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Monday, July 16, 2007


MADRID -- The Spanish government's recent decision to improve ties with Cuba ''is bearing its fruits,'' and the process will continue without abandoning the island's dissidents, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told me in an interview last week. Are Spain's overtures to Cuba a smart move? Or is Spain giving political oxygen to a decrepit dictatorship? Read the column here, and let us know what YOU think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

åndêrš, I'm not so sure giving people the vote is the best thing for any country. Democracy makes whores out of all politicans.
When the 13 colonies were still part of England, Professor Alexander Tyler
wrote about the fall of the Athenian republic over a thousand years ago. He

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only
exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the
public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the
candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the
result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed
by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has
been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following
1) from bondage to spiritual faith
2) from spiritual faith to great courage
3) from courage to liberty
4) from liberty to abundance
5) from abundance to selfishness
6) from selfishness to complacency
7) from complacency to apathy
8) from apathy to dependency
9) from dependency back to bondage.

10:14 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

Oh come on Andres, what diplomat in the world would interrupt another at a press conference on their home soil? Particularly when the case of the dissidents is often murkier than you led on. Certainly many, if not most, of those 75 arrested in 2003 were receiving payment in cash or materials either directly or indirectly from Washington or Madrid. If you were to take money from an enemy government like Cuba to write highly dubious stories designed to destabalize the US Government, I don't think you'd be labled a dissident. In fact, you'd probably be in jail like Susan Lindauer or the Alvarez couple.

Some dissidents are indeed respectable. But anyone who had relationships with the US Interests Section or Miami-based extremist organizations (CANF was arming for an attack on Cuba during this time), loses my respect - and the respect of the Cuban people - automatically.

As for the Spanish strategy, we are already seeing improvements. The number of so-called "prisoners of conscience" has fallen from 283 to 246. Spanish diplomats are much mroe in turn with Cuban society, not just the couple dozen professional dissidents. They travel around the country and meet with all sectors of the people. In any change, Spain will be in a better position to be of assistance - and mroe accepted by the Cuban people - than the Americans.

7:09 PM  

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