Whatever you do, don't look in his eyes! aaargh! I'm really starting to wonder about this Svengali effect. First it was CANF, now the Damas en Blanco or Ladies in White who have written an open, rather supportive, letter to Mr. Obama. Reading it, it did not seem an open endorsement of his candidacy as one commenter at Babalu deemed it. At the same time that they wrote it at all is a de facto endorsement.
All of which makes my hair stand on end. I'm not particularly concerned with Obama's sudden election year epiphany about the embargo. As long as he keeps to the terms of the deal: "I'll maintain the embargo if you vote for me," there is nothing practically wrong with a politician moving to meet the needs of the electorate, not to mention that he needs congress to lift it.
My fear is that he will continue to practice direct diplomacy with Cuban Americans all the time he sells us down the river. He will continue to talk a good game while he lifts restrictions against family travel. Well, now your average Americans, already feeling left out and smarting from all the tropical fun the Europeans are having, are going to want to jump in the pool, too. Then, it will be business's turn. Before you know it, all sanctions will be lifted, and Cuba will be no more free than it is today. And every step of the way President Obama (God forbid!) will be there to reassure us that he really cares about freedom for Cuba. We need no further proof of this decided possibility than the way in which he has successfully managed to turn a major gaffe in a debate answer into the linchpin of his stated foreign policy.
I never thought I would live to see the day when this country would be enmeshed in the throes of the cult of personality. That Cuban Americans should fall for this snake oil boggles the mind. Have we learned nothing about pretty words and charismatic figures? Take a look at the candidate. He is young, has run nothing in his entire life, his only non political occupation seemingly that of a rather nebulous "organizer." Who are the friends we know about? There is the black power preacher, ranting about the evils of "White America" all the way to the bank and the $3 million dollar home. There is the unrepentant, self-indulgent radical who having failed at blowing up society is slowly poisoning it from within by teaching future generations of educators. There is the somewhat shady businessman through whom Obama obtained his house in deal worthy of some of the more odoriferous Macauliffe/Clinton transactions. And that's just the surface.
I begin to understand how my father must have felt all those years ago when he was one of the few who openly expressed his suspicions of Fidel. Tread warily, my friends, lest Obama make berracos of us all.