The massive exodus of Cubans challenging the shark-infested waters of the Florida straits is evidence of the intolerable situation that Cubans have been experiencing under the Castro regime for nearly four decades. Those who have never experienced life under an oppressive police state, as my family and I have, may have difficulty identifying with the plight of the many Cubans who, in desperation, would much rather risk their lives on the high seas than continue to live under the abuses of the world's greatest living tyrant.
The three pounds of rice per person a month and one pound of meat per person per month of the late '60s now appear to be the "good ol' days" for those in the island nation. With the fall of communism throughout the world, Fidel Castro has found himself to be odd man out, a pariah in the community of nations. Rather than attempting reforms that would ease the misery experienced by the people of Cuba, he has stepped up his "austere measures" even further and has brought despair to already hopeless lives.If there was ever a time when this great immigrant nation of ours was to open its arms, it is now. President Clinton must continue the U.S. policy of granting preferential status to Cubans seeking political refuge. It is the humanitarian thing to do for a people who have been treated inhumanly for so long.
S. Jorge Mena