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WORLD & NATION
Value of U.S. sanctions against Cuba debated
Fidel Castro, in a column published on the Internet, said it was 'fun to see how the guts of
the empire (U.S.) churn'..
Continued from page i
Opposing the bill. Democrat Senator Rob
ert Menendez of New Jersey asserts that
money invested from countries that have
done business with Cuba have fueled the
"If you want to change Cuba(n) policy,
fine, let's duke it out," said Menendez. "Let's
know who's for democracy and human
rights and who wants to sell their stuff no
matter how many people are in prison."
Menendez may have hurt himself politi
cally by not supporting his party's legisla
tion, especially in light of the fact that the bill
is gaining popularity.
However, he is reflecting the sentiment of
the displaced Cuban-American community
in United States, some whose property was
confiscated after the communist revolution.
"There is large portion of dispossessed
Cubans, who refuse to have anything to do
with Cuba until they're compensated," said
Assistant Professor of Political Science Rob
The bill has been defeated several times
with the support of the Cuban-American
community. If Obama lifts the travel restric
tions for all, it will mark the first time in
47 years that a U.S. citizen could travel to
"It's sort of all over but the shouting,
whether our country should maintain this
embargo," said Senate Democratic Policy
chairman Byron Dorgan. "It's pretty dear to
everybody that this is a failed strategy and
has been a failed strategy for a long time."
However, the Obama administration
maintains that it wants to keep the trade
embargo in place to press for democratic re
forms and force the government to improve
their human rights record.
"The road to freedom for all Cubans must
begin with justice for Cuba's political prison
ers, the right of free speech, a free press, free
dom of assembly, and it must lead to elec
tions that are free and fair," said Obama on
his campaign trail.
The proposal to allow travel may be the
first step in reversing the almost half-cen
tury restriction. The proposed revisions to
the trade embargo would open a market for
agricultural sales providing much-needed
revenue for Midwest farmers.
"The embargo was a poorly designed
piece of legislation that has hurt us as a coun
try economically," said Duncan. "It prevents
us from investing in Cuba or having any
business relations. I think it's about time to
normalize relations and lift the sanctions."
Sudanese President challenges
sovereignty of the ICC
By Thoms Wotherspoon
War crimes and crimes
against humanity charges have
been brought against Sudan's
President Omar Hassan Ahmad
al-Bashir for his participation in
the atrocities of Darfur.
"He is suspected of being
criminally responsible, as an
indirect (co-)perpetrator, for
intentionally directing attacks
against an important part of the
civilian population of Darfur,
Sudan, murdering, exterminat
ing, raping, torturing and forc
ibly transferring large numbers
of civilians, and pillaging their
property," said a statement re
leased from the International
Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC issued a warrant for
the arrest of Al-Bashir on May
4 after a year of deliberation.
From April 2003 until July 14,
2008, Al-Bashir allegedly orga
nized attacks directed towards
the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa
peoples in Darfur. A f -
ter the warrant was mandated,
Al-Bashir ordered the removal
of all foreign organizations op
erating in Sudan, including aid-
based groups such as Oxfam
UK and Mercy Corps.
Recently, even Sudanese non
(NGOs) are dissolving, such as
the Sudan Development Orga
nization. These developments
are leaving many of the Suda
nese people with no other op
tions than starving in refugee
camps, amidst general turmoil
in the country.
Adding to the situation is the
complexity of the ICC's arrest
warrant, which contains many
jurisprudential stipulations in
"The ICC is supported by a
coalition of states," said junior
and peace and conflict studies
major Robin Shores. "So the
only jurisdiction that the ICC
has, is given by its member
Sudan is not a member of the
coalition that makes up the ICC.
As a non-member, Al-Bashir is
outside the statutes that would
bring about his arrest. Recog
nizing this flaw in the ICC's
capabilities, Al-Bashir recently
visited the Arab League Sum
mit to rally support for him
"What is happening now
with regards to Sudan is a new
chapter in the chapters that
consider the Arabs weak and
disrespect the sovereignty of
their countries," said Syrian
President Bashar al-Hassad, at
The question of sovereignty,
concerning the ICC's authority.
is a not a new problem.
"The U.S. has also been dodg
ing the ICC for the past eight
years," said Shores. "There's
been controversy pertaining
to the ICC staying out of areas
where U.S. troops are stationed
in the Middle East."
With the continuation of West
ern involvement in the Middle
East, situations like the one in
Sudan are increasing Arab lead
ers' hostility towards organiza
tions like the ICC.
U.N. Secretary-General, Ban
Ki-Moon, who was present at
the Arab League Summit said,
"Relief efforts should not be
come politicized, people in
need must be helped, irrespec
tive of political differences."
Meanwhile, the Sudan and par
ticularly Darfur is operating
without the aid of foreign or
ganizations that intend to help
the common people. Al-Bashir
has support within his country
from some, particularly Arabs,
so it is a matter of time and
strategizing before the interna
tional community can reenter
Sudan and possibly remove Al-
Bashir from power.
If Al-Bashir is captured and
arrested by the ICC, his punish
ment is yet undecided. It is like
ly that he will be detained in a
detention center just outside of
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