"Hearing" Themselves Talk

Friday, March 12, 2010
Yesterday, the House Agriculture Committee held a "hearing" on agricultural sales to Cuba. However, only supporters of expanding business ties with the Castro regime were invited to testify.

No voices of dissent, victims of the regime, nor experts on Cuba's rationing system, trade monopoly or tourism apartheid were invited.

Perhaps they were just trying to emulate the Castro regime's information monopoly.

Here's the witness list:

Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau, Washington, D.C.
Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union, Washington, D.C.
Mike Wagner, USA Rice Federation, Sumner, Mississippi
Jerry McReynolds, National Association of Wheat Growers, Woodston, Kansas
John Wilson, National Milk Producers Federation, Kansas City, Missouri
Barton Schott, National Corn Growers Association, Kulm, North Dakota
Scott Fritz, American Soybean Association, Winamac, Indiana

Shamefully, the hearing took place as Cuban pro-democracy leader Guillermo Farinas collapsed from the hunger strike he is undertaking to protest the captivity of 26 political prisoners in need of medical care.

According to Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, Congressman Jerry Moran of Kansas and the panel witnesses, American tourists need to go educate Cubans, like Guillermo Farinas, about the free market and democracy (while they profit from the Cuban people's suffering and oppression).

We contend that Farinas could actually teach them a thing or two about democratic values, not to mention about compassion and solidarity.