Magazine article The Christian Century

NCC's Edgar Knocks Bush Stance on Cuba. (News)

Magazine article The Christian Century

NCC's Edgar Knocks Bush Stance on Cuba. (News)

Article excerpt

The general secretary of the National Council of Churches, who worked to reunite Elian Gonzalez with his Cuban family, said President Bush is wrong to maintain the embargo on Cuba. Bob Edgar spoke to the Washington Office on Latin America at the same time the president was speaking in Miami about his refusal to lift the 40-year-old trade embargo against the communist nation.

"If we really want to invade Cuba with democracy, the best way is to lift the embargo, not impose the embargo," said Edgar, a United Methodist minister and a former six-term Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania. Bush said the island nation "has been insulted by a tyrant who uses brutal methods to enforce a bankrupt vision. [The Cuban] legacy has been debased by a relic from another era who has turned a beautiful island into a prison."

Bush, speaking on May 20 not long after former President Jimmy Carter had visited Cuba and recommended U.S. policy changes, said the embargo would remain in place until President Fidel Castro takes meaningful steps toward reform. Just days after assuming his office in early 2000, Edgar became embroiled in the struggle over Elian, the six-year-old Cuban boy who was found floating off Miami. …

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