Alexandria, Va. -- The plight of James Sabzali reflects the ignorance of most Canadians to the simple reality that America is a separate country; Canadian rights, such as they are, do not apply. Canadians work and play in the U.S. with little understanding of the differences in legal rights between the two countries and outright hostility to the responsibilities of American citizenship.
Having allowed Canadian citizenship to be distilled down to nothing more than a simple but expensive process of paying a fee for benefits, most Canadians lack the ideological training required to appreciate American objections to Castro or, for that matter, to appreciate that the relative level of Canadian comfort is directly attributable to American objections to socialism in general. This episode reminds me of the haughty indifference toward Mexican law American tourists regularly demonstrate on vacation south of the border.
And what of the fact that America's embargo against Communist Cuba is hardly a new development? The Globe's reporters speak admiringly of Mr. Sabzali's business acumen, forcing me to wonder how an individual of such talents could fail to recognize an American trading policy that is almost as old as himself.
This situation is tragic but much more attributable to Canadian stupidity than to any defect in American foreign policy. Americans are entitled to their policies, just as Canadians are entitled to theirs.
- J. Kevin McKechnie, Alexandria, VA