Although I know well all the disclaimers—a writer’s statement does not reflect the journal’s official position, a writer is entitled to his opinion in a “free” society, etc.—I must express my dismay at Justin Raimondo’s gratuitous and mean-spirited insult against a people who, at least on many social and not a few political issues, are in general harmony with the traditionalist philosophy of Chronicles.  In “Attack of the Hyphenates” (Between the Lines, June) Mr. Raimondo vilifies Cuban-Americans as an “obnoxious, volatile, and politically powerful group of Hyphenates.”  What seems to bother Mr. Raimondo—the close descendant of Hyphenates himself, if his name and decidedly non-Anglo looks mean anything (and they do)—is the commercial blockade against the bloody and ruthless regime of the Castro brothers and their cohorts, which Mr. Raimondo incorrectly attributes solely to the influence of the Cuban-American lobby.  This blockade impedes his free enjoyment of “spectacular beaches and cheap prices.”

What a vulgar, unprincipled motive for wanting to extend an economic lifeline to what should be the obvious enemy of every Chronicles editor, contributor, and reader: a reactionary Stalinist regime that has not ceased to hate and insult this country and export Marxism to various parts of Latin America and Africa.  Not to mention the torture and oppression of countless men and women in and out of prison; the economic suffering of the Cuban people for half a century, which only Marxist propagandists (and selfish, foolish bon vivants) attribute to the blockade (the real reason is the innate failure of socialist economics); and the large number of those who have drowned in the Straits of Florida seeking a bearable life.  No, Mr. Raimondo is only interested in pretty beaches and cheap vacations!  No wonder the left has won, as Thomas Fleming stated in the same issue of Chronicles.  The left has won, and will continue to do so, precisely because of the kind of unreliable “soldiers” we have on the right.

—Robert Carballo

Lancaster, PA

Mr. Raimondo Replies:

The economic blockade of Cuba does not benefit anyone: not Americans, not Cubans, not anyone who wants to see the communist government thrown into the dustbin of history.  It helps the Castroites rationalize the deprivation caused by their economic system, by simply attributing all problems to the blockade.  It also stokes Cuban nationalism and allows the regime to play the nationalist card against the United States.

I don’t think it’s even debatable that the Cuban lobby is the one and only reason why the blockade still exists; Castro hasn’t exported much of anything, much less “Marxist revolution,” in quite a while.