Someone dropped the Ball

I would like to know what is behind the editorial by  Jonathan Gurwitz in the February 1, 2006 Wednesday San Antonio Express-News where he reports the mugging of ALA president Michael Gorman. Normally people of his stature travel in a group and are rarely alone. Nonetheless Gurwitz seems to think that he got his comeuppance for his organizations (ALA) lack of support for the librarians in Cuba and their independent library movement which avails a hungry Cuban readership with thousands of outlawed texts.  

On the other hand this smacks of a CIA set-up to rile the American public against Fidel Castro. Keynote speaker at ALAs annual midwinter meeting Andrei Codrescu reflected on his days of living in repression and was appalled at the indifference The American Library Association has shown towards their brothers in Cuba.

I donot know where the truth begins and ends.


Andrei Codrescu is a CIA operative. Yeah, sure he is.

You're talking about a physical hold on the country and I'm talking about "our interest" there and how we manifest it.

Obviously the US needs to get out of Cuba just as badly as they need to leave Iraq.

Other than a leased area of Cuba, where is the US in Cuba?

So they have to be "librarians"? Does that really matter?

Thanks for the consideration and considerable gift of wisdom. I have been apprised of more that goes on with the supposed "Libraries" and "Librarians".

Its a difficult issue to deal with and for starters I think the US should get out of Cuba and let a more neutral country (Sweden for starters) set things right.


Well you might be right which fits my premise- at which level is the truth to be found. Obviously the US needs to get out of Cuba just as badly as they need to leave Iraq.

These policies are getting us nowhere and getting us nothing.


Sorry about the inference- my thoughts were muddled but only because the situation itself is muddled- are the Cuban Libraries really Libraries run by Librarians and if not then who is he supporting ?


You should check out the Friends of Cuban Libraries web site. For a brief run down on recent developments, you can check out this commentary at my web site. One of the principle arguments put forth by Gorman for initially not supporting the independent librarians of Cuban was that they are not "real" librarians. Another commentary I wrote examines that issue, but even if it were true that still would not justify the ALA's first passive and then active support for this human rights violation which are clear and present violations of the ALA's mission.

I do not think he is talking about a physical "mugging" but the verbal beating ALA and Gorman took from one of the speaker, who surprised everyone with his agressive attack on ALA for lack of action.

I'm all for intellectual freedom and free access to materials in the purest sense. There seems to be a question about American money and agendas wrapped up in this Cuban Library issue. Again if the intentions are pure then cool. If someone gets $50,000 to burn buildings for the sake of burning buildings then that's being a mercenary. This is why I prefaced this whole talk with the disclaimer of not knowing what's really going on and that it seems like Cuba needs a fresh start.

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