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With relations normalized, let Cuba be Cuba

To the editor: Strange way to begin normal relations with Cuba: With the U.S. flag flying over the embassy in Havana on only its first day, the United States provoked Cuba by calling for "genuine democracy," political freedom and greater human rights. To top these provocations, Secretary of State John F. Kerry met privately with several activists Saturday. ("Top U.S., Cuban diplomats spar over human rights after U.S. Embassy in Havana reopens," Aug. 14)

In other words, we want the Cubans to be like us.

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Why can't the U.S. accept and respect Cuba and its people, warts and all? Why are we demanding that they change to conform to our way? Are we so good that we have the right to look down on other people? Are we meeting with their activists to encourage them to revolt against the leaders we just shook hands with?

I suggest the United States follow Kerry's parting statement: "Cuba's future is for Cubans to shape. The responsibility for change rests solely with the citizens of this country, without any outside entity" — or, I would add, America's arrogance.

Rogelio Peña, Montebello

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