• Viewbank, Australia

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David Howell’s
May 28 article, “West resembles Mr. Jellyby,” would have to be one of the most perceptive articles on (foreign aid) that I have seen to date. Quite apart from recycling the old saying “charity begins at home,” it correctly points out that the continuing pouring of that commodity into struggling Third World countries by well-intentioned but ill-informed forces, such as pop singers, is ultimately pointless. What these poor countries need particularly is trade so that they can build themselves up.

It is hoped that under President Barack Obama the United States will reverse its long-standing and unsupportable stand against Cuba and restart trade with it, because here is a country that has maintained a civilized standard of health and education for its people despite the worst that a paranoid U.S. has been able to deal it. Relief from debt is good, too, but not if the criminal dictators who run some of these countries are allowed to survive intact.

anthony whitmarsh

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