Los Angeles Times.
Friday, June 1, 2001
Leave it to Sen. Jesse Helms to cook up one more provocation with Cuba.
He did, after all, co-sponsor the Helms-Burton law, which stiffened the embargo
against Cuba by penalizing countries that trade with the island nation. Now, the
North Carolina Republican has introduced a bill that would send $100 million in
funding and communications equipment to opposition and dissident groups in Cuba.
Por que no? some might ask. Why not help the people of Cuba fight
Fidel Castro? It is precisely because Castro is a ruthless dictator that Helms'
new initiative is so wrongheaded.
Helms says the aid would allow dissidents to communicate better with
people on and off the island. We don't believe that.
Spies with the Committee to Defend the Revolution live in every block
of Havana. As soon as a new fax machine arrives at a house, a snitch will report
it. The machine will end up in a government office and its intended owner in
jail, at least for interrogation.
If Helms' bill is approved by Congress, the United States will be
repeating the mistake of the infamous TV Marti. Since 1990, U.S. taxpayers have
been wasting $28 million a year to send a television signal that nobody in Cuba
sees because the Castro regime jams it.
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) says that Helms' proposal would be "wasting
taxpayer dollars on moneys that Fidel Castro will make sure never get into the
hands of average Cubans." He says he'd prefer that the United States do
something meaningful to foster democracy. So would we.
Copyright © 2001 Los Angeles Times