Legal group: Keep teeth
in Cuban embargo

By Jon Dougherty

A noted Washington, D.C., public-interest law firm will hold a press conference at the National Press Club today to oppose the easing of sanctions against Cuba, while another group holds a similar event expressing support for the lifting of the decades-old embargo.

Officials with Judicial Watch, known for its lawsuits aimed at exposing government waste and corruption, said the event, scheduled to begin around 9:30 a.m. Eastern, would be an opportunity to showcase why leader Fidel Castro’s Cuba is not worthy of American support.

“Why is the Bush administration allowing the Cuban embargo to be circumvented, and why is it promoting only the invasion and liberation of Iraq, when the world’s oldest living terrorist, Fidel Castro, who has killed many more innocents than Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden combined, is alive and well just 90 miles off the Florida coast?” asked Chairman and Chief Counsel Larry Klayman, in a statement.

Brian Doherty, a spokesman for the group, told WorldNetDaily Judicial Watch’s agenda would serve as a counterbalance to another Press Club event aimed at overturning the current U.S. embargo against the communist island nation.

He said Jose Basulto, founder of Brothers to the Rescue and a client of Judicial Watch, would attend, along with Klayman and the head of the organization’s Miami office, Sandra Cobas.

“We’re going to talk about how the embargo shouldn’t be lifted but in fact should be strengthened,” said Doherty.

He said the group would also discuss its “crimes against humanity” case against Castro, filed on behalf of Basulto’s group in a Belgian court earlier this year.

Belgium was chosen because individuals allegedly committing human-rights violations anywhere in the world can be held accountable there. Authorities seeking charges against Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, also used Belgian courts.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted July 23 to ease travel restrictions to Cuba. Later that week, some House members also expressed an interest in lifting the trade embargo against Castro, two events Judicial Watch opposes.

The Press Club event tomorrow opposite Judicial Watch will feature a large group of American agricultural firms who will attempt to “demonstrate what they call broad support across the United States for easing the 40-year-old embargo,” said the statement.

“If President Bush is as serious about terrorism as he claims, why isn’t there also a directive by President Bush to take Castro dead or alive?” Klayman asked.

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