"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

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Graduate of the University of Oregon, Married for 4-1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. I am currently residing in Cleveland while I attend med school.

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    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    Thoughts on Cuba

    As Fidel inches closer to death, I thought I'd supply a few different thoughts about Cuba. Specifically, immigration policy.

    I recently read "The Case for Democracy" by Natan Sharansky, which outlines one of the hidden reasons why the Soviet Union fell. That reason was an allowance by the Soviet government for Jewish dissidents to emigrate to other countries (such as Israel). The result was that the ensuing mass emigration allowed many to overcome the fear of the government, and, in turn, encouraged dissenting speech which weakened the country.

    In light of this, consider the case of Cuba. Ever since Castro seized power, Cubans have continued to seek refuge in the US and other countries. Initially these immigrants were considered as refugees by the US government and were granted asylum - and rightfully so. However, over the years, the US government has gradually changed it's stance on cuban immigrants. In 1994 we reached the point where we struck a deal with Castro to return those who were caught before reaching land, the so-called "feet-wet/feet-dry" policy.

    This policy, in my opinion, is not in the best interest of the US. Despite the recent turmoil over general US immigration policy, restricting the immigration of Cubans to our country prevents the destabilization of Cuba. The already present Cuban population shows strong support for policies that would weaken Castro, which is testament to the Sharansky's thesis. They are the equivalent of Soviet-Jewish dissidents seeking refuge in Israel. Thus, encouraging and assisting (to a small degree) Cuban refugees to reaching our shores would gradually destabilize Castro's government.

    Alright, so the natural response to my opinion is 'then why didn't Castro fall during the many years that we did accept all Cuban refugees?' For the many years that we did have a liberal immigration policy for Cuban refugees, Cuba was being funded and stabilzed by the Soviets. Then, only shortly after the Soviet Republic fell our policies began shifting to limit cuban refugees.

    Cross-Posted at 123Beta


    Anonymous Debbie said...

    It seems that Cuba's supreme leader has survived the surgery. Cubans everywhere are certainly disappointed today at that news. The celebrations yesterday by Cubans in the US were truly exciting to see.

    We think it is bad here sometimes, waiting from election to election, to replace political leaders. What if we had to wait until they died for new leadership?

    11:32 AM  
    Blogger prying1 said...

    Hey GC - Good post - This is one time I'd say the examples are NOT apples and oranges.

    You should have been in charge back in '94!

    1:41 PM  
    Blogger T.L. Stanley said...

    Good obervation on Cuba. Let me see if I can understand our policy. We trade with Communist China and Communist Russia and have good policies with them. But, we shun Communist Cuba. Why?

    5:07 AM  

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