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Opinion

Castro crisis none of our business

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October 25, 2007

I have to admit, I am getting increasingly frustrated with the U.S. government’s idea that we are the one voice in the world that is responsible for telling all the little worker countries what to do.

A front-page article in The New York Times Oct. 24 described a message President Bush was scheduled to deliver later that day to the Cuban people. The motive? Bush seems to believe that we can control how our miniature neighbor conducts their affairs. He wants to induce the Cuban citizenship to rise up in rebellion against dictatorship by suggesting that they disallow Fidel Castro’s brother Raúl to officially take over Cuban rule.

Forget the fact that Raúl Castro has already been acting in this position for over a year since his brother got sick. Forget the fact that this speech is aimed at “Cuban dissidents” as The New York Times called them.

Apparently our president has forgotten the fact that Cuba is not our country.

As a very near neighbor, the United States does need to be aware of what is going on. And since Cuba has had numerous clashes with the United States, especially in illegal immigration issues, it is wise to have a voice regarding their policies.

However, it is not our place to make an official statement to the citizens under a separate government telling them how to respond to their leaders.

Illegal immigration apparently isn’t such a problem to our government, considering all the social programs created to assist illegal aliens in becoming a part of our culture and economy. I don’t think that our leaders genuinely care how many people are actually coming in. It seems that they do care about enforcing U.S. control over anyone they can.

Yes, the Castro government is a dictatorship that oppresses those who live under it. No, it is not democracy. A lot of people in the United States would love to jump the border into Canada, but you don’t see Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging American citizens to throw off President Bush.

Some may argue that having a dictator-led nation so close to our borders is a security threat to our people. I can’t imagine that Homeland Security is too concerned. Cuba is smaller in area than the state of Florida, half the population of Iraq (which we traveled across the globe to conquer) and roughly a third of the population of Afghanistan (another nation we crossed half the world to chastise).

Don’t try to tell me that Cuba, which lies within easy reach of local missiles and military operations of all kinds, is seriously a threat to national security. Though perhaps it is, with so much of our military trying to establish control of oil reserves in the Middle East.

Cuba is not a threat. It simply comes down to the U.S. government dipping its fingers into pies that it has no business even sniffing.

Remember, too, this is how all these pointless and enraging wars began. Let’s attack Afghanistan for housing al-Qaida. Let’s go to Iraq to uncover weapons of mass destruction and give them democracy. Let’s attack Iran to remove them of the burden of nuclear weapons.

Let’s just stop pretending we’re the only adults in a world of children. This great nation may be the richest, the most accomplished and the consumer of most of the world’s resources, but we are not the only ones capable of running a nation. And just because others do things differently doesn’t necessarily make them wrong.

We don’t have to ignore social atrocities in other nations. We can still reach out to those people with foreign aid. But we need to learn to stop trying to control other established governments and creating a world of mini-U.S. Maybe then we’ll actually start to be respected in the global community.

Katrina Styx is a student at UW-River Falls.