Herald Sun (Australia)
August 19, 2002

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 that's
                     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 in
                     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 his
                     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 of
                     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.