Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 2, 2006
U.S. government offers restrained reaction to events in Cuba
From Uncle Sam’s point of view, one Cuban dictator replaced another on Tuesday.
Fidel Castro’s handover of power to his brother Raul shook up Cuban-Americans and stirred Congress, but barely registered with the Bush administration.
Members of Florida’s Congressional delegation and Cuban-Americans have long dreamed about the day Castro would die or step down, yet his transfer of power, while raising hopes, offered no immediate prospect for ending the 47-year-old standoff between the United States and Cuba. It left the hard-line U.S. policy rigidly in place.
Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., the only Cuban-American in the Senate, called for a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba and urged Cubans not to risk their lives by taking to the sea on a mass migration for Florida.
“It would cause a tremendous loss of life,” Martinez said, “plus be a disorderly thing that at this moment in history the United States just cannot tolerate.”
While guarding against a rafter crisis, the main role for the United States, he said, is to block other nations, particularly Venezuela, from intervening to bolster another Castro government. (Source: Florida Sun-Sentinel)