President Obama proclaimed his forward-looking intentions: “I didn’t come here to debate the past. I came here to deal with the future.” Obama called on Latin America to pursue a “new way” in which the United States is not blamed “for every problem that arises in the hemisphere.”
However, the task of developing a new foreign policy toward Cuba must be undertaken with open-eyed historical understanding, including an understanding of whatever problems may have been generated by current and former U.S. policies toward Cuba. The economic and human consequences of the trade embargo are severe, as Amnesty International notes that the Cuban government is greatly hampered in its efforts “... to purchase essential medicines, medical equipment and supplies, food and agricultural products, construction materials and access to new technologies.”
Additionally, the embargo prevents Cuban-Americans from returning to their country of origin, in violation of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ratified by the United Nations in 1948.
During the 1898 Spanish-American War, the U.S. intervened in Cuba chiefly to prevent Cuba from achieving independence from Spain on its own terms. Rebels had promised agrarian reform to the Cuban people, threatening U.S. agribusiness interests in Cuba. Under the Platt Amendment, Cuba became a U.S. protectorate with limited autonomy. The U.S. had extensive legal powers over Cuba, including the right to maintain military bases, veto treaties, and supervise the Cuban treasury. The rebel general Maximo Gomez lamented the “... military occupation of the country by our allies, who treat us as a people incapable of acting for ourselves, and who have reduced us to obedience, to submission and to a tutelage imposed by the force of circumstances ...”
During the years that followed, the U.S. supported a string of repressive military dictators. What this history shows is that the economic strangulation of Cuba is not aimed at promoting democracy in Cuba, but is instead aimed at punishing Cubans for attempting to pursue independence from de facto American rule.
IU graduate student
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I have always had a special affinity for art in places where art “isn’t supposed to be.” Certainly, most of us enjoy an afternoon browsing a gallery or museum, but there is something really nice about finding art in unexpected places.
I was pleased to see Matthew Cinkoske's recent column about domestic violence at IU — "Is IU mishandling student domestic violence?" June 14, 2015.
I would like to bring to the attention of the IDS the fact that harassment of disabled students occurs regularly at IU Bloomington. I personally know of physically impaired students who have been harassed in Ballantine Hall for taking the elevator up or down one floor. And they aren’t just harassed by fellow students; faculty and staff are guilty, too. Just because someone looks healthy, doesn’t mean that they are. Invisible disabilities are any of a number of chronic conditions that significantly impair normal activities of daily living while showing no outward signs of the illness. I also know of a physically impaired student who was made fun of recently for riding a scooter in Forest Residence Center. This is a student who can barely walk—and only for short distances—and only when feeling physically up to it. This same student was also harassed in the Forest parking lot by someone who didn’t think a handicap parking space should be used by a disabled student, even though the appropriate IU parking permit was displayed in the car. Harassment may be reported to the IU Incident Teams at (812) 855-8188 or email@example.com. I mention these incidents because they happened to students I know. And if they can happen to them, they can happen to anyone. I ask the entire campus community: How would you feel if someone you cared about was ridiculed or harassed because they had a disability? How does it feel to learn that members of the campus community, whether you know them or not, have to deal with harassment at IU Bloomington on a daily basis? I urge us all to think before speaking, show some Hoosier compassion, and offer to help instead of contributing to an intolerant environment. I also urge the IDS to investigate and report on the harassment of disabled students on this campus. As an IU alumna, IU employee, and IU parent, I hate to think of Indiana University’s reputation being tarnished by charges of harassment of any kind. Melissa Thorne Bloomington
I am glad you chose to publish an article on the Bloomington Planned Parenthood. Let me explain why. I am a survivor of childhood and adolescent sexual abuse, and I have personally experienced an abortion more than once.
The location of sexual violence posters must be reconsidered.