President Joe Biden sounded noble on Tuesday: "We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering."
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez appeared on Fox News the same day and declared: "And what should be being contemplated right now is a coalition of potential military action in Cuba, similar to what has happened in both administrations in both Republican and Democrat administrations." He suggested aerial bombing.
On the U.S. Department of State's website, an internal memorandum dated April 6, 1960, discusses "The decline and fall of Castro," noting:
"The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship. … [E]very possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba. If such a policy is adopted, it should be the result of a positive decision which would call forth a line of action which, while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible, makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government."
So here are your choices, Joe. Continue to violate the United Nations Charter to promote regime change, standing on, not with, the Cuban people.Or lift the trade embargo and end all U.S. sanctions to see what happens.
Or bomb the bejeezus out of them, the only truly American, and bipartisan, solution.
William Beyer, St. Louis Park
Another visit with Jehan Sadat
In the Opinion Exchange section on July 15 ("My interview with Jehan Sadat") Ahmed Tharwat says Jehan Sadat visited Minnesota in 2001. Sadat also visited seven years earlier when she was the keynote speaker at the first international, intergenerational conference "Together for Tomorrow" — an official United Nations Year of the Family event, in Minneapolis in September 1994. Northwest Airlines Co-Chairman Al Checchi supported her travel and lodging from Egypt during her stay. The conference was attended by 150 intergenerational representatives from 40 states. And, thanks to the former US West, we were able to communicate online and on time with small intergenerational groups in seven different countries — including Egypt and Israel. It was a real technological feat at the time.
I spent quite a bit of time with Madam Sadat, and we discussed the goals of the conference, which she supported: Provide better intergenerational understanding in the workplace. Reduce violence against women. Provide broader access to new internet technology for all generations. Strengthen social compacts worldwide by promoting dialogue and actions between the generations that benefit them and future generations.
Sadat was excited about the content and the innovation the conference, and she highlighted these hopes and themes in her keynote. I feel she had a good impression of Minnesota, and she promised to spread the report from the conference in her travels. She was well received at the conference.
James V. Gambone, Orono
Repeal the authorization of force
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a recent hearing in regard to repealing the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq. The 2002 AUMF is no longer needed, since it was directed at Saddam Hussein. Sen. Amy Klobuchar now is joining Sen. Tina Smith to cosponsor the repeal. Our senators join at least 23 other senators, including six Republicans, as cosponsors of the repeal. Nevertheless, several Republicans are resisting the repeal because, they say, it will embolden Iran and the militias it sponsors. Those senators should be required to read the bill out loud. It does not mention Iran. President Joe Biden has said that Article II of the Constitution gives him authority to defend our troops, and he supports the repeal.
Those opposing the repeal should consider the message they are sending to the Iraqis: We will claim continuing authority to attack your nation without your agreement. Whatever happened to our attempt to promote a democracy? Remember our celebration of the purple fingers of those marked as voters.
James Haefemeyer, Minneapolis
'Look both ways' is still true
Regarding "Cities get serious about pedestrian problem" (July 15): When I was a kid, the message from authorities was, "Stop, look and listen." I still live by those simple rules. Today's message appears to be, "You have the right of way," so don't even bother looking. I have seen three close calls involving teenagers.
The first incident was at an intersection controlled with stop signs. There were two cars stopped in front of me as I pulled up. A kid was crossing, in the crosswalk, in front of us. The driver in the car behind me apparently didn't see the kid and thought we were waiting for the front car to make a left-hand turn so the driver pulled off onto the shoulder and sped through the intersection, barely missing the kid in the crosswalk.
The second incident was a kid riding his bicycle on the sidewalk in the same direction I was driving. We were approaching an intersection without stop signs in our direction of travel, but there was a crosswalk across the street. Something told me that the kid could decide to cross in front of me so I slowed down. Sure enough, without looking, the kid made a sudden left turn right in front of me. I hate to think about what could have happened if I hadn't slowed down.
The third incident was at a crosswalk to a bus stop. The street was normally busy. Without looking, a kid just crossed the street in the crosswalk. If there had been a lot of traffic, I hate to think what I could have witnessed.
These three incidents are etched in my memory.
Of course, drivers must be very careful, but pedestrians also have a responsibility to act in a safe manner.
David Brandt, Minnetonka
How long is the city of St. Paul going to cling to its 20th-century "complete street policy," as advocated by St. Paul City Council Member Chris Tolbert, of choosing concrete (sidewalks) over trees? ("They speak for the trees," July 15.) Meanwhile, this week the European Commission has proposed reaching "a carbon-neutral economy by 2050," one in which "Nearly every sector of the economy would have to pay a price for the emissions it produces, affecting things like the cement used in construction ... ." ("Europe lays out map away from fossil fuels by 2050," July 15.)
Though the Minnesota citizenry can't directly prevent the ongoing loss of rainforest in South America, surely the city of St. Paul could reconsider the 22 out of 25 Edgcumbe Road homeowners' plea that 100-plus trees not be exchanged for concrete. Do we at the local level believe in the science of climate change or not?
Judith Monson, St. Paul
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