blockade legislation). What strange positions have been adopted. The Helms/Burton Act is condemned by Mr Bruton not because of the damage that it causes to the human rights of the Cuban people, but because it infringes on business interests in Europe.

Now, it seems clear that if the" elements of the Act which infringe on European business interests are repealed or temporarily set aside, the EU and Mr Bruton will turn a blind eye to the illegal imposition of the Act against Cuba by the US.

Even more sinister is the Jacques Santer statement that while the EU and US "may differ on the means, we certainly agree on the end goal". The end goal and the" US has always been quite honest about this is the overthrow of the Cuban Government. Is this what the Irish Government wants also? Now, the EU and the US are agreeing not to interfere with each others interests over Cuba, but instead to gang up on Cuba using and abusing the issues of democracy and human rights.

Cuba is a one party state true. So it is blockaded and demonised (in defiance of successive UN resolutions) by the US with the increasing active collusion of the EU. I could give many examples of other one party states, but to save time and space I will concentrate on a few no party states Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait for instance, where political parties and trade unions are illegal, where, women's rights hardly exist and" where no elections, free or otherwise, are held. Indeed, there is a long list of countries, including Ireland, where democracy and human rights situations are less then perfect.

Yet they are not blockaded nor I should they be. What has Cuba done to deserve such singular attention? It upset the US in 1959 and went on to give its people the highest standard of living in Latin America. It now appears that the US and the EU, led by Mr Bruton, would rather see the situation in Cuba degenerate into chaos than acknowledge and protect the impressive achievements of the Cuban government. What of the human rights of the Cuban people, then?

If that is the "end goal", then let the EU and Mr Bruton be honest about it at least and spare us the indignity of having to watch them progress their covert agenda behind a veil of democracy and human rights issues. Meanwhile, we look forward to reading Mr Bruton's views on no party states on the front page of The Irish Times. Yours, etc., Co-ordinator, Cuba Support Group Ireland, Merrion Square, Dublin 2.