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September 18, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-18

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Page 4-Tuesday, September 18,1979--The Michigan Daily

~bc tcipjgan vatI
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXX, No, 11 News Phone: 764-0552

Cuba still defending developing nation

Edited andmanaged by students at the University of Michigan

Round three: The Regents
vs. Divestment

4FOR THE THIRD time in seven
months, it is more than likely that
a campus group will disrupt a meeting
of the governing body of the Univer-
sity. That group - the Washtenaw
County Coalition Against Apartheid
(WCCAA) - met this week to map ut
its strategy for this week's Regents'
meetings on Thursday and Friday.
Arid while they reserved the right to
keep their plans open, to change,
coalition members advocated a con-
tinuation of the tactics employed at the
Regents' meetings in March and April.
Those disruptions should be con-
ti ued by the WCCAA despite the fact
that, in general, disruptions of Regen-
ts' meetings. cannot be condoned. In-
terrupting the business of the gover-
nng body of the University is a serious
offense unless the issue in question is of
saJch magnitude that it can determine
whether a group lives in a free society
0i one dominated by racism. In this
c se, it has a large impact on the
backs in South Africa.
It was during last March's meeting
that nearly 250 students disrupted the
Board's session, advocating total
djvestment of University funds in
banks and corporations doing business
in South Africa. After nearly an hour of
confusion, the Regents finally could
take no more, and left the Ad-
ministration Building. They met later
in another room after obtaining a tem-
porary injunction forbidding any
pr'testers from attending the heeting,
Though not forcing the Regents to
divest from South Africa, the.coalition
succeeded in garnering sorely needed
publicity and some more broadly
b sed support for its cause. WCCAA
d not ke the Regents yield but it:
certainly gave them something to
think about.
At the April meeting, the coalition
adopted a much more peaceful policy.
Instead of a vocal and often disruptive
protest, the group's members par-
tiipated in a dramatic and symbolic
display of the events now occurring in
South Africa. The message was the
same: By keeping some of its money in
vested in that country's apartheid
regime, the University is tacitly sup-
porting that system.
But again, the Regents did not listen.
They just conducted their normal
business, conceding that a more exten-
sive review of the situation by the
Senate Assembly Advisory Committee
of Financial Affairs (SAACFA) might
give new light to the .divestiture
question. Ordering the report to be
finished as soon as possible, the Regen-
ts said they had taken a significant
step to resolve the controversy.

It was a step in the right direction,
but it was not nearly enough. For
although that recently-released SAC-
FA report calls for further divestment
than allowed under the University's
current policy, it stops short of total
divestment - the only proper and
responsible step the University can
take.
The SACFA report is encouraging
because it shows that some members
of the University community believe
indirect assistance to the Bothea
regime reflects irresponsible invest-
ment practices and contradicts the
University's endless search for moral
truths in society. That hypocrisy has so
far been pointed out only by the
coalition and a small minority of the
school's faculty. Now that SACFA fin-
ds some truth to that argument,
perhaps the further gains may come
easier.
The WCCAA disagrees that any
positive results will come from the
SACFA report, scheduled to be given to
the Regents at this week's meetings.
Coalition members say the report is
only one more small concession on the
University's part to modify their
demands for total divestment. This so-
called step-by-step approach must be
taken seriously. Since the Regents'
meeting in March, 1978, the Board has
divested only from two companies -
Black & Decker and J.D. Searle.
And those two withdrawals came only
after the Regents had felt much
pressure from others in the University
community.
At its meeting last week, the
coalition vowed to disrupt the Regents'
meeting if the goals of total divestment
are not met The grp also Wants to be
able to present its revisions to the
SACFA and discuss the'issue with the
Regents.
It's not likely, however, that the
Regents will concede to any of those
demands, so a disruption can be expec-
ted, and rightfully so.-
The WCCAA has tried in numerous
ways to persuade the University to
change its anti-divestment stance. It
has called on the support of students
and faculty members to plead its case
before the Board.
Since all other possible tactics were
exhausted, the coalition had no alter-
native but to disrupt last March's
meeting, and are totally justified in
repeating that scene this week.
It may not achieve its aims, but the
Regents must be harassed until they
face the facts on the apartheid system
in South Africa, and what the only
responsibly course of action is:
divestment.

There is a very strong correlation between
the current efforts of the U.S. military to
reestablish the -Araft and recent U.S. gover-
nment attacks onCuba, including the debate
over the presence of Soviet troqps in Cuba,
and Cuban military power.
At the opening speech of the conference of
nonaligned nations, Fidel Castro presented
the exact reason why Cuba is a target of U.S.
imperialism:
"Cuba isn't exactly a country that is
inconsistent toward the imperialists. Cuba
has never ceased to practice'a policy of
close solidarity with the national
liberation movements and all other just
causes of our times. Cuba has never
hesitated to defend its political prin-
ciples ... nor, in over twenty years, has
it ever stopped fighting against the
aggression and the blockade imposed by
the most powerful imperialist country in
the world simply because Cuba carried
out a genuine political and social
revolution just ninety miles from the
country's coast. "
REVOLUTIONARY CUBA carries out a
theory in practice that runs totally against
U.S. foreign policy. Whereas Cuba defends
and aids just liberation movements such as
Vietnam, Angola and now victorious
Nicaragua, the U.S. is either the direct
aggressor or supporter of these racist, un-
democratic regimes that Cuba and its allies
fight.
The U.S. government and army was and
still is the aggressor in Southeast Asia; the
U.S. government supported apartheid South
Africa's invasion of Angola after the Angolan
people overthrew Portuguese colonialism;
and the U.5. imposed and fully armed the
Somoza regime that tried to bomb its own
people into oblivion with U.S. weapons.
Tiny Cuba, with under ten million people
and a much poorer nation than the rich U.S.,
makes incredible sacrifices to rebuild these
nations devastated, by U.S.-backed
aggression. Cuba sends 1000's of doctors,
teachers and construction workers to coun-
tries like Vietnam, that are at one time
promised reparations by the U.S government
for war damages, but instead receives a
criminal economic blockade.
THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION refuses
to send the millions of dollars worth of aid it
promised Nicaragua which needs 300 tons of

By Bob Warren
food per day to feed over one million hungry
people. The U.S. state department replies, "If
you complain, you won't receive any aid."
Yet, Cuba, drawing on its experience of
eliminating diptheria and polio and raising its
average age from under 55 to over 70, sends
medical brigades to Nicaragua. The latter
has an infant army mortality rate of between
120 and 150 per 1000 live births, but has only
two hospital beds per 1000 people.
uba's minister of public health Dr. Jose A.
Gutierrez Muniz said, "Our doctors will
remain here (Nicaragua) as long as they are
needed, even in those places where the dif-
ficulties are the greatest, and we will continue
to send more doctors wherever they are
needed, in answer to the Nicaraguan
authorities' request."
As a recent visitor to Cuba, I learned first
hand about the educational process in Cuba
which teaches all of its youth about solidarity
and support for all of the oppressed people in
the world, especially those in the under-
developed nations.
Cuba, which completely wiped out its high
illiteracy rate with literacy campaigns just
after its own revolution, has volunteered to
help lead the literacy campaigns set for 1980
in Nicaragua with teachers and aids. The U.S.
government has not promised comparable
aid.
THE YOUTH OF CUBA learn about the role
imperialism, especially that of the U.S., has
played in the aforementioned nations and
many others. They learn that the security of
the Cuban revolution and that of all colonial
or neo-colonial peoples lies with the struggle
against imperialist domination.
Many Cubans told me they are not ordered
to serve in the army in Angola or Ethiopia or
sent on medical, education or construction
brigades to Africa, Asia or Latin America.
Rather they volunteer for service. When a
nation seeks Cuban aid, the Cuban people
respond by volunteering. I met several people
who were disappointed when they were
refused an opporuntity to serve abroad due to
the drain on the Cuban economy their added
service would cause.
Cuba does not receive any economic benefit
from defending and extending its own
revolution abroad. Its people are fulfilling the
highest expression of proletarian inter-

nationalism. Furthermore, Cuba is invited to
these nations, while not forcing itself in
nations or installing dictators like Somoza ofe
the Shah'as does the CIA.
Cognizant of Cuba's attitude towards aiding
and defegding the people of developing'
nations, the U.S.' war drive, manifested in a
draft, is threatened. The recent attack on the
presence of Soviet troops in Cuba is one
example of this apprehension.
HOW OUTRAGEOUS of the U.S. to con
demn Soviet presence in Cuba, when the U.S~'
maintains a naval base at Guantanamo Bay
in Cuba with over 3,000 armed servicepeoplefl
of its own. This base is the result of the Platt"
amendment of 1901, that the present ^
revolutionary government and people rnust"
unwillingly accept.
It remains absurd to believe the Cuban-
people want U.S. military presence on theiie
island, the same U.S. military that organized.
the defeated Bay of Pigs invasion and
numerous attempts on Castro's life. Any
presence of the Soviet Union in Cuba is by the'
will of the Cuban leadership, not forced upon'
it be sellout treaties and an intimidating
"Monroe Doctrine" from previous epochs. 1
People in the U.S. have a tendency to forget
that the Cuban revolution was not led by a.
communist party under orders from the
Kremlin, rather by an independent national
movement.
For Senator Henry Jacksoi to alert the'
people of the U.S. to the threat by Cuba to U.S.
oil tankers is pure cold warism.
CUBA IS A VERY poor nation, that is one,
of the rare nations on earth that spends much:
mode money on education than on the,
military. The U.S. spends $136 billion per year
on its "defense." Why would tiny Cuba attack
the U.S. when the result would by the island:
being blown by nuclear bombs out of the
Carribean Sea?
Finally, the U.S. government is afraid of a
people that has a love for the people of the
United States. Dozens of Cubans told me, "
have nothing but love for the Americauj
people. It is the U.S. government I don't sup-
port because of its treatment of Cuba andq
its own people."
This perspective is dangerous to U.S. policy.
because it presents a foreign influence th4
cares more about the people of the U.S. than
does the U.S. government itself.
Bob Warren, a member of the Young
Socialist Alliance, visited Cuba this sumt-
mer.

Weasel
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