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Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Cuban "terrorists"

CNN's "The Situation Room" broadcast a debate today on the blockade ("embargo" in U.S. government language) of Cuba, featuring Rep. Charlie Rangel on the "abolish" side and Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart on the "maintain" side. Rangel's best moment came at the beginning, when Wolf Blitzer asked him, "Why do you believe it's time now to go ahead and lift the restrictions, lift the embargo, try to normalize relations with Cuba." Rangel's response: "It was time 45 years ago." After that, it was all downhill as Diaz-Balart bullied and blustered and dominated the conversation, grabbing the lion's share of the air time.

And his "shining" moment, the one that occasions this post? His discussion of Cuba's "terrorism" which involved his repeated invocation of the death of Sergeant Gregory Fronius...killed twenty years ago in El Salvador by guerrillas of the FPL, not by Cubans, and of "our forces who were killed in 1983 when our forces invaded and liberated Grenada" [and killed 24 Cuban construction workers who were in Grenada helping to build a new international airport].

Yes, you read all that right. Diaz-Balart's labeling of Cuba as a "terrorist" nation, a label that seems to form the bedrock of his argument as to why U.S. policy toward Cuba should remain unchanged, rests on two events, one which occurred 20 years ago and another 25. One of them didn't involve Cubans at all, and the other involved an event which Diaz-Balart himself correctly characterized as a U.S. "invasion."

Diaz-Balart also invoked the U.S. government's official designation of Cuba as a "state sponsor of terrorism," demonstrating one of many consequences of that ludicrous and unjustified label.

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