Speaker addresses human rights issues in Cuba

The Chief of Mission for the U.S. Interests Section, James C. Cason, came to UM to speak to the Cuban Transition Project about the struggle for human rights in Cuba.
Cason, a career foreign service officer, has spent the last eight months in Havana, Cuba, seeing first-hand the life of the average Cuban citizen and how it can be improved.
Following Fidel Castro’s recent crackdown on the regime opposition, the U.S. is focusing its policy toward Cuba on bringing back the citizens’ rights and opportunities.
“All of our allies agree that their policy goal in Cuba is, ultimately, the same as ours,” Cason said. “They want rapid and peaceful transition to a democratic government characterized by strong support for human rights and an open market economy.”
According to Cason, it was unclear what type of support the U.S. will offer Cuban citizens in the future, but in the past, the U.S. has interacted with many different members of society by inviting civil society representatives to participate in events. The U.S has also provided citizens with information on democratic ways via books, news clippings and Internet access, not readily available in Cuba.
UM students agree that most Cubans are facing a life of poverty and the U.S. needs to take an active role to get the citizens of Cuba their rights back.
Karen Salazar, junior, mentioned that some citizens ignore the fight for obtaining human rights.
“Some people are sucking up to the government to live a cushioned life,” Salazar said. “The majority are not so fortunate and are forced to live a life of poverty.”
Other students believe that the U.S. should take an active interest in Cuba, especially since it is so close to the U.S.
“Even though the U.S. made a few mistakes in its interactions with Cuba early on by letting Castro continue to gain power, they need to step up and help take Castro out of power now,” Michelle Panting, sophomore, said. “If we can go all the way to Iraq we can certainly help Cuba who is right there.”
Carson ended his speech with the idea that the Cuban people will have to decide how the Cuban government changes.
“Cubans will decide how the Cuba of tomorrow takes shape, and more importantly, the role that each Cuban will have in it,” Carson said.

Erin Wright can be contacted at

April 11, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.