Remember Cuba

I thank letter writer Bernadette Geller (PWW 1/13-19) for codifying in list form the leaders and nations in Latin and South America that have swerved left these past few years, and are moving in the direction of people-oriented governments and economies. There have even been those heads of state that have been re-elected with substantial mandates.

But there was one thing omitted in Geller’s comments. Each and every country that are throwing the yoke of U.S. imperialism off their backs, turned toward someone. As psychiatrist/scholar Carl Jung, a disbeliever in coincidence, would have said, it is entirely synchronized. What each country has in common is either a visit from or a visit to the very vibrant leader of Cuba and its revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz. Perhaps those 10 administrations that kept warning us of Fidel’s specter and maintained the illegal and immoral U.S. genocidal blockade had it right all along. They were telling us we had to stop Castro’s sword when it was his pen all along that was mightier and obviously his only weapon.

As the working people of the world wish for Fidel’s speedy recovery, this accomplishment must not be forgotten.

Don Sloan, MD
New York NY

New aristocracy

You know why this country was founded? So people could get away from King George and the English Church, plus the Catholic Church of Europe. The United States was founded so people would have freedom from the aristocracy of Europe and give ourselves more happiness.

Now we have our own aristocracy called the corporate oligarchy of our rich ruling class. Billionaires and millionaires just like the old aristocracy of Europe who think they own the United States, the whole world and the whole universe.

Daniel Gawain Waters
Troy MT

Danger: Fox news

The following letter was sent to Fox News.

Dear Fox News,
On your web site you asked readers to tell you if Venezuela is a threat to American democracy, now that they are proceeding with the construction of socialism after the voters gave the government a mandate for socialism with Chavez’s landslide victory.

Socialist Venezuela threatens a lot of things: it threatens to end poverty in Venezuela, it threatens to bring the country’s vast natural resources under the democratic control of the Venezuelan people, it threatens to give the woman of Venezuela equality.
But does Venezuela threaten American democracy? No.

Fox News, on the other hand, with its ultra-right spin on the news, its attempt to censor progressive ideas, its stumping and blanket support for the Republican Party, and its frankly racist attempts to convince the American people that the development of democracy in Venezuela is a threat to democracy in America — for all of that, Fox News is the real threat to American democracy, not Venezuela.

Matt Parker
New York NY

…and CNN

The following is a protest letter sent to CNN.

Sirs: I was at the massive anti-war march in Washington on Saturday. Your “coverage” later that evening was a disservice to our country and to the truth. It did not matter to you that some 400,000 Americans from every region, representing all ages, all races, religious and secular, military and civilian, marched on Congress. These patriots took a stand for democracy and peace. How dare you give co-equal coverage to a group of 15 right-wing psychopaths hanging Jane Fonda in effigy? How dare you run stock “Hanoi Jane” footage from the early 1970s. What a sick concept of “balance” you have. How dare you give ample airtime to the hawkish American Enterprise Institute ideologue lecturing us contemptuously as if we were fools. Why didn’t you give our rally leaders equal airtime? Your correspondent on the National Mall was manifestly hostile and grudging in his reportage. This is a new low for CNN. Your performance was worse than “low standards.” This was journalistic malpractice. Fox News continues to drag you down. Shame on you.

Joe Jamison
Bayside NY

Torture ‘perfected’ in U.S.

Re: Tim Wheeler’s article “Outrage over Bush’s bid to OK torture” (PWW 9/23-29/06): The outrage over the torture of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and other unknown prisons around the world is selective. Because right here in America torture is being carried out on American soil. But where is the outrage?

In 1995, I was a prisoner at the federal prison at Lompoc, Calif., when the riot over the unjust and draconian crack cocaine law broke out. During this riot, I was subdued by several guards. And while I was hog-tied, I was beaten until I lost consciousness, only to be awakened by a chemical that almost choked me to death.

I, along with many others, was taken to the segregation housing unit where the torture continued. We were stripped down to just our T-shirts and boxer shorts and thrown into cells with no blankets or sheets. The windows facing the cells were then open to allow the cold air to refrigerate the entire cell block. We had to tear open the mattresses in our cells and use them as sleeping bags to attempt to keep from freezing to death.

In light of this degrading treatment, I find it almost hypocritical for people to be outraged about torture abroad while the “art” is being perfected here in the torture chambers of America for export.

Edgar Pitts
Florence CO