Monday, March 05, 2007

Hentoff on ALA and Cuba: Part II

Nat Hentoff returns to the topic of Cuba in his weekly column, and takes on ALA Council and ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom for their ridiculous inaction:

Although the American Library Association proclaims its commitment to the "Freedom to Read" everywhere, its leadership abandons Cuba's independent librarians whom Fidel Castro had locked into his gulags, under brutal conditions, because of their courageous insistence that the people of Cuba should also have the freedom to read books the dictatorship has banned. A majority of the ALA's rank-and-file members disagree with their leadership.

Among the many organizations demanding that Castro and his successors release these courageous Cubans -- who have opened their homes and libraries to offer books censored in the Cuban state libraries -- are such groups as the library associations of the Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. All these librarians, finally freed from communism, agree with their colleagues in the Polish Library Association, who say in their declaration: "The actions of the Cuban authorities relate to the worst traditions of repressing the freedom of thought and expression." Also calling for the liberation of Castro's many prisoners of conscience, including the librarians, are the Organization of American States, Amnesty International and Freedom House.

However, the top officials of the American Library Association -- as well as the majority of its Governing Council -- speak derisively of these "so-called librarians" in Castro's gulags.

Please read the rest.


Post a Comment

<< Home