A talk by Cuba expert and Fidel Castro biographer John Gerassi.
Yesterday was Cuban Independence Day, the day Cubans celebrate their independence from Spain.
President Bush marked the occasion by meeting with a group of relatives of newly imprisoned Cuban dissidents and former political prisoners.
He gave this Independence Day message in Spanish, which was beamed into Cuba on the U.S. propaganda radio channel, Radio Marti.
But this was not enough for Cuban Americans in Congress and right wing activists in Florida. They say Bush has failed to act on promises he made to crack down on Cuba during Independence Day speeches last year. Bush relentlessly attacked Clinton as soft on Cuba. But Rep. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Bush has done no better. Menendez said in a statement: “Shame on you for not living up to your promises; shame on you for your deceptions; and shame on you for playing on the emotions of the Cuban American community.”
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Monday denied allegations by a leading Cuban politician that he is urging his brother to invade the nation.
Leader of the Cuban National Assembly Ricardo Alarcon appeared on an ABC News program Sunday and said that Jeb Bush and others are calling for a regime change in Cuba.
Jeb Bush said: “He’s wrong. What I do favor, which 90 percent, 95 percent, 100 percent of people — not just Cubans but people who live in our community and this country — should aspire to is democracy and freedom for Cuba.” He said: “U.S. policy should be that we should transition away from one of the last ugly dictatorships in the world to democracy and freedom.” He said, “That implies that it can’t be done while Castro is there, but it does not imply an invasion.”
Two nights ago, Cuba expert John Gerassi addressed just this question in a talk he gave at the NYU Law School. The lecture is called “Cuba: The Next Regime Change.”
- John Gerassi, Professor of Political Science at Queens College, City University of New York, speaking at NYU Law School, May 19, 2003. He is the author of several books, including Ven Ceremos: the Speeches, and Writings of Che Guevara, the Great Fear in Latin America and Fidel Castro, a Biography