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 From:   Cid, Manny on behalf of Gonzalez, Eddy  Sent:   Wed 3/26/2008 6:09 PM
 Subject:   Response to Diagnosis: Panderitis Sunday, March 23, 2008 (Palm Beach Post)
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Dear Editor:

RE: “Diagnosis: Panderitis,” March 23, 2008:


It was disheartening to read how your March 23rd editorial, cynically titled “Diagnosis: Panderitis,” made light of my efforts as a member of the Florida House of Representatives.


I was elected to represent my constituents who, unlike your editorial board, do not take communism, tyranny, and legalized discrimination lightly, since many of them have suffered its effects firsthand.  


As a duly elected member of the Florida House of Representatives, I have the constitutional authority to file legislation to regulate the issuance of licenses, medical or otherwise, in our state.  This bill does not affect our relations with any nation and is therefore not a foreign policy initiative.  Rather, it sends a clear message that Florida will not recognize medical degrees from a regime that so unashamedly rejects the basic tenets of humanity in its own apartheid medical system.  This bill has wide support, including many of my colleagues, constituents, and organizations such as the Florida Medical Association.


Contrary to myths promulgated by duplicitous American film directors who attack the very system that grants them their lives of privilege and luxury, ordinary Cuban citizens do not have access to their own beaches, their own hotels (which are all government owned), or uncensored information, among other things.  Specifically on the issue of healthcare, ordinary citizens are relegated to subpar, archaic, and quite frankly, abusive conditions in absolute squalor, while high-level government officials, communist party elites, and hard currency-paying foreigners are treated to proper care in state-of-the-art facilities.  This Cuban version of "free" healthcare is nothing more than healthcare apartheid, and I believe that those who selfishly turn a blind eye to such human and civil rights abuses do not possess the basic judgment and character required for the ethical practice of medicine in Florida


To his credit, Rep. Charles Rangel rightfully championed U.S. sanctions and divestment against the repressive apartheid regime of South Africa in the 1980's, and I salute him for it.  However, I do not recall him being accused of pandering to an “extremist” base.


In 2000 the very same Rep. Rangel led a congressional delegation to Cuba to meet with the architect of Latin-American apartheid himself, Fidel Castro.  Upon their arrival, the Cuban tyrant unveiled a program offering 500 medical scholarships to U.S. nationals, which was classified as a "cultural exchange" program by the State Department to avoid the restrictions of the embargo against Cuba.

Our students should not be contributing to, nor legitimizing such a blatant system of apartheid, nor should they be used in what is merely a propaganda and public relations ploy by a sworn enemy of America, which shares the unsavory distinction of other rogue states such as
Iran and North Korea of being included on the State Department’s list of terrorist nations.  I am certain that most Americans would cringe at the thought of their children participating in a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-il Scholarship Program. 


In conclusion, there is no question the merits of my bill are open to debate and discussion, and had one of your columnists or editors taken the time to contact me, I would have gladly explained the bill.  However, to broadly label those of us who condemn tyranny, oppression, terrorism, and institutionalized discrimination as "extreme" is irresponsible and intellectually lazy.


Rep. Eddy González