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Re: Helms/Burton law

 Helms-Burton legislation is a great advance for human rights of innocent
 victims of state robbery.  It is sorely needed in Eastern Europe as well.
 I have sent the following to the New York Times, in response to their
 article on June 9th on NATO expansion.  You may find the sections on
 hypocricy interesting.  It is sad that Canada, which has made
 so much progress in compensating its own Indians and generally stands for
 what is right, in the case of victims of state robbery from Cuba has taken
 the immoral side -- the side of big business that wants to make money of
 assets stolen from completely innocent people by a ruthless communist
 dictatorship and currently being administered by Castro & co.
 to the NYTimes:
 Thomas L. Friedman s article advising against the expansion of NATO
 reaches the correct conclusion but misses very important reasons why East
 European countries should not be admitted to NATO at this time.  They
 simply are not ready and do not qualify.  
 I think that Mr. Friedman should do more research among those whom he
 calls  "ethnic voters in Ohio"  to find out whether those who fled from
 Communism and came to this country are as enamored as he feels of the
 postCommunist regimes.
 Some partial answers are provided in your feature on the sad situation of
 the victims of Nazi and Communist thefts, in the Business section of May
 26th.  Many  "ethnic voters  in Ohio"  and elsewhere are not at all
 by all those ex-Communists.  I feel that East European countries would be
 best helped by first having to meet rigorous standards of civilized
 behavior and then being invited to join the EU or NATO. They
 are far from meeting such standards now.  To ignore these unpleasant
 realities will only discourage the ex-Communists from mending their ways. 
 If the Central European countries get admitted into NATO with their
 present policies, which often flout their own constitutions and
 international human rights conventions,
 then this will lead to the demise of NATO.  It will also ultimately lead
 to DESTABILIZATION in Central Europe. While the post-Communist governments
 do not meet standards of civilised behavior, they SHOULD NOT be admitted.
 The particular country I have in mind is the Czech Republic. There, the
 authorities have pulled off a charade, worthy of Kafka: a
 human-rights activist president (Havel) and a "right-wing"
 (self-proclaimed to be so) prime minister (Klaus) effectively cover up
 policies on the ground that nearly opposite to what they say.  For
 instance, bureaucracy is far worse than under communism, but Klaus gives
 speeches on "freedom."  Rent control and complete impossibility to ever
 terminate housing leases (they are inheritable and transferable without
 landlord permission etc.) continues to expropriate owners -- and housing
 construction has collapsed as a result, completely, while Klaus gets one
 prize after another from American conservative think tanks, for being a
 genius economist.  1/3 of the economy, which would normally provide
 housing services to an underhoused population,  is messed up in ways you
 cannot begin to understand unless you live there for a while.
 The worst example, however,  is the Czech government s advertisement of
 return of property to the rightful owners -- while at the same time the
 actual policies on the ground are completely different.  This is a country
 that used to be rather wealthy and has lots of industrial assets
 pre-dating WWII and even WWI... As little as possible is being returned to
 the victims of Communist and Nazi thefts because the ex-Communist
 nomenclatura does not want to give up control. And NOTHING at all is being
 returned to US citizens, for example, as you can verify from Ambassador