End the Libyan blockade

An open letter to Madeline Albright:

It has come to my attention that you have decided to continue the status of Libya as a place where citizens of the United States cannot go. Having returned from Libya just a short time ago, I believe there is no reason why ordinary citizens of the United States should not be allowed to go and enjoy what Libya has to offer.

Have you heard of Leptis Magna? The ruins of Rome and Carthage are crowded and sometimes dwarfed by huge modern buildings. How much more exciting to go to Leptis Magna and see the true expanse of a great Roman city with no new buildings to block the view of the Mediterranean.

Thirty-one years ago, a young man, Muammar Qaddafi, 27 years old, who had a dream of transforming society so that all people could live in peace, organized a bloodless coup and started Libya on the road to a socialist state.

Three peoples have lived in Libya since ancient times: These are the Berbers, the Taureg and the Bedouins. Each group has a unique culture. I was very interested in the Taureg and their town, Ghadmes.

Ghadmes went into an economic decline when camel caravans no longer crossed the desert. Ghadmes’ mud construction became too much for the people to maintain, and their living conditions became a hazard to their health. Libya, as a socialist country, built new houses that were given to every family who had lived in the old city.

Libya is a socialist country. Every citizen receives a stipend, free education (even abroad) if she qualifies, free health care, rent, utilities and more. They pay no taxes.

It is not a land of milk and honey. There are problems. One is piles of trash along all the highways. Another is that this country is only 31 years old. People are in transition from being colonized to being free. But in spite of the blockade by the United States and because of the oil money, a chance for a good life is being provided all the citizens of Libya.

So, Madame Albright, please tell me why the citizens of the United States should be denied the privilege of visiting Libya? Is it because the absence of homeless people, beggars and criminals might make us wonder why we have so many of them and why we have no money for good education and health care? If our form of government is so great, how could allowing U.S. citizens to visit Libya create a problem?