- - Monday, August 17, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Secretary of State John Kerry has taken a lot of heat for refusing to invite Cuban dissidents to today’s official flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy (“Cuba dissidents won’t attend U.S. Embassy event,” Web, Aug. 12). His justification has been that that there is not enough room to accommodate all the guests. This is disgraceful.

The U.S. Embassy in Havana is four times as big as the Cuban Embassy in Washington. Nevertheless, the latter invited over 500 guests to its flag-raising ceremony. Inviting dissidents would risk a boycott by Cuban officials.

To minimize the critics, Mr. Kerry announced that a small group will meet with him at the U.S. chief of mission’s home in the afternoon. Yesterday morning, Berta Soler of The Ladies in White and Antonio Rodiles of Estado de Sats rejected Mr. Kerry’s insulting second-fiddle offer. It is the difference between having a cover-page story in The Washington Times and having an ad in the local pennysaver.

It is shameful that Mr. Kerry has acquiesced to the demands of Cuban officials who want to portray to the world community a picture of the Caribbean island with a mojito-sipping, Cohiba-smoking crowd chanting, “Cuba, Si! Yankee, Si!” rather than “Cuba, si! Cuban dissidents, out!”

JORGE E. PONCE



Trinity, Fla.

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