Letter: Cuba: Castro must shoulder blame

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a Cuban resident I feel there is a lot of confusion about Cuba and the reasons why thousands of my fellow citizens risk their lives to reach the United States. How does Ole Hansen ('Cuba creaks, but doesn't crack', 22 August) reach the conclusion that the majority of the Cuban people do not want a change of government?

It is sad what is happening to Cuba. For more than 30 years it was the Soviet Union's Third World shop-window. The so-called achievements of the revolution - free education and heath care - were coupled with the supression of basic human rights - freedom of speech, travel, association. It was a price that many people wanted to pay. Not any more. Now the economy is crumbling, due largely to the mismanagement of the Castro regime, and not only because of the reviled American embargo.

I recognise the historical responsibility of the US for many of the problems that affect Latin America today, but it is time Castro got his fair share of the blame for what is happening. Castro, in an irresponsible move, is allowing Cubans to go illegally to the United States because it is a way of getting an indecisive American government to negotiate. The majority of the Cuban people do not want a 'US-backed government', the kind A. C. Bolger describes in his letter. They are fed up with a goverment that has failed to change and introduce real reforms in the economy. The political and economic reforms will mean less power for Fidel Castro, someone who has treated Cuba as his personal property for 35 years.

Yours faithfully,


London, NW1

24 August

The writer has asked for his name and address to be changed as his family still lives in Cuba.