Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Gene Hackman, Sep/Oct 00
(continued from page 4)
Wow! The article "Manhunter" really shows the heroic efforts of John Walsh! John's ordeal with the murder of his six-year-old son, Adam, was a great loss and tragedy. John came out of this tragedy triumphantly by becoming the host of "America's Most Wanted" and placing his full heart into this show that has attracted millions of viewers who enthusiastically assist in apprehending some of the country's most wanted criminals! When John saw the power that this show produces with the apprehension of the FBI's Top 10 fugitive, David James Roberts, he knew he had to strive on with a vengeance!
One of the show's greatest accomplishments was the apprehension of the family murderer John List, a fugitive on the run for many years. Your issue really hit the nail on the head with this enlightening article. We need more John Walshes in this world!
Paul Dale Roberts
Elk Grove, California
I see in the letters in your June 2000 issue that you are still receiving fallout from your controversial June 1999 special issue on Cuba (which happens to be my favorite issue of Cigar Aficionado). In "Out of the Humidor," the writer, John Pluta, finds the article about the Honorable Mr. Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's National Assembly of the People's Power, to be "obnoxious." That is a normal reaction to those who do not like to be confused with the facts.
That writer also suggested that Mr. Alarcon "should consider himself lucky that we allow him and his band of cutthroats to exist at all in our hemisphere (yes, I did say our hemisphere)" and that "if Alarcon wants anything from us, then let him yield, not us." It is the above combination of arrogance and naiveté that leaves a bad taste for Americans with people in other parts of the world. I find this unfortunate because some of the most wonderful people I have met and know are Americans. I side with Mr. Pluta when he says he "doesn't like dealing with terrorists."
In that case he may wish to consider organizing a tax revolt to force the U.S. government to disband the government-owned terrorist organization, the Central Intelligence Agency, which has been responsible for many terrorist acts, including both failed and successful assassinations in "our hemisphere." And bring to justice all past and present CIA personnel that took part in terrorist acts. Further, as I am sure he knows, the U.S. still harbors Cuban-exile terrorist organizations in Miami that were originally trained by the CIA. For the United States to expect that Cuba conform to its system of government is no less ludicrous than China telling the U.S. to conform to their system.
Cuba would be foolish to adopt the system of government of the States. A true democracy--by the people, of the people, for the people--may be a good system of government for Cuba. However, the U.S. system--by the people, of the people, for whomever has the most money--would be disastrous for Cuba. Cuba provides free education--including university--medical and dental care, and there are no homeless or starving people in Cuba, something that cannot be said about the U.S.
I believe that if the U.S. wants Cuba to change politically, it will first have to stop the harassment, end the embargo, pay Cuba damages caused by the embargo, get out of Guantánamo, and most importantly don't offer Cuba any political advice. (The overly expensive multiparty system that stonewalls congressional legislation, coupled with the internal social mess in the U.S., is one of the main reasons Cuba is not in favor of the U.S.'s multiparty system.) I sincerely hope that the U.S. government will soon allow its people to travel to Cuba to see for themselves what Cuba is really like. Unlike the "the land of the free," my government allows me to travel to Cuba.
The first time my wife and I traveled to Cuba we were apprehensive about going, as we both had grown up being indoctrinated that Castro and communism were bad. We were surprised to find the opposite. Since our first of many trips, my wife and I studied everything we could about Cuba from all sources. We fast came to the conclusion that our indoctrination about Cuba was disinformation and poppycock.