Stop Trivializing Tragedies

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
It's one thing for advocates of unconditionally normalizing relations with the Castro dictatorship to overlook its brutal human rights abuses against the Cuban people, but it's absolutely unconscionable to try to use tragic disasters -- such as Haiti's earthquake -- as a springboard for bilateral relations.

Yet, they've begun to do so.

The tragedy of the earthquake in Haiti is not about U.S.-Cuba relations. The Castro regime's approval of U.S. flights over Cuban airspace, which cuts flying time, is about getting Haitian victims quickly to Miami for treatment, not to Havana.

The Castro regime's role is purely tangential, and that's how it should be treated.

U.S.-Cuba relations should be about the Cuban people and the abuses, injustices and deprivations that they are subject to -- in other words, Cuba's own tragedy. Therefore, it's absolutely shameless to try to use the Haitian tragedy as an excuse to promote U.S.-Castro relations.

Even before the earthquake, the U.S. was, is and will continue to be the world's largest provider of humanitarian aid to Haiti (ironically, it is to Cuba as well). As a matter of fact, the U.S. provides more aid to both of these nations than the rest of the world combined.

So when are we going to hear praise for the unselfish generosity of the U.S.? Instead, all we hear from these folks are echoes of the Castro regime's Granma newspaper, lauding whether Castro has sent doctors here or there, even as dozens of Cubans are dying of "hypothermia" in a Havana hospital. Yes, hypothermia in Havana.

Let's focus on helping the victims of the Haitian tragedy -- the Haitian people.

And when dealing with U.S.-Cuba relations, let's focus on helping the victims of its tragic dictatorship -- the Cuban people (not on the regime that represses them with the sole intent of remaining in power forever).

In the meantime, stop trivializing (and distracting from) these tragedies with ulterior agendas.

P.S. Meet the U.S.N.S. Comfort.