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Carter Ready to Head to Cuba
AP ^ | 4/18/02

Posted on 04/18/2002 9:12:01 AM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection

Jimmy Carter announced Thursday that he will head a delegation to Cuba on May 12-17, making him the first American president in or out of office to visit this communist country during Fidel Castro's 43 years in power.

"I look forward to this opportunity to meet with Cuban people from all walks of life and to talk with President Castro," Carter said in a statement issued in Atlanta, where his nonprofit Carter Center is based. The center earlier said the trip was planned for May, but gave no exact dates.

The visit by Carter and his wife, Rosalyn, comes amid a toughening of the White House's policies toward Cuba. The State Department has said it hopes Carter will deliver Castro a message in favor of democracy and human rights.

Carter does plan to discuss human rights with Cuban leaders, said Jennifer McCoy, director of the Carter Center's Americas program. McCoy, a Georgia State University professor, will travel in the delegation.

"As a leader who made human rights the centerpiece of his administration, President Carter is looking forward to a full discussion of this issue," McCoy said in the statement from Atlanta.

But, she added, "President Carter is traveling as a private citizen with no intention of entering into negotiations with the government of Cuba."

Castro has said he would not mind hearing criticism, insisting that the most important thing is for Carter to see the country for himself.

Castro invited Carter to visit Cuba when they were honorary pallbearers at the October 2000 funeral of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Castro reiterated his invitation in writing in January, and Carter accepted soon afterward.

The Treasury Department, which regulates travel by Americans to Cuba under the U.S. trade embargo, issued a license in early April for Carter's visit.

Carter said that although he did not think his trip would change Cuba's policies, "it is an opportunity to explore issues of mutual interest between our citizens and to share ideas on how to improve the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

"More than a century after Cuba's independence, our two countries have not yet developed a constructive relationship," he added.

During his 1977-1981 presidential term, Carter slightly eased diplomatic and travel restrictions to Cuba.

The delegation will include Latin America scholar Robert Pastor, an Emory University professor. He also is adviser to the Carter Center's Americas program, established in 1986 to strengthen democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

Among others in the group will be Dr. John Hardman, a physician and executive director of the Carter Center, which the Carters founded in 1982 as a nonprofit organization to advance peace and health worldwide.

TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: carter; cuba

1 posted on 04/18/2002 9:12:01 AM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Do they grow peanuts in Cuba? I'm trying to think of something Jimmy can do (as opposed to something Jimmy will do).
2 posted on 04/18/2002 9:21:08 AM PDT by Savage Beast
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

A non-profit institution to promote health and good diet, that's what I'll set up, and we'll have field trips to relate with Cuban dieticians.

Some might call them beautiful vacations, but that's in the eye of the beholder.

For patriotic reasons, field trips will spend only U.S. dollars, thus infiltrating the Cuban government socialist empire with American capitalism.

I'm in the cattle business, so that fulfills the non-profit bit.

We'll be competing with other tourists from all over the world, but a Michael Jordan poster can get us to the front of a line nearly anywhere.

The only hang-up might be running into the Carter's?

Maybe not, they probably won't be in jazz clubs, sucking rum and dancing all night. Pity.

Cute Tim, but the more I think about it...................


3 posted on 04/18/2002 9:31:13 AM PDT by AzJP
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To: AzJP
Can we get the Cubans to keep him?
4 posted on 04/18/2002 10:01:48 AM PDT by Taylor42
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To: Taylor42
We can try, but if one Cubano asks what he's good for, we might have a marketing disadvantage. I really don't know his skills. Can he drink, smoke, tango, tip tavern girls? Anything useful? Swing a hammer?


5 posted on 04/18/2002 10:45:14 AM PDT by AzJP
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
All right! Castro will be raving mad after the first three months...
6 posted on 04/18/2002 10:58:21 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: AzJP
I wish Jimmy Carter would go back to picking peanuts!! He shows up everywhere there is to do his "make peace with the devil" routine. A lot of times, it would be better for the US if he would just stay home and shut up!
7 posted on 04/18/2002 11:20:13 AM PDT by Canadian Outrage
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Maybe he can give them the Panama Canal. Oh...wait...he already gave that away.


8 posted on 04/18/2002 11:21:45 AM PDT by Tuor
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To: Tuor;all
Maybe he can give them the Panama Canal. Oh...wait...he already gave that away....

No lie, neighbor- I still think that bit of muddle-headedness will turn & bite us:

Unresolved Questions- the Panama canal, good, bad, or a waiting disaster?--thread II

And I wonder what he'd think of all the information here:

The Web of Terror

Castro, the Carribean, and Terrorism

9 posted on 04/18/2002 11:33:32 AM PDT by backhoe
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To: Taylor42
Actually, I was hoping for a trade: Elian for Jimmy. Think Fidel would go for it?
10 posted on 04/18/2002 11:36:33 AM PDT by Night Hides Not
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11 posted on 04/18/2002 11:39:40 AM PDT by SerpentDove
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
What say you just stay in cuba there peanut man.
12 posted on 04/18/2002 11:45:05 AM PDT by Joe Boucher
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
___Executive Director of Carter Institute: Dr. John Hardman - Child psychiatrist --headed the Initiative to Reduce Global Tobacco Use. ***

I guess he's going to tell Castro to stop making cigars and give Elian a once over.

___ National Security Council (1977-81) , Fellow-Carter Center: Robert A. Pastor Toward a North American Community: Lessons from the Old World for the New

I guess he's going to reminisce with Jimmy and Fidel about setting up Cuban - U.S. Interest Sections and lifting of travel ban during Carter's presidency.

___The Carter Center

___1976 Jimmy Carter Times Man of the Year.

___ Old Foes United in Their Grief: Presidents Carter and Castro Both Felt Close to our Late Prime Minister *** Each had their special relationship with Trudeau. While president in 1977-81, Carter sought advice on world affairs from the more senior statesman. "I think, more than any other person I know, Pierre Trudeau has been a symbol of unity, of human rights, of democracy and freedom around the world and was a great leader, even to help American presidents," Carter said. Castro's relationship with Trudeau was sealed during the PM's historic visit to Cuba in 1976. The trip opened a new era of friendship that continues today. The Cuban leader's affection is so strong that, before leaving Havana for the funeral, he declared a three-day period of mourning and had the flags of his nation lowered to half-staff.***

___ Carter to visit Cuba; he'll be 1st ex-president there since '59*** ''As you probably would remember, when I was president, I departed from my predecessors and unfortunately my successors, in lifting all travel restraints on American citizens to go to Cuba almost immediately when I was president within a few weeks,'' Carter said. ``And I also established interests sections, which is one step short of full diplomatic relationships between Havana and Washington. And those interest sections with staffs representing our countries have never been closed.***

13 posted on 04/18/2002 1:35:55 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Night Hides Not

March 27, 2002

Por Jesús J. Chao*


La Nueva Cuba

Abril 11, 2002

Dear Mr. Carter:

It is unconscionable that you, a man of principle that once received the highest honor of being chosen to be president of this great nation is planning to travel to the main terrorist stronghold in this hemisphere in a mission aimed to aid and abet a bloody tyrant leader of a country recognized by the U.S. State Department among the five main terrorist states in the world while undermining President Bush's war against terrorism.

Thousands of Islamic, Spanish ETA, Colombian FARC, Irish IRA, Puerto Rican "Macheteros", Peruvian "Sendero Luminoso," and every other brand of terrorists and most of the guerrillas in Latin America have received haven, training, financing, logistical and intelligence support from the Cuban regime. Tens of thousands died in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and the Far East at the hands of Castro's armies and proxies. This is not counting the tens of thousands of Cubans murdered by his infamous firing squads, over 500,000 Cubans who suffered the rigors and tortures of Castro's political dungeons, and the untold tens of thousands who died trying to cross the Florida Straits in fragile makeshift rafts in their pursuit for freedom.

I am sure you are well informed that Castro has defaulted in all his international financial obligations and also encourages other Third World countries to do likewise. Castro stopped payments long ago on the 12 billion dollar debt to the Paris Club of European Banks. He owes over 2 billion dollars to Japan, 9 billion to Spain, 1.28 billion to Argentina and several billions more to England, Venezuela and every other of the 150 countries that were unwise enough to deal with him.

According to Euromoney's country investment risk survey, Cuba was placed in 183rd place out of 187 countries, ranking even below Somalia. "Why then, investors may ask, should they bother with Cuba in a world replete with opportunities and more welcoming governments?" The Financial Times reported on June 30 1995. The reason is obvious: Cuba is a paradise for money laundering from terrorism, drug traffic, for hiding the proceeds from the graft and pillage of corrupt politicians, and a sanctuary for American murderers and money swindlers fugitive of the U.S. justice. No honest businessman would get involved with a criminal in a country where there is no rule of law and everybody is at the expense of Castro's whims.

In Cuba, Castro and the State are just one and the same; he allocates the product of his joint ventures with foreigners and the income from money laundering to his accounts in Switzerland without ever passing through the Cuban Treasure. In fact, Castro, according to Forbes, is among the richest chief of state in the world while the Cuban people are kept in dire poverty.

Another factor you have to reconcile with is that every deal; every investment in Cuba is a "joint venture" in partnership with the Cuban tyrant, and that includes being part of slave labor practices, for which those entrepreneurs and multinationals, sooner or later, will pay dearly just as it happened with the companies involved in slave labor during the Nazi era. Any foreign company investing in Cuba must pay Castro between 8 to 9 thousands dollars a year for each worker they hire, Castro on the other hand, pays the worker in Cuban pesos the equivalent of $180 per year, an outrageous bribe without parallel in the world. In fact, you know quite well that the American companies are prohibited by our laws to be involved in any kind of bribe when dealing with other countries.

You had your days of glory with the Camp Davis Peace Accord, but Sadat was a patriot, a man of extraordinary courage and strong moral and religious principles. I know Castro, and Castro is not Sadat.

You also had great failures during your presidency, skyrocketing inflation, the highest interest rates and of unemployment in decades and even worse, the steep decline of U.S.' prestige in the world.

I wonder, where you had been living for the last 43 years? Cuba is a country with state of the art chemical, biological and cyber warfare capabilities aimed against the U.S. Fidel Castro has been all his life a declared mortal enemy of the U.S. and the values it represents. This is the same dictator who urged Soviet Prime Minister, Nikita Khrushchev, to nuke our cities during the Missile Crisis, and whose henchmen took special delight in brutally torturing our P.O.W.'s during the Vietnam War. Have you forgotten the Americans taken as hostages by the Iranian hoodlums, and the Mariel boatlift?

Who do you want to emulate, the Duke of Windsor, or the English former Socialist Prime Minister of England, Loyd George, who called Hitler the "greatest living German" during a visit to Berlin in 1935? Or do you want to dethrone Prime Minister Chamberlain's record as the greatest appeaser in history? What is the purpose of your trip to Cuba, to reward Castro with the American taxpayers largesse for all his crimes against humanity?

Mr. Carter, you were a failure as a president, but everybody acknowledges that you are a man with a good heart, please, do not destroy your good name, you are not the President of the U.S. anymore, leave it to President Bush and his most able team of foreign affairs experts to deal with Castro.

Sincerely yours, Jesús J. Chao

Carter's e.mail:

14 posted on 04/19/2002 10:11:10 AM PDT by Dqban22
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