Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is There An Agenda Here?

The Christian Science Monitor, which has in the past published questionable articles about the Cuban situation, has outdone itself with a series of articles: "Cuba: Winds of Change." First it sees Cuba under Raul, perhaps creeping toward capitalism, at least that's the headline of this entry would seem to promise. Funny thing is that in all of the discussion of the illegal gym in the parking lot at the center of the piece, the author manages to avoid ever mentioning the recent crackdown on the same types of businesses. Remember the subversive barrette factory? To portray this as the wave of the future is disingenuous at best. Cuba may well be on a tortuous path to capitalism, but it will get there in spite of the machinations of the current powers.

Not content with presenting a skewed view of present conditions, the paper now takes on the mythical "generational divide" of Cubans in this one. Maybe, they're hoping it'll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As yet, I have seen no hard evidence that the younger generation is willing to lift the embargo, hold hands, and sing kum-ba-ya with the Cuban Capos. I gotta wonder if all these journalists have a wijja board or something. Maybe Joe Garcia dons a turban and pulls out a crystal ball.

And no presentation of the great and glorious future awaiting Cuba is complete without that ubiquitous Florida rancher and cheerleader John Parke Wright. In a side bar, he tells us how encouraged he is by the new business spirit on the island and how people like him should be allowed to restock the cattle industry. It's all the big, bad embargo, you know. Had Mr. Wright's livestock and land been stolen, you can bet he would be singing a different tune. But since it wasn't, he'd apparently deal with the devil, a devil that doesn't pay its bills by the way.

It is particularly galling that the resourcefulness they all laud as the sign of a changing Cuba is a harsh expedient forced on a captive population- desperate to eke out a living any way they can- by the system under which they live. Why, you might as well praise the healthiness of the diet forced on them by the scarcity of foodstuffs. But, wait, that's been done.

1 comment:

Walter Lippmann said...

Cuba has plenty of problems, not 100% of which can be attributed to Washington's blockade of the island.

That being said, if things are so bad there, why are these exiles so afraid of what people from the United States would see if they were free to go there.

But how can people in the United States talk about bring freedom to the Cuban people if we, ourselves, are not free to actually go there?

Cuba is the only country on the planet - a planet which includes Saudi Arabia, China, Vietnam and North Korea - for which people in the United States need a permission slip from the federal government to be able to look at Cuba with their own two eyes.

Something's not right about that and we should normalize relations with Cuba, just as we have with China and Vietnam.

Thanks for having some discussion about these issues.