I read with dismay and incredulity the piece by Karen Young Kreeger on the interactions of some American Smithsonian scientists with the government of Cuba (The Scientist, April 15, 1996, page 1). It defies all reason that these people would praise scientists working under a despotic, criminal regime that has forced approximately 25 percent of its population in exile and more than 20,000 people in prison for political "crimes" ranging from publishing a newsletter to communicating with exiled relatives.

Surely these Smithsonian scientists, whose salaries are being paid with American taxes, must realize that young people in Cuba are excluded totally from science by a one-party Marxist-Leninist government if they are members of any religious group or espouse views contrary to the Communist government. This is not only ironic, but also hypocritical and sick. I guess the Smithsonian scientists, in their objectivity, believe they are studying the problem...

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