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Just when the United States and Cuba were on the same side for a change, the United Nations General Assembly fell apart again. Washington's Spanish tilt came in support of designating 1992 as the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus. But spoilsports began raising questions about who really discovered America - Irish monks? Leif Ericson? - and the vote col-lapsed.

True, the thousandth anniversary of Ericson's claim was celebrated in 1930. But there is a sense in which America is still being discovered - or discovering itself. The more celebrations the better.

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