Cuba’s gift to Uruguay
On June 15 you ran an “International Note” to the effect that Cuba had donated 1.2 million units of meningitis B vaccine to Uruguay. What you failed to note was that Cuba did this after Uruguay had broken relations with the island nation.

The break came about because Uruguay had sponsored the standard U.S.-required U.N. Human Rights resolution against Cuba last April. This year the resolution actually called for Cuba to allow human rights observers to visit the island.

When Cuba rebuked the Uruguayan government for its sponsorship Uruguayan President Batlle formally broke relations on April 23, saying they would not be resumed “until the Cuban people have peace and freedom.”

The donation of meningitis vaccine had already been negotiated but, because of the break, President Batlle said that the cost of the vacines would be applied to the debt which Cuba owes Uruguay. Cuba declined this arrangement and reiterated that the vaccine was a gift from the people of Cuba.

I think you will agree the gift is even more significant, given the surrounding circumstances.

Julia LutskyWoodside NY

Urgent appeal from Nablus
The Israeli army has launched a massive military operation against Nablus City, including its four refugee camps. For the fourth time in three months Israeli troops have re-invaded the city and suburbs under the pretext of fighting terrorism. However, according to the Israelis, this time the invasion will be for a longer period of time. The 150,000 residents of Nablus are forced to remain inside their homes, as a strict 24-hour military curfew has been imposed over the city.

Already Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles have vandalized the streets of the city, causing enormous physical damage to the infrastructure. Additionally, they have taken permanent positions on top of high buildings, forcing the residents to remain in one apartment of the building.

Mass arrests are taking place in most of the neighbourhoods of the city – thus far dozens of Palestinians have been seized and sent to detention centers. The whole social, educational and medical systems have come to a standstill; the end-of-year high school exam (tawjeehi) has been cancelled due to the fact that students are unable to leave their homes to attend school.

Medical teams are prevented from moving freely, ambulances are frequently stopped and medical personnel are harassed. One doctor and the driver from medical relief were detained for two hours while attempting to transport an ill two-year-old baby.

Yet again, the Israeli army is creating a situation of fear and terror among the civilian population, as well as endangering their lives. There is no justification for the attacks on civilians and collective punishment Palestinians are subjected to.

This latest Israeli aggression against Palestinians is another facet of the continuing aggression of the Israeli occupation. The international community should realize that the main cause of the current dangerous situation in the region is this occupation, and security and regional stability will not be assured until this occupation is ended.

We appeal to the international community to intervene immediately and force the Israeli government to comply with international law and to withdraw its forces immediately from the Palestinian areas.

Union of PalestinianMedical Relief Committees, Nablus City, West Bank

Jeb to appoint a terrorist-supporter?
The Miami Herald reported that Raoul G. Cantero III, grandson of former dictator Fulgencio Batista, is being considered by Gov. Jeb Bush as a Florida Supreme Court justice.

Cantero was one of the lawyers for Orlando Bosch in 1989 when there was a campaign to get Bosch released from jail. That campaign succeeded. Cantero called Bosch’s extensive record of terrorism against Cuba, condemned even by the CIA and the FBI, “heroic”. Cantero has not renounced his opinion.

Please call Governor Jeb Bush, 305-348-6870, who says he has only received about ten calls on this matter.

It is important for justice toward Cuba, Florida, and for all of us in the United States that the Florida Supreme Court not have a seat for someone who has publicly defended terrorism against Cuba.

Jane Franklinvia e-mail