Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 05:52:00 EDT
It seems to me that there are at least three separate issues being discussed simultaneously, which makes it difficult to follow the debate. From general to specific, the issues seem to be: 1. The legitimacy of the use of violence by revolutionary/socialist governments. 2. The justification for the death penalty in the specific case of the Cuban hijackers. 3. The possibility of US invasion of Cuba. I have already expressed my views on 1. I have no views on 2., but am willing to give the Cuban government the benefit of the doubt because they can evaluate their own situation better than I can. On 3., my feeling is that the US administration has not made up its mind yet. Clearly Cuba is a pain in the neck, but it is also not an urgent target for the US - it is contained with no chance of spreading the example, it is economically weak, it is not sitting on top of important wealth which the US would want to control. The US can afford to wait until Castro dies, and hope for the swift collapse of the regime. They have been waiting a long time already, why not a few more years? The test-cases are elsewhere; Syria, Iran and North Korea. These are much more important strategic objectives; the US has stronger cases (in terms of international law, fig-leaves, etc) against these other regimes, and the US has not yet been able to digest Iraq. In this situation it would probably be a useless diversion for the US administration and military to get entangled in Cuba. Moreover, what if they are busy in Iraq and in Cuba at the same time, and something happens in North Korea or Taiwan? It is probably better for the US to keep its options open. Having said this, it would be potentially suicidal for the Cubans to lower their guard. The US neo-cons are a very aggressive bunch of people, and they might seize any opportunity - civil unrest, for example - to take aggressive steps against Cuba, even if short of a full-scale invasion. Whose navy would be willing to break a US blockade imposed under whatever pretext? Lacking the means for a military response, and with the UN cowed into submission, the Cubans would starve. alfredo.
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