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Dear Editor:
Based on his latest posting, Richard E. Baer once again shows he is a compassionate man. Unfortunately, his compassion has clouded his judgment. Mexicans should not be treated like Cubans. The reason Cubans are allowed into the US once they land here are two-fold. One they come from a Communist country and run a high and real risk of malnutrition imposed specifically on them by the state should they be returned, in addition to having their relatives denied schooling and employment they can expect the usual Communist treatment for class enemies who would dare try to leave paradise. In Cuba, since the State is not as efficient as East Germany or Czechoslovakia were in cowing their populations, returnees are also likely to be beaten by government thugs with iron bars to signal "popular outrage" at their treason (when intimidation doesn't work, widespread violence is necessary for thugs to hold onto power). Mexicans are, by contrast, likely to go back to corruption that is unlikely to follow them from town to town and to the poverty most of the world suffers. Mexicans can move within Mexico. Cubans are barred from doing so by neighborhood committees. Mexicans can appeal to the Church for assistance, and even in Mexico's worst periods the Church was not subjugated as effectively as it is even now in Cuba. For example, I have never heard of priests informing on communicants in Mexico. The second reason we owe the Cubans special treatment is that we obviously botched our semi-colonial rule there. While Cuba before Castro was wealthier than many parts of the American South, it was all too easy for Castro to completely crush civil society, purge blacks from government (Somosa was black and had promoted many Afro-Cubans to positions of authority), outlaw homosexuality and plunge the country into socialism. When we tried to rectify the situation at the Bay of Pigs, we backed out on the men we had sent to die for their country. As penance, we let Cubans stay once they reach our shores.

Honza J. F. Prchal
Birmingham, AL