Letters 7.29.21

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Turning point U.S.-Cuba relations

Dave Anderson is wrong (re: The Anderson Files, “The hidden history of U.S.-Cuban relationship,” July 22). The turning point in U.S.-Cuba relations was the Cuban Democracy Act of 1997. This statute requires the president overthrow whatever government Cuba has. 

If Cuban nickel was used to make an auto part in Japan, the car can’t be exported to the U.S. A ship that calls at a Cuban port cannot call at a U.S. port for six months. Foreign firms, including banks, are sanctioned and sued for doing business with Cuba. Food, fuel and medicine are priority targets. 

The statute requires the coup government adopt a market economy and not interfere when goods are dumped at half production cost. Cuba’s public utilities, railroads, sugar steal, oil and nickel industries and 80% of the land must be returned to former owners. Public institutions of education, health care, science and culture must be sold. Dictatorship and bloodshed being necessary to implement this, there are no democracy or human rights requirements. Haiti is what Cuba must become. 

The statute mandates our taxes be used to foster havoc. The on-the-record portions is hundreds of millions. 

On June 25, the United Nations General Assembly resolved yet again the blockade of Cuba must end. No abstentions. Israel and the U.S. dissented. Israel trades with Cuba. 

Gary Erb/Boulder 

Uncertain future

I’m discouraged to hear that a bipartisan infrastructure bill is facing an uncertain future in Congress, as Senators in Washington are threatening to withhold their support for this legislation. Passing a major infrastructure reform will help address the pressing needs of our nation’s physical infrastructure and broadband access, aid small businesses, and boost economic recovery.

Working in roofing restoration, I am constantly on the road traveling to projects, and I can’t tell you how much I would benefit from improved road conditions and potential new business opportunities if we become part of the supply chain. 

Small businesses like mine often struggle to compete with construction conglomerates, and we’re stacked against the wall. This is why Congress must include small businesses as a key part of the supply chain for infrastructure reform, which would be crucial in building consumer confidence and demand at the local level for businesses like mine. 

Lawmakers can no longer ignore the harmful effects of a decaying physical infrastructure, and it’s time to settle on a commonsense solution. Our elected officials must put their differences aside and pass this bipartisan legislation now to boost the small business community and even the level playing field.

William Archer, owner of Archer Property Solutions LLC/Englewood

Congress must expand our voting rights

Like many of my fellow Americans, I am frustrated. I am frustrated with the roadblocks put up by Republicans in Congress that prevent even starting a conversation on critical pieces of legislation. I’m frustrated with the GOP’s relentless attack on our basic rights, including our freedom to vote. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 17 states have enacted 28 new laws this year that make it more difficult for eligible Americans to cast their ballots.

But I certainly haven’t lost hope — or my determination. Right now, legislators are considering two crucial bills, the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Together, these bills would create national standards for voting and stop unjust and unfair voting laws. These bills are exactly what we need to reverse the worst attacks on our voting rights that we’ve seen in years.

I am urging Congress to prioritize voting rights and pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Elizabeth Ball/Gunbarrel

An extra Scoop

I am proud of Ben & Jerry’s, the most prominent and recognizable Hippie business in the world, for refusing to sell its ice cream in the Israeli Occupied Territories. The Israeli lobby, the ardent Zionists, have for decades been bullying Americans into accepting Israel’s flagrant disregard for Palestinian humanity. They’ve done this largely by shouting, “anti-Semite!” at anyone who would stand up for Palestinian human rights, who would in any way criticize Israel. Not surprisingly, this has been their knee-jerk response to the Ben & Jerry’s decision — the company is engaged in a “disgraceful capitulation to anti-Semitism,” and urged on by former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they are now boycotting Ben & Jerry’s, aiming to punish them in the pocketbook. (Both Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are Jewish-American, by the way, but to Zionist fanatics, that just makes them “self-hating Jews,” traitors to their own people.)

I suspect that for the American public, these constant, flimsy accusations of anti-Semitism directed at critics of Israel (and usually having no basis other than that criticism) are wearing thin; their attempts to portray today’s Middle East as a replay of WWII and the Holocaust are increasingly falling flat. People, including a growing number of Jewish-Americans, no longer buy it.

My advice: Go into Ben & Jerry’s and buy yourself an extra scoop. Enjoy your delicious ice cream, and as you do, be happy that you’re standing up to a bunch of bullies, supporting human rights and, in a small way, making America and the world better places.  

Paul Dougan/Boulder

Just one problem

Rep. Jason T. Smith (R-Mo.) says Democrats want to “knock down your door KGB-style to force people to get vaccinated.” (Washington Post, “Patience has worn thin,” July 23, 2021) 

Rep. Smith apparently has little understanding of what “KGB-style” really means. It is not the same as advertising a vaccination program for smallpox, polio, measles, or COVID-19, undertaken to save young people’s lives and hopes for the future. 

Actually, America has taken the opposite of a KGB approach. Party leaders Biden and Trump are both refusing to criticize the unvaccinated. Both power brokers are on board with the post-World War II libertarian current in American life that says people should not be forced or shamed to change behavior. 

Just one problem: This airy little bit of philosophy goes against the grain of our 245-year-old criminal justice system, whereby we absolutely do force people to clean up behavior, at pain of actual punishment.  

Autocrats are happy to torpedo criminal and public health accountability because they want the American people to decline to hold them accountable when they themselves do wrong while in power. When they fail to follow the Constitution or the statutory law, they hope to be supported by the huge and growing underclass of unprosecuted and unvaccinated Americans they have treated so softly. 

Kimball Shinkoskey/ Woods Cross, Utah