Issues that ought to matter for Presidential candidates
The Presidential debate tonight (if it happens) is supposed to focus on foreign policy and will be moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS. Here are two questions that probably won't get asked.
1) US help to victims of four tropical storms and hurricanes in Cuba is limited by the long conflict between our countries. Should the President for humanitarian reasons temporarily suspend political and legal obstacles to:
--direct help from all private citizens to relatives and friends;
--large scale assistance from non-governmental organizations
--the sale of food and building materials; and
--travel to support such help?
2) How do you resolve a conflict between national policy goals and special interest swing state/ethnic politics? Both of you ignore national polls favoring normalization of US-Cuba relations and campaign as though votes in Florida are all that matters, though you have different takes on which Cuban American views are most important. Wouldn't a real change in policy toward Cuba, like ending all restrictions on travel, be in greater harmony with our Hemisphere and help rebuild our international reputation?
There is a another chance
On October 7 a Town Hall debate will be moderated by Tom Brokaw at Belmont University in Tennessee. All questions will come from the audience or be drawn by the moderator from the internet.
Betraying our own values
''The United States, in the past, has acted honorably and quickly in response to hurricanes in Central America, tsunamis in Indonesia and earthquakes in Pakistan: they come in first, with the most resources and without conditions,'' said Frank Mora, a Cuba expert at the National War College in Washington.
''That has not been the case for Cuba. It's embarrassing and shameful that politics has inserted itself at a time when so many Cuban people on the island are suffering,'' Mora said.
Miami Herald, 9/17/08
Almost 1000 Americans from diverse backgrounds have called for suspending political limits on assistance to hurricane victims http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Cubafloodaid/