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International Responsibilities Task Force
of the American Library Association's
Social Responsibilities Round Table

Letter to The New York Times:
Response to "A Cuban Revolution, in Reading"
Ann Sparanese
Opinions expressed in this letter do not necessarily reflect the views of IRTF, SRRT, or ALA.
To the Editor:
Re: A Cuban Revolution, in Reading 2/22/05
Suppose American citizens received cash, computers, fax machines etc. from a foreign government, in order to promote "regime change" in the U.S.? Suppose they openly collaborated with foreign diplomats to undermine our national security? Under U.S. law, such individuals -- even if they call themselves "librarians" -- are agents of a foreign power, subject to long prison terms.
The U.S. forbids foreign financial manipulation of its political processes, and so does Cuba.
The U.S. government, through the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and USAID, funnels thousands of dollars to Cuban dissidents, as part of its official policy of bringing down the Cuban government. This would never be tolerated in our country, if the shoe were on the other foot.
Furthermore, the accusations of "censorship" in Cuba's public libraries, have been disputed by delegations of American and international librarians who traveled there. Many of us also oppose the cynical use of "libraries" to further U.S. foreign policy goals.
Ann Sparanese
Englewood, NJ 07631
(The writer was a NY Times Librarian Award winner in 2003 and is a member of the American Library Association Council.)
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Page last modified March 3, 2005.