08 December 2008

Embargo Schmargo

The chorus is deafening and in surround sound.

End the Embargo. Stop isolating Cuba. Now!

Well, on January 21.

The basic thrust of the end the embargo argument is that it hasn’t worked and that flooding the island with tourists and dollars will bring about freedom.

You see, according to this theory, the Cubans on the island are too stupid and brainwashed to know what freedom is. Their little Hispanic third world minds cannot understand such an advanced abstract concept. All the lives lost by Cubans either trying to achieve personal or national freedom must have been coincidences.

Material things like hard currency, fancy personal electronics and designer clothes- those are the kind of things that Cubans can understand and once they are exposed to these things through contact with Americans tourists who are visiting the land that the 20th century forgot so they can witness some primitives eek out an existence in quaint misery or take advantage of dark skinned, half starved teenager, they will demand them and the regime will crumble like a 50 year old fortune cookie.


I propose, that maybe, Cubans on the island, since they don’t have freedom, are the ones that actually understand and cherish a concept that is an abstract idea to those that have never, thank God, had to do with out it- to those that think that freedom is freedom to choose between Merlot and Pinot Noir, between a regular latte or a decaf latte or which island to get wasted on.

The “embargo” is not responsible with the suffering and the poverty that the Cuban people have been forced to endure. The TOTALITARIAN Castro regime is. The Castros are evil. They keep the Cubans hungry and destitute in order to control them.

Giving the regime credit and funds will only allow them to buy more up to date repression gear at the Tyrants Я Us mega store.

What is wrong in Cuba isn’t the Cuban people it is the regime. You don’t need to expose Cubans to anything in order for them to raise their social awareness. They know exactly what they are missing

When the regime in South Africa was broken, the world came together to choke that regime out of existence.

So why is it that when it comes to Cuba, that proven approach isn’t replicated?

Any tyranny is a minority rule, like South Africa had.

In Cuba’s case, however, its leader is world-renown for surviving ten US presidents while being an annoying thorn on their side. Because of this, he is idolized and revered by the international left. And so Cuba’s Anti-Yankee revolution must be preserved at all costs-even if the price is 50 more years of Cuban sweat, blood and tears.

And that’s just not me ranting, it’s exactly Raúl Castro has responded to his big brother’s statement that Cuba “could” talk to a President Obama and the ensuing orgasmic echoes of approval from all parts of the supposedly civilized world.

"we have learned to resist for half a century, and we are prepared to fight for Eanother half century."

That means in the Cuban Regime’s Newspeak that they will continue to hold the Cuban people hostage for as long as they are in power. The Regime isn’t interested in improving the lives of the Cuban people, but only in imposing its will, by force, on the Cuban people for as long as possible.

The only thing that easing the embargo and cozying up to the Cuban tyranny is going to accomplish is to perpetuate the oppression and violation of Human Rights for at least another generation.
Oh MY!
My bud, TEP, with another perpective:
The embargo is a moot point if you have no money. Castro uses "embargo" as an excuse and will do anything to keep it in place. Exiles fear dropping the embargo will save the regime and argue that it will have to mean taxpayer backed credit for Castro.
It doesn't have to be that way. Make a grand announcement that the embargo is lifted but no credit will be available to the regime until all debt is paid by the thieves in power. Here would be the results:
1. There is no credit available for honest individuals outside of Cuba.
2. Castro would lose the last leg keeping him standing - that it is the embargo making Cuba poor.
3. Castro has no cash and could not buy one penny more than he already buys right now under the embargo. What kind of embargo allows food and medicine? With that kind of thinking we'd still be fighting the Trojan War.
4. Cuba has very little to sell and that would be exacerbated by the worldwide commodity price deflation. Their commie production model is toast in this market loaded with stuff nobody is buying now anyway.
Unfortunately, only Castro and Tomas Estrada-Palma understand we are in an information war. If you think you are a good information warrior ask yourself this:
Have you ever said "I don't care what people think. I say the embargo stays." If you have you are shooting information arrows while Castro is lobbing information grenades into our front lines.

04 December 2008

The Cuban "Race"

I remember sitting in Ms. Ryman’s homeroom in Union Hill High School one morning and having to fill out some kind of a form that asked what race I was. One race was white, another black, another “Hispanic” and so on.

That day, I realized that we Cubans were no longer white. All of us Cubans complained that just because we spoke Spanish, it didn’t mean that we weren’t white. Some of us where some of us weren’t, but “Hispanic” wasn’t a race, it was a language. Whatever. Cuban became my race that day. The best story that day was the confusion on the teachers face when a Chinese Cuban asked what she should put down.

So a few days ago, I get an e-mail from an Obamaniac acquaintance about an article in The Miami Herald by a Cuban author, Dr. Carlos Moore who believes that the Cuban regime is quaking in its boots because the newly elected President of the United States is black.

Dr. Carlos Moore-Cuban

Not only that, but when Mr. Obama makes good on rescinding the Bush restrictions on travel and remittances, the pressure put on the regime by the now black population, might just bring the regime crumbling down.

Now, I’m not going to argue with Dr. Moore that blacks in Cuba have it worst that the whites. I have been pointing that out for years. And one can’t argue that people of color throughout the world have been empowered by Obama’s election either. They have.

But will take issue with some of his points, Cuban to Cuban.

For example, Dr. Moore claims that the worst problem of the revolution is racism.

The bottom line is that racism is Cuba's most intractable problem.

That’s funny, I was under the impression that the worst problem Cuban have is that they're being opressed by a totalitarian regime. Would things be any better if the darker Cubans were being repressed just as bad as lighter Cubans? Forget that Cuba has been stuck in the fifties for fifty years. In America, where blacks weren’t even allowed to sit alongside of whites in the restaurants in some areas, a non white has been elected president. Why? Because of democracy.

Had Cuba remained a democratic republic like it was before Batista took it over, who knows what kind of advances in terms of race, it would have achieved. Contrary to Dr. Moore’s assertions, Cuba was not “segregated”

And it really serves no purpose to decry the historical exiles as bigots:

Many, especially the younger generation, have forsaken the racial bigotry of their parents and evinced a growing awareness that the predominantly white face (85 percent) of the Cuban-American community is a political liability in a Cuba that is predominantly black.

I have never in the many years I have been exiled heard any Cuban exile blame blacks for the revolution’s success or claim that the only reason that the regime is still in power is because it has the support of the majority of the non-white population.

Is it then fair to equate the Miami Cubans with Castro? Castro has had TOTAL control over Cuban society for 50 years. The prejudices that Cubans may have had 50 years have no bearing on reality today or are they the cause of the suffering of non-white Cubans under Fidel.

I really think that in his article, Dr.Moore, does a disservice to “our” race by throwing all exiles under the bus as “bigots”


Dr. Moore should remember that here in the US none of us are considered white. If the post Obama America can move into a post racial era, it should be a cinch for us Cubans to do the same, even he could do it.

That said, it is important for Dr. Moore to continue to educate black America as to the economic apartheid and racism that the majority of non-white Cubans are forced to endure in addition to the run of the mill totalitarian oppression.

It is important to point out Fidel Castro’s bigotry, (as opposed to the prejudices of the 1950’s Cuban society), to all the black Americans who see Fidel as a sympathetic figure and his revolution as a model for social equality.

It is also important to tell the world that 85% of the incarcerated men in Cuba are not white. And although these men are considered common criminals, the economic conditions that caused them to turn to a life a crime to survive are political and caused by an illegitimate, corrupt and incompetent regime.

And it is imperative that blacks in America understand that many of the leading, bravest and most oppressed dissidents are what in America would be considered black, but are Cuban.

With respected black scholars like Dr. Moore telling the truth about Castro’s revolution, with the help of American civil rights leaders, like the Reverend Al Sharpton who is now advocating for black Cuban prisoners of conscience like Dr. Biscet, Castro and his thugs will lose a strong base of support within the USA-black America.

If their efforts are reinforced by President Obama the mask of the Cuban revolution’s racial equality might finally be taken off-once and for all.

Truthfully, I was ready to dismiss Dr. Moore’s theory asm well, racist, but in reading another article by non other than Guillermo Fariñas Hernández entitled “Thankful for Obama’s Arrival”, I had to reassess my position.

Guillermo Fariñas Hernández - Cuban

According to Fariñas, since Obama was elected, the old myth that Cuba was the model for a post racist society and the US was inherently a racist country, has been shattered. This has forced the regime to revisit the economic apartheid that kept Cuban blacks from getting the better jobs-those with access to hard currency-and they have decreed that 40% of the employees that work in the hard currency stores, the “shoppings”, be non-whites.

Fariñas claims that the non-whites know that they don’t owe their jobs to the revolution, but to President-Elect Obama.


Lighting A Candle...

...To The Ones We Can't Hold A Candle To.

I haven’t posted anything in a long time.

I haven’t really had anything to say, or, better said, I haven’t had anything to say that I thought anyone would want to read.

Not that this is worth reading or anything, but I thought I’d try something more personal to get back into the swing of things…

…Today is Saint Barbara’s feast day- a Cuban holiday of sorts.

I was going to light a candle and wait till midnight. The Saint Barbara vigil-“esperar a Santa Bárbara.”

I was sitting in the dark thinking about this Cuban custom and about the many December 3rds in my past when I had gone to parties to “wait for Saint Barbara.”

At one point in my life, I thought the tradition was primitive, pagan and so third world religiously superstitious. Now, it has become a cultured and a rich, sophisticated Cuban eccentricity. The Cuban people have progressed a lot in twenty years.

Anyway, I was sitting there thinking about the Cuban devotion to this Christian martyr and why the attraction.

I don’t know if I was asleep or dozing off or what, but I had a weird stream of consciousness flowing.

I was looking at the red Santa Bárbara velón that we had bought to use as a hurricane candle. Now, at the risk of being accused of “nada mas acordarme de Santa Bárbara cuando truena,” (only thinking of Saint Barabara when it thunders- a Cardinal Cuban Sin), there IS no better time to light a candle to Santa Bárbara then when you’re in the middle of a thunderstorm or hurricane and the power goes out. A modern mixture of practicality and third world religious superstitiousness and rich cultural eccentricity.

The candle was red- Santa Bárbara’s color. I thought of Cuban women wearing red on Dec. 4th. Then, came the association of red with communism and why I don’t like red.

And so in the cool, quiet dark as I lingered between reality and a dream, the red candle became Cuba and the tower at the foot of the virgin was “El morro.”

Saint Barbara was the captive Cuba, isolated from the rest of the world, tortured by a tyrannical father because she had chosen the truth and the light over pagan Godlessness.

Santa Bárbara, rebellious, had miraculously escaped the tower where her father locked her up for her beliefs just like many Cubans who were locked up in La Cabaña, next to the tower of El Morro. And she was persecuted and martyred for intransigently clinging to her principles.

And as I drifted further from reality, Santa Bárbara was there, sword in hand, only she had Yoani Sanchez’s face with her haunting dark eyes and Cuban Mona Lisa smile and she stood in front of El Morro with a tear running down her face.

I suddenly was startled back to the reality I had drifted from by my nodding head, and for a fleeting instant it was all so crystal clear- Santa Bárbara, Cuba and our devotion to red clad, sword wielding rebels. It was all so crystal clear until I drifted off again.

Like the Apostles in the garden of Gethsemane, I had been too weak to stay awake and light the candle for Santa Bárbara and Cuba and Yoani and the many that have been martyred for their beliefs-those that I could never hold a candle to.

This morning, imprisoned in three dimensions, my mind cannot make the connections and associations and the once crystal clear revelation is more like a foggy hallucination. But, it is clear that I should light that candle in admiration.

Coincidently, while looking for a picture of Santa Bárbara to go along with this meditation, I found I wasn’t the only son of a son of a sailor who’s mind had associated Santa Bárbara with freedom, exile…and a salty piece of land.

A Salty Piece Of Land ------Jimmy Buffett

I was listening for answers
That I could not really hear
When the words of a wise old Indian
Put a conch shell to my ear

And I took off for the ocean
I was searching for the coast
Painting pictures of my vision
With the words from grandma ghost

Hiding from the dragons
Riding for the sea
Singing ballads from my childhood
“A pirate’s life for me”

Survivors seem to function best
When peril is at hand
With a song of the ocean
Meets a salty piece of land

I was force-fed my religion
But I somehow saved my smile
Tapped into my instincts
As I headed to’ards exile

Cleopatra did not own a barge
But a schooner was her home
She has centuries of stories
And there’s wisdom in her bones

She was on a sacred mission
And she told me of a place
Where a man can hide forever
But never loose his face

So I saddled up my seahorse
With a fly-rod in my hand
I was not looking for salvation
Just a salty piece of land

Somedays Cayo Loco SHIMMERS
Like the stars up in the sky
And the seabirds they do touch and gos
As the world just tangos by

But there are times when she is hidden
Beneath the wild and crashing waves
And the patron saint of lightening
Keeps the sailors from their graves

Some say it is a blinding sword
Pointing out into the sea
While others say her guiding light
Leads to’ards eternity

Still I sit in contemplation
And I just don’t understand
This mysterious attraction
Of this salty piece of land

Still I search the constellations
And the tiny grains of sand
Where the song of the ocean
Meets the salty piece of land