Letters to the Editor: I fled communism in Cuba. Everyone there is oppressed, no matter their ethnicity

People gather during a demonstration in Havana on July 11.
Supporters of the Cuban government demonstrate in Havana on July 11.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: In her recent column urging a shift in Cuba policy, Jean Guerrero makes two tragic but typical mistakes.

First, she pits Cuban whites against Cuban persons of color, assuming that the prosperity of whites (it was the rich ones, after all, who fled the communist regime, wasn’t it?) numbs them to the plight of their fellow Cubans.

As a white Marielito Cuban who lived in abject poverty for the first 13 years of his life under the Cuban regime’s oppression, and having met many like me during my time in that country, I can assure Guerrero that in Cuba, people of all skin colors suffer the same plight.


Secondly, the assumption that economic relief will inspire Cubans to aspire to a more liberal system fails miserably when one considers China, another communist country. Anyone who thinks economic improvements or prosperity will necessarily bring about political change needs to understand the fact that regimes intent on retaining power have proved themselves unwilling to surrender any.

The U.S. economic embargo against Cuba may have failed miserably, but I was there when dollars from Miami and care packages with Lee jeans started rolling in. The communist regime and its oppression kept on ticking.

Eduardo Suastegui, Downey


To the editor: Cuba does have a communist government and is not a democracy, and that is also true for Vietnam and China, but companies still do business in the latter countries. Intel’s largest chip plant is in Vietnam.

The U.S. was instrumental in the overthrow of democracies in Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil, Iran, Egypt and Peru, and it supported the dictators in those countries as well as in Cuba prior to the hasty departure in 1959 of Fulgencio Batista, with many millions of dollars of the Cuban government’s money.

Cuba has a higher literacy rate and lower infant mortality rate than the United States. Heaven forbid that a country without white elites running it be allowed to prosper.


Bruce Stenman, Prunedale, Calif.


To the editor: Brava and thank you to Guerrero. After weeks of shoddy and partisan reporting in U.S. media on the Cuba protests, here is a simple, clear analysis of the current situation between the two countries.

Crucially, Guerrero well explains the race and class dynamics that are rarely discussed in U.S. reporting on Cuba.

On the subject of embargoes, isn’t it odd that no country has ever blockaded the United States for its actions in Vietnam, Central America, the Middle East and many other places?

John Newby, Studio City