To the editor: I see that President Trump plans to cut back on ties with Cuba because President Raul Castro "has failed to improve human rights or expand political freedoms" since Trump's predecessor restored diplomatic relations with that nation in 2015. ("Trump considers reversing historic Obama-era opening with Cuba," June 11)
Perhaps if Cuba had public beheadings and stonings like our good friends in Saudi Arabia — there's human rights for you — Trump could travel to the Caribbean nation, do his sword dance and receive a gold medallion from the king.
Oh, wait, Cuba doesn't have very much oil. Never mind.
Jay Berman, Manhattan Beach
To the editor: President Obama restarted U.S. relations with Cuba without negotiating an arrangement for getting back the U.S. fugitives given sanctuary by Cuba, including the convicted murderer of a New Jersey state trooper.
Obama, clearly not the negotiator Trump is, also failed to get Castro to give his people greater civil rights. This last year gave the Cuban people a good idea of what meaningful relations with the U.S. could be.
Bob Guarrera, Laguna Niguel
To the editor: Human rights is "something that's very strong to him," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said to reporters about Trump.
The current administration doesn't want everyone in the U.S. to have healthcare, and ties with other countries with worse human rights records than Cuba are not being severed, so Spicer's statement cannot be true. Therefore, I must conclude that The Times got the quote wrong, the press secretary made up something about Trump, or he was told to say it.
Punishing Cuba is yet another trick by this administration to keep our focus off real issues such as healthcare, education, immigration and financial industry regulation.
Gregg Ferry, Carlsbad
To the editor: Apparently, our president does not remember the Cuban missile crisis.
Russia has announced that it plans to invest $2 billion in the Cuban rail system and is considering reopening a military base on the island. Scaling back U.S. relations with Cuba and withdrawing from the Paris climate accord will allow nations like China and Russia to fill the leadership void.
We can only guess what Trump's real reason is for giving these gifts to Russia and China, but it certainly is not in the best interests of our country.
Lucia Dzwonczyk, San Pedro