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September 14, 1994 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-14

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 14, 1994

CUBA
Continued from page 1
Marx Theater- shelves were packed
as customers chose from foreign prod-
ucts including Coca-Cola, Gerber's
baby food and other American-made
goods smuggled here in violation of a
U.S. economic embargo.
But the prices after government
markups are prohibitive for the vast
majority of Cubans, whose salaries
average slightly more than $2 per
month, at the street exchange rate for
dollars. A 16-ounce can of Hormel
corned beef, for example, costs $4.20.
A six-pound bag of rice carries a $9
price tag. A box of 10 scouring pads
sells for $3.85.
"The fact is that in 1994 the cur-
rency of Cuba is the American dollar.
The Cuban peso is dead," said a West-
ern diplomat. "It's not even worth the
paper it's printed on."
At Supermarket 7016, the father
of a 3-year-old boy cradled two fro-
zen chickens at a packed checkout
line where a modern laser bar-code
reader tallied his purchase.
"I can't do anything with pesos.
Everyone hustles on the street to get
dollars, then you come here to buy
what you need," said the man.
He added that he would have to

spend six months' salary to purchase
the chickens with pesos. Instead, he
earns 10 to 20 times the value of his
salary selling Cuban cigars, rum and
bootleg gasoline in his spare time to
tourists for dollars along Havana's
seafront Malecon boulevard.
The chef buys ingredients from
clandestine vendors, who smuggle
goods through the streets in car trunks.
Possession of meat or seafood
obtained without a stamped govern-
ment ration coupon is illegal, carry-
ing the equivalent punishment of co-
caine possession in the United States.
Police can be seen searching vehicles
near resorts in hopes of uncovering
smuggling networks.
Police are aided by neighborhood
watch groups known as Committees
for the Defense of the Revolution,
whose main function these days is to
catch black-market dealers.
Since the Castro-led 1959 revolu-
tion, "Cuba has gone from the being
the eighth most-prosperous country
in the world in per capita,income to
one of the world's poorest. Today,
Havana is the 17th most-expensive
city in the world," said a diplomat
from a former Soviet Bloc country.
"We used to have a saying that
socialism was the dictatorship of the
proletariat," he added.

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WILHELM
Continued from page 3
something done that is good for
people; that is my ethic in politics. I
think, in the end, you get political
credit for doing things that make a
positive difference in people's lives.
Look at the difference in the Re-
publican approach and the Democratic
approach on health care. (Republican
Senator) Bob Dole would provide a
little assistance to poor people, and
pay for it through cuts in Medicare.
When the Republican alternative is
fully understood, we win.
Q: Have Democrats allowed Re-
publicans to take the offensive on the
'family values issue'?
A: When it comes to family val-
ues, who's against that? It's like the
flag in the 1980s. Somehow theDemo-
crats got on the defensive when it
came to the flag. We can not allow
that to happen when it comes to God
and family, nor should we. It's very
important that we very aggressively
assert how we are promoting the fam-
ily, and how faith informs what we
do. There's no reason to leave that to
Republicans on their own.
We sure should not allow the Re-
publicans to be the party of God and
family when it's the Democrats who
passed Family Medical Leave, the
expansion of the earned income tax
credit, who are fighting for health
care reform.
Q: One of the themes of your
speech was the involvement of young
voters, how that's an important de-
mographic for the Democrats. How
deeply involved are young people in
Democratic politics in Washington?
A: I think pretty deeply involved.
You look at presidential campaigns,
and they are staffed by and large by
younger people who are at a stage in
their life where they can make the
commitment to working seven days a
week, 18 hours a day.
I think this is a party that's always
been very open to significant partici-
pation to young people, and I hope it
will always be that way. I really meant
what I said: People who are agents for
change can only succeed when there
is a constituency for change.
Q: What do you expect to be doing
on the second Wednesday of Novem-
ber (the day after the mid-term elec-
tions)?
A: My wife's going to have our
baby on Nov. 27. It's a boy, and we
got the official blessing on Sunday. I
asked the minister to bless the name
Luke, and he said 'That'll be fine.' So
now we know what the name is.
We're ready for the next chapter
in our lives. I don't know exactly
what we're going to do. We're going
to go back to Chicago, I'm certainly
going to stay active in politics and

MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily
David Wilhelm, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, speaks to
more than 75 students at the Michigan League Ballroom last night. He
emphasized the need for students to become more involved in politics.

public service or community service.
I'll figure it out.
Q: Have you had any job offers9
A: Oh, yeah.
Q: You've got plenty of years
ahead of you; would you ever con-
sider running for office?
A: Yeah, there's a chance.
Q: Do you have your eye on any
seat in particular?
A: No. My major concern is, can
we sell ourhousein Washington, D.C.,
and buy one in Chicago in time form
wife to have the baby in Chicago?4
Q: Do you see people on both
sides of the aisle with less lofty ideals
than that where public office is con-
cerned?
A: I don't know. People have dif-
ferent motivations. I'm not a babe in
the woods, and I'm not naive. Politics
is also a tough sport, and can be...
sometimes really good politics is
smash-mouth politics. It's abo
strong debate, it's about really enga-
ing issues. I think all in all, the people
that get into politics are a better group
of people than they are generally given
credit for.
Q: Do you know who is being
considered to replace you as DNC
chair?
A: We're focused on mid-term
elections. There may be some spec
lation, but there won't be any acti#
until following the mid-term elec-
tions. We will have a winter DNC
meeting in mid-January, at which time
the next chair will be selected.
Q: What will the Senate look like
in terms of representation after the
election?
A: Well, the average mid-term loss
is 22 members of the House- for the
party in control of the White Hous
- and three or four U. S. Senators.
think we can do a little bit better than
that. It's going to be a difficult chal-
lenge, given the anti-incumbency
movements out there. But I think
strong campaigns that engage the de-
bate will do well.
Q: What factor does the radical
right play in American politics today,
and it an appropriate factor?
A: The radical right's playing a9
evermore critical role in the Republi-
can Party. I think they've taken over
14 or 15 state Republican parties at
this point. But, that, in and of itself, is
the nature of our system. That's OK.
As an old precinct captain in Chicago,
my hat's off to them. They are good
political organizers.
Now, having said that, they love
to call the Democrats religious bi
ots, which I find extraordinarily o -
fensive. There has to be room in our
society for people of goodwill and
strong faith to disagree. There are
millions of people who are Christians
and who are Democrats, and whose
faith informs what they do every day.

p.

PILOT
Continued from page L
On Sunday, Corder kept disap-
pearing into his efficiency unit. When
he came out, his eyes were bright and
glassy, Jianniney said. A sweet, acrid
smell came from his gray sweat pants
and blue tank top. She was sure he
was hitting the pipe again.
Crack made him more talkative,
she said, and he began describing the
joys of flying. He could not believe
she had never been in a plane and
begged her to try it just once.
"He said, 'Oh you'd love it,"'
Jianniney recalled, saying Corder had
told her he owned a Piper Cub." 'You
really wouldn't want to go up?"'
She declined his offer, and de-

cided to hitch a ride to a nearby
restaurant.He asked whether she'dt
back that night. She said she would
try.
A few hours later, Corder stole a
single-engine Cessna from nearby
Harford County Airpark and crashed
it on the White House grounds early
Monday. An autopsy showed he had
a blood alcohol level of .045, slightly
above the legal limit of .04 for pilots,
and trace amounts of cocaine, accor
ing to the Secret Service. Federal rule
prohibit drinking alcohol within 12
hours of flying a plane.
"Idon'thardly think thathe wanted
to hurt the president," Jianniney said.
"If you was down there with him that
evening, you'd never have known he
had anything like this in mind."

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PHOTO
STAF: Markr Friadman ,nulsan Kantr. Jonathan Lurie. Molly Stevens.

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