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Letter: U.S. sanctions hurt Fidel Castro’s Cuba

Cuba strongman Fidel Castro, who led a rebel

Cuba strongman Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century of power, died Nov. 25, 2016. He was 90. The photo is from July 26, 2006. Newsday's obituary for Fidel Castro
Credit: EPA / Alejandro Ernesto

Lane Filler’s column “We tread carefully among tyrants” [Opinion, Dec. 14] represents the worst of liberal thinking. Several of his conclusions must be examined with logic, not emotion.

He claims that the isolation of Cuba for nearly six decades “didn’t work.” He ignores what didn’t happen. By imposing an embargo on Cuba’s economy, we strangled Fidel Castro’s military into a severely reduced domestic police force. We reduced a menace in our hemisphere to a pauper. That prevented this cancer in our midst from financing and spreading revolution. We prevented an Islamic State look-alike from growing in our backyard.

Then, after World War II, we consciously allowed a Communist regime to flourish in China. We gave China money and technology to build its economy, just as we did for Japan, Germany and Russia. In China, we ignored the Cultural Revolution that killed millions. We apparently calculated that if the Chinese were guided to raise their standard of living, the country would be easier for America to control, because it would have something to lose if it behaved badly.

This works only if you hold China to a higher standard on humanitarian, financial and trade policies. That is what Donald Trump will do.

Tom Colangelo, Dix Hills