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February 26, 1996 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-26

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2A-The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 26, 1996
Brothers dedicated to tweaking Castro

Los Angeles Times
MIAMI - The dream of wresting
control of Cuba from Fidel Castro has
animated a long line of Cuban Ameri-
can exiles in Miami, starting with mem-
bers of the brigade that met its destruc-
tion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.
In today's Miami, few are more auda-
cious than those who call themselves
Brothers to the Rescue. The group got its
startfiveyears agobypatrollingthe Florida
Straits in small private planes, dropping
food and fresh water to Cubans who had
riskedtheirlivesinraftsto escapeCastro's
island. The flyers reported the rafts' loca-
tions to the U.S. Coast Guard, which then
arranged pickups.
When U.S.-Cuban relations thawed last
year, the Clinton administration said
would-be immigrants would be sent back
to Cuba. But Brothers to the Rescue found
a new way to pull Castro's chain - its
members flew directly over Havana and
leafleted the city with anti-Castro tracts.
If they were trying to provoke an
international incident, as some have
assumed, they got more than they bar-
gained for. Four of their members may
have been added to the long list of
Cubans martyred for the anti-Castro
cause when a Cuban air force MIG-29
blew two oftheirsingle-engine Cessnas,
out of the sky Saturday.
Only a few suggested that the Broth-

ers longed for martyrdom. "This was
not a suicide mission; it is a tragedy in
the classic sense," said Max Castro, a
sociologist at the University of Miami's
North-South Center. "You could see
where this was heading."
And no one seemed surprised.
"I myself thought this would occur
sooner or later, knowing Fidel Castro's
personality and his drive to retain power
at all costs," said Antonio Jorge, pro-
fessor of international relations at
Florida International University.
"I know there are some on the far-left
fringe who think Brothers' actions were
provocative," Jorge added. "But these
missions were peaceful resistance to
Castro. And I think the exile community
overwhelmingly supports that position."
Jose Basulto, 55, the Bay of Pigs
veteran and Miami home builder who
founded Brothers to the Rescue, has
become a high-profile, outspoken mem-
ber of Miami's Cuban community. A
fiery speaker in both English and Span-
ish, Basulto is often invited to address
anti-Castro rallies.
Basulto was flying a third Brothers
plane Saturday, the only one that sur-
vived the encounter with the Cuban air
force. Whether or not the three planes had
penetrated Cuban airspace-and Basulto
insisted they had not - he has flown
directly over Havana on previous occa-

Supreme Court to rule on raCISm claims
WASHINGTON - The question of whether federal law enforcement officials
are singling out for prosecution black men who are arrested for selling crack
cocaine is at the heart of an explosive allegation of official racism being aired
before the Supreme Court today.
The court case focuses narrowly on the claim that prosecutors are unfairly
enforcing the laws in a way that does injury to blacks. It skirts the apparent
unfairness of the laws themselves, which impose their harshest penalties on l
drug crimes most likely to be committed by blacks.
In recent years, defense lawyers and some black leaders have cited racial bias
as one explanation for the extraordinarily high percentage ofyoung black men who
are in legal custody. A recent national study estimated that one out of three black
men in their 20s is behind bars, on probation or on parole. In California, according
to a study by the liberal, nonprofit Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, the
proportion may be close to four out of 10.
The public defender's office in Los Angeles went to federal court, pointing out
that all 24 defendants in crack cases handled by its lawyers in 1991 were black.
Last year they won a partial victory when the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,
which is based in California, ruled that a"significant statistical disparity in them
of those prosecuted" suggested an unconstitutional bias in law enforcement.

Margarita Alejandre covers her face as she and her husband Armando arrive
yesterday at the Opa-locka, Fla., airport, headquarters of Brothers to the Rescue.
Their son, Armando Alejandre Jr., is missing In the shooting down of two Brothers
to the Rescue planes by the Cuban government.
sions, and the Federal Aviation Adminis- Cuban Interests Section in Washing-
tration has begun an investigation. ton.
Among the four men missing and He broke his leg and was arrested
presumed dead was Arm ando for his trouble.
Alejandre Jr., 45, a construction man- Also missing was Mario de 1a Pena,
ager. Alejandre last year established 24, a native of New Jersey who had
his anti-Castro credentials by attempt- never set foot in his parents' homeland.
ing to jump over the fence around the He piloted Alejandre's plane.
10,000 rally for peace
in Northern Irland

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Pentagon alters the
handling of MIAs
WASHINGTON - Hardly noticed
in the 1996 defense bill is a provision
that could force the Pentagon to recon-
sider thousands of cases of missing
American servicemen whom the gov-
ernment declared dead as far back as
the 1940s.
Pentagon officials tried to kill the
measure, saying it requires "far reach-
ing changes" in the handling of MIA
cases and will hinder battlefield opera-
They also contend it will prolong
the agony of families of missing ser-
vicemen and impose unnecessary
money and work burdens on the Pen-
But to some relatives of men unac-
counted for from the Korean and Viet-
nam wars and from Cold War missions,
the first major change to the Missing
Persons Act since World War II offers
new assurance that the missing will not
be forgotten.
"It better protects the active duty
military now and in the future," said
Ann Mills Griffith, executive director


of the National League of Families of
American Prisoners and Missing. I
Southeast Asia. Griffith's brother is
unaccounted for in Vietnam.
It has been the military's practice
since World War II to review the status
of an MIA after one year.
Gas prices jump anO[
average of 1.5 cents
LOS ANGELES - Motorists paid
an average 1 1/2 cents more for a
gallon of gasoline over the past two
weeks as a rush on the oil futures
market drove up prices, an analyst
said yesterday.
The average pump price, including
all grades and taxes, was 119.13 ce s
Friday, according to the Lundberg S
vey of 10,000 gas stations nationwide.
That was up a penny-and-a-half from
the Feb. 9 survey.
Prices had been rising since Novem-
ber, except for a small drop inelate
January and early this month, said ana-
lyst Trilby Lundberg.
Traders had been expecting the
United Nations to partially lift an em-
bargo of Iraqi oil, increasing supply*
mammals at the San Diego Zoo
"In many ways, Vietnam was closed
to outside ideas for many years and
missed the entire environmental move-
ment," said World Wildlife Fund offi-
cial David Hulse in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP)
- Church bells pealed throughout Ire-
land yesterday as tens of thousands
called upon the Irish Republican Army
to stop its killing. It was the most wide-
spread protest against IRA violence in
two decades.
In downtown Belfast, 10,000 dem-
onstrators chanted "Cease-fire now!
Give us back our peace!" following the
IRA's decision to end its 17-month
cease-fire with a bombing in London.
Thousands more delivered the same
message in 10 other Northern Ireland
towns, and an estimated 60,000 marched
in the Irish Republic.
"We are not going to allowthe agenda
for this democracy to be set by the army
council of the IRA," said Irish Prime
Minister John Bruton in a peace march
from his hometown church in rural
County Meath.
"This secret organization, whose
membership is unknown, who are ac-



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1031 E. Ann St.





countable to no one, who do not stand
before the public to get approval for
what they do, has no right to act on our
behalf. And the people of Ireland are
saying: Stop," he said.
In Dublin, U.S. Ambassador Jean
Kennedy Smith joined a 25,000-strong
rally in College Green, where three
months ago President Clinton addressed
a crowd confident that the IRA cease-
fire would last.
In Washington, Clinton threw his
support behind those calling for peace.
"Those who seek to use violence and
terror should hear the voices of today's
vigil being conducted across our lands:
No to violence, yes to peace," he said in
a statement yesterday.
In London, about 60 people attended
a vigil on the steps of a church in
Trafalgar Square, near where a bomb
exploded prematurely on a bus a week
ago, killing the IRA man carrying it and
wounding nine people.
Continued from Page 1A
unique because there haven't been
enough of them."
Elated about the warm community
welcome, Schroer said she dreams of a
50-percent female government and a
female president.
"Women share experiences which
lead to shared values," Schroer said.
The politicians agreed that in elec-
tions and policy making, women face
tough challenges.
"If they're not calling you a bitch,
you know you're not doing the right
thing," said Ann Arbor councilmember
Elisabeth Daley (D-5th Ward).
Schroer said people call her "hard to
get along with" when she disagrees on
She called the effect "the
infantilization of women," and said
people act respectful "as long as you're
a good girl, but (become critical) as
soon as I want to put down my foot."
LSA sophomore Fiona Rose, who
attended the event, has political aspira-
tions of her own, though she anticipates
struggle and compromise.
"Students shouldn't be afraid of get-
ting into politics," she said "We should
be proud to be involved."
According to the politicians, this elec-
tion year is particularly important for
issues that effect women and families.
"Education cuts ban funding for sci-
ence and math teachers, areas that
women are not visible in," Smith said.
"No-fault divorce laws are incred-
ibly important for women right now,"
Schroer said. "(New legislation) will
keep a lot of women in bad marriages."
Child care and health care are also
under attack, Smith said.
While funding active women politi-
cians is important, generating young
women's interest in politics is another
goal of WCWPC.

Vietnam's Wildlife
requires major
eforts to be saved
If a half-century of war was destructive
to the wild animals of Vietnam, two de-
cades of peace are proving even worse.
The Indochina tiger, which once
roamed the countryside, is rarely seen.
Elephants, bears, peacocks, the clouded
leopard, deer, monkeys and other na-
tive wildlife are disappearing because
of rampant poaching and large-scale
destruction of their forest habitat. Even
the deadly cobra is in full retreat.
At greatest risk are certain kinds of
brightly colored monkeys called langurs
that exist in the wild only in Vietnam and
now are on the verge of extinction.
But a collection of American and Ger-
man zoos and the American branch ofthe
Swiss-based World Wildlife Fund are
working with the Vietnamese to save the
langurs and other imperiled species.
"You have wildlife that somehow
managed to survive 50 years of warfare
but may not survive the next 15 to 20
years of economic growth," warned
Karen Killmar, associate curator of

MOSCOW-It was a week of living
dangerously in Moscow. After nearly
three months of below-zero weather,
relatively warm temperatures -in.tle
mid-20s, that is - brought a meltdown
that sent avalanches of icicles and snow
crashing down on pedestrians.
Nine Muscovites were hospitali*
after being injured by daggerlikedicicles
last week - a record as far as cityfwork-
ers can remember. In one 24-hour p*iod,
at least 472 people fell on slippery streets
and sought hospital treatment.
No one, thankfully, was killed by
weather in this most recent thaw.
Moscow's only icicle fatality soffarthis
winter - a 34-year-old man speared
while walking his daughter to school-
occurred in mid-November.
- From Daily wire servis

Falling icicles
threaten Moscow






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