Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Mediterranean Rediscovered*

This article from the Christian Science Monitor about Cuba's lack of reciprocation toward Obama's loosening of restrictions reminded me of a Joseph Conrad quote:

The yarns of seamen have a direct simplicity, the whole meaning of which lies within the shell of a cracked nut. But Marlow was not typical (if his propensity to spin yarns be excepted), and to him the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside,enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze, in the likeness of one of these misty halos that sometimes are made visible by the spectral illumination of moonshine.

In the article, Kristen Chick indicates the obvious- Cuba is not loosening its iron grip. Despite the Marlovian attempts of many to enshroud the issue in American recalcitrance, oppression, etc..., the truth of this situation lies like that of a sailor's yarn within the shell of the cracked nut: the regime cannot respond in like manner because to do so would threaten its illegitimate existence. What can it do? Loosen travel restrictions? Allow those Cubans fortunate enough to escape and suffer the humiliation of mass defection, or worse yet, have Cubans see how the rest of the world lives? Free political prisoners? What would happen if cowed citizens were to see that it was possible to dissent publicly without the threat of imprisonment, death by malign neglect? Or, better yet, what if they allowed a truly free election?

Truth is unless the ruling military junta is ready to commit collective seppuku, there can be no glasnost, no perestroika.

* Spanish saying, "He discovered the Mediterranean" to indicate the discovery of what is obvious fact.

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