It’s past time to address failed Cuban embargo

To the editor:

Depending on one’s political leanings, Americans either applauded or criticized the president’s State of the Union address, which was designed to encourage the shaping of a better world. There was one area, however, which was omitted from the speech but deserved at least a footnote to international relations: the Cuban embargo.

The U.S.-imposed embargo, which 11 million Cubans refer to as a blockade, was initiated more than 50 years ago, its purpose being to bring down the communist regime of Fidel Castro. Today, Fidel Castro is an octogenarian, and the embargo, which serves only to make life more difficult for the Cuban people, is often seen ironically as a convenient excuse for some of the more glaring failures of Cuba’s social system.

The island is fewer than 90 miles off the coast of Florida. It’s no potential enemy to the United States — notably, our country has established diplomatic and commercial ties with Vietnam and China. Change will come to Cuba only when the United States encourages it, through cultural and tourist exchanges, but also with Big Macs, blue jeans and free trade, which is carried on now on a limited basis.

Isn’t it time to put aside the fractious Miami Cuban anti-Castro voting bloc and dismantle the embargo once and for all?




No going back

To the editor:

I can relate to the angry letters concerning the Republic Services weekly recycling program being forced upon people who are used to having twice-weekly trash pickup and biweekly recycling. I felt the same way when my homeowner’s association agreed to be part of a pilot program about two years ago. I was angry. I called the association and Republic Services. I was told to please give it a chance, and that the feds were behind the mandate for more recycling.

I was given two large, wheeled cans and the day of the week for pickup. I pouted, but what could I do? One of the cans was just for the recyclables.

The end result is that my recycle container is usually the fullest. The only thing that I could see as a drawback is if someone has week-old diapers sitting in the trash during our hottest months, although sealing them in plastic bags would help greatly.

On the plus side, I hated the colored milk crates I used to have for recycling, especially on windy days, as we would have paper blowing all over the neighborhood. If we had to go back to that now, I wouldn’t bother with the recycling at all.




Airport confusion

To the editor:

Recently I had to pick up my wife at McCarran International Airport. The airline itinerary specified that her flight would land at Terminal 1. Thus I was waiting for her at that terminal. I kept checking the monitor, and eventually I learned that her plane had landed 30 minutes prior with no terminal specified.

Later on, when I still could not find my wife at Terminal 1, I checked with information and was told that her plane had unloaded at Terminal 3. By the time I went back to my car, drove over to Terminal 3, parked and walked through the terminal, another 30 minutes had passed.

My wife had to go to Vancouver for medical treatments. Being 75 years old, the long day was already very hard on her without adding another hour to her day. When I finally located my wife, she was in tears, which attracted the attention of others. Two different people came over to us, telling us that they had similar problems.

We think the airport should have some way to let those people who are waiting in Terminal 1 know that their loved ones have landed at Terminal 3 instead. We hope the airport will find a way to solve this recurring problem. We would suggest they put in extra monitors for T3 or, on the existing monitors, add a terminal designation.



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