Credit the Spanish language, not Fidel Castro, for high literacy rates in Cuba

In his recent letter ("Echoes of Castro in America's liberals," Nov. 29), the Rev. Michael T. Buttner mentions our American "education system that is not as good as Cuba's in teaching reading."

It is far easier for a Spanish-speaking child to learn to read Spanish than for an English-speaking child to learn to read English. Spanish doesn't have the sound-letter chaos that English has: vowel sounds represented by many different letters (her, bird, word, hurt, myrrh); letters representing many different vowel sounds (go, do, done, dog, wolf, work, women, comma); silent consonants (doubt, know, could, gnome, corps, light, yacht, island, autumn, answer).

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Fidel Castro doesn't deserve much credit for Cuban children's reading ability. The Spanish language does.

Henry Harlan, Churchville

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