Magazine article Insight on the News

Hey, Fidel, Don't Forget the Cigars

Magazine article Insight on the News

Hey, Fidel, Don't Forget the Cigars

Article excerpt

Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington state, has joined the Seattle City Council to extend a special invitation to Cuban President Fidel Castro to visit Seattle during the meeting of the World Trade Organization, or WTO, in November. The gesture is over and above the normal invitation extended to officials of countries participating in the WTO.

As a member of the House Progressive Caucus, McDermott is linked closely to the Democratic Socialist USA group (see "Extremism in Defense of Virtue," Feb. 22) which in part is responsible for the flood of protesters expected in Seattle for the WTO event. Their pitch -- echoed by national leaders such as Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, consumer activist Ralph Nader, labor leader Jim Hoffa and Pat Buchanan -- is that WTO is "a disaster for democracy, workers and the environment."

Press reports indicate there may be as many protesters as delegates and journalists (5,000 to 7,000). Should Castro accept the invitation, the number of protesters might swell. …

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