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Supervisors' Cuba Visits Raise Moral Concerns

May 02, 2003

Have Supervisors Don Knabe and Yvonne Brathwaite Burke no shame? "With County in Turmoil, 4 Supervisors Off to Cuba" (April 28) reported that they were visiting Cuba despite the Castro government's March 18 crackdown on 75 peaceful dissidents, human rights activists and civil society leaders, which resulted in prison terms of six to 28 years. On April 11, three desperate hijackers were also summarily executed by the regime.

Outraged human rights organizations have condemned Cuba's heightened repression, while the entire board of the Cuba Policy Foundation, which sought to lift the embargo and ease travel sanctions, has resigned in protest.

Even Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), a longtime critic of U.S. policy and friend of the Castro regime, has expressed outrage. But Knabe and Burke seem oblivious to the moral implications of their visit. Both the county and Cuba would be better off if our supervisors stayed home and resolved our pressing problems.

Edward Gonzalez



One can only wonder at the hypocrisy of our public officials. Traveling to Cuba, regardless of who paid for it, is just wrong. Plain and simple. Perhaps our county supervisors could spend the night or a weekend with one or two county employees who are living under the threat of losing their careers. Moreover, perhaps a weekend spent in one of the doomed county hospitals -- including Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Maybe our supervisors are in Cuba to research the potential of bringing socialized medicine to L.A. County?

Luis S. Garcia


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