Fidel daughter backs US embargo
THE estranged daughter of Cuban President Fidel Castro has called for a
continuation of the US economic embargo against Havana, as US lawmakers
consider plans to ease sanctions against the Communist island nation.
Now living in exile in Miami, Alina Fernandez, a former dissident and vocal
opponent of her father, told Fox television that it was more important to tighten
the screws on Cuba's Communist system - hopefully to force its collapse - than
to attempt to reap economic gain from trade with the island.
"It used to be a moral issue, but now it's becoming a business issue, and
the problem. You're not thinking any more about the human rights or the freedom
of the Cubans - solidarity with the Cubans," she said.
Her advice to US government officials and business leaders seeking to resume
trade ties was succinct: "Stay away, that's my idea. You have to think in human
terms first," she said.
By doing away with the trade embargo on Cuba "you'll only be putting money
the dictator's pockets", she said of her father, whom she has not seen or spoken
to in 20 years.
Forty-three years after taking power in an armed revolution, Castro celebrated
76th birthday last week, still firmly in control of the Cuban political scene and
showing no signs of abandoning socialism or the one-party state.
Many US politicians, however, have softened their views about the advisability
trade and travel to Cuba: the House of Representatives last month called for an
easing of the travel ban and other aspects of the economic embargo - a measure
that is now before the US Senate.