Monday, February 05, 2007

Read a Burned Book

The Super Bowl was just ok, but there will be a real party in Miami when the Castro and his brother no longer terrorize Cubans. Until then, FREADom invites you to read a book burned in Cuba as part of their International Read a Burned Book Campaign. It’s an impressive list, so you can most likely find something to your taste. There are some confirmed examples here. It includes well-known right-wing counter-revolutionaries like Martin Luther King, Jr. and George Orwell.

Authors lending their support include civil liberties advocate and NEA Jazz Master Nat Hentoff, a longtime critic of the Castro dictatorship. Hentoff has also been critical of the ALA for the librarian association’s refusal to condemn the regime’s brutal crackdown on independent librarians. At one point Hentoff wrote:

“After sentencing the independent librarians, Castro's judges, in a number of cases, declared the confiscated library materials "lacking in usefulness" and ordered them burned. Will the American Library Association hold a memorial service?”

Other noted writers lending their support to effort's on behalf of Cuban librarians include Ray Bradbury, NPR’s Andrei Codrescu and Ambassador Armando Valladares. Cuba’s independent librarians are risking their lives for a proposition that could be described simply as: “reading is fundamental to liberty.” Castro must agree, or else he would not feel so threatened by words on the printed page.