First_Name: Joseph S.
Comments: Kabbah Flirts with Fidel Castro: A Dangerous Trend !
The removal of your website by the Egyptian woman from her computer because of you informative and educative article on President Kabbah’s visit to Cuba is indicative of this woman’s shallow mindedness and still haunted and tainted with supressive, undemocratic, socialist values. She lives in a dream world that misleads her that socialism is the answer to a changing world that yearns for freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Her litany of examples on countries in Africa that benefited from Cuba economically or militarily is misguided and a concoction of misinformation. Indeed, if Cuba is economically viable to have helped African countries, then it is a shame for Cubans to live in abject poverty and its citizens scrambling day by day to migrate and live a better life in foreign countries. Militarily, Cuba has helped to nucture dictators by providing military training for men who have been used to suppress opposition and freedom of speech in most African countries. Therefore, if she chooses to removed the “Cocorioko” website from her computer, shame to her as she is considered the least and among your diverse and dynamic readers.
On the issue of President’s kabbah vistit to Cuba, now that the world has one super power since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war, political ideology and alliance is insignificant and has no more part to play in the economic survival of any country. Nevertheless, President Kabbah should know that Fidel Castro is the only surviving autocratic and authoritarian leader who still defies the United States and democratic nations in terms of ushering democracy and tolerance. No one can boast that the United States has a perfect democratic system, however, the amount of tolerance in freedom of expression and association without intimidation, supersedes most developed countries in the world more so communist Cuba. Sierra Leone being a sovereign nation, President kabbah can solicit aid and forge an alliance with any country that he wishes, however, he must be careful not to eat with two hands especially with a country like Cuba that is with odds with the United States. This reminds me of the Liberian scenerario, when the late President William R. Tolbert forged an alliance with the eastern bloc (Russia, Romania) and Communist China, in defiance with the United States policy towards these countries, the result is a military coup that ushered a military dictatorsip. The late President Ronald Reagan supported the military government at the time which resulted to the horrendous civil war in Liberia that spilled over in Sierra leone.
Sierra Leone cannot afford any other distabilization, 11 years of brutal civil war is enough for the suffering masses of that country. Whatever benefit Sierra Leone will gain from President kabbah’s romance with Fidel Castro, he should exercise caution in order not jeopardize his friendship with the western world. Cuba is one of the country labelled by the international human rights organiztions as having the worst human rights records and refusal to adhere to reforms. Eventhough, I do not believe in the policy of isolationism which Cuba is suffering today from many countries in the western world, President kabbah should know that his quest for the development of Sierra Leone from any source should not betray the trust that the western world has for him by not reading the writting on the wall. Recalcitrant leader like Muhammad Kadafi of Libya, have read the writing on the wall and decided to take a new direction to be part of the committee of nations, indeed he succeeded. Today his country’s stigma of being a belicose nation and training camp for terrorists has faded. The policy of Cuba to maintain its old-aged philosophy is outdated and creating more hardship for its citizens. Infact, Fidel Castro being in power for over four decades should send signals to any democratically minded leader that he has outlived his usefulness to govern and a dangerous person to do business with.
About the Author:
Joseph S. Sherman was an erstwhile Broadcast Journalist with the ELCM Community Radio, now Radio Veritas, Monrovia Liberia, and former General Editor of the defunct Footprint Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone. At present he is the Director of a Multi-Cultural Adult Education Center in Washington, DC.