It seems Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything these days. However, there is one thing Democratic and Republican administrations have agreed on since JFK: the idea that Cuba is an enemy.
Cuba is the only country affected by the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917. Without going through almost impossible hurdles, a U.S. citizen isn’t allowed to travel to or spend money in Cuba — but we can travel to North Korea, a country George Bush characterized as part of the “Axis of Evil.” What is so frightening about this little island 90 miles off the Florida coast? Is it that everyone has access to health care, regardless of their ability to pay?
Cuba shines as an alternative to capitalism, where wealth concentrates in a few hands and the repercussions are still being felt in our economy, especially with imperialist ventures such as Iraq. Today, two Cuban medical students will be at the University of Minnesota to speak about the reality of Cuba. One served for a year in Haiti in a volunteer medical brigade and will be able to share his experience in one of Cuba’s thousands of international humanitarian missions. These two students, Aníbal Ramos Socarrás and Yenaivis Fuentes Ascencio, will be able to share the vibrant culture of Cuba.
They will contrast the Cuban medical system with the profit-driven model of the United States. Finally, people in America will be able to experience the reality, not rhetoric, of what can happen when workers, students, teachers, professors, farmers and peasants take political power into their own hands.
These events are especially prudent. They will be speaking at the Moos Tower, Room 2-520 from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. In the evening they are hosting a forum in 350 Anderson Hall starting at 7 p.m. With all the inflammatory labels coming out of President Barack Obama’s “progressive” administration, such as the baffling decision to add Cuba to a list of terrorist-supporting countries after a botched Detroit airplane bombing, it is prudent for all students, staff and faculty to understand and experience the reality of Cuba.
University undergraduate student