Monday, December 14, 2009

The Measure of a Man

This morning, “Morning Joe” referred to an earlier visit by Sting. I’m mad at Sting. I’m mad at the Pope, too. Their behavior and that of others glosses over of a multitude of mortal sins committed against the people of Cuba by the ruling military junta. It is a betrayal that says it is acceptable to oppress Cubans, as long as you loosen up a little, like complementing a mugger kneeling on a victim for easing the pressure on the hapless individual’s chest.

The offense here is beyond political; it is more catholic (couldn’t resist). It is the denial of the humanity of the poor benighted souls who languish in the island prison. The framers of the American Constitution tallied a slave as three-fifths of a man. The question that occurs to me is what fractional percentage of a human being is a Cuban? When rock stars sally on down, does it occur to them that the pool boy with the MD slinging towels does not have the same right to visit, say, Pasadena? When Carlos Santana wears his Che shirt is he reminded of the young people harassed and threatened for wearing one with Cambio written on it, imagine an emblazoned Ronald Reagan? Does it ever occur to Sting that if he were an ordinary Cuban, “Socialista” would be owned by the Socialistas? And Spielberg, who has ensured that the Holocaust stays in the public consciousness, sits across from the charismatic sociopath for hours. When he later says Cuban Americans should get over it, even as the embers of the Cuban variant continue to smolder, does he not recognize the contradiction?

Of course not. There is an insidious relativism that infects the perceptions of each and every one of those who serve as apologists for the revolution. Achievements in literacy and healthcare are touted ad inifintum. Current conditions are seen as an improvement over those in the bad old days. For the sake of argument, let us agree to these, although inaccurate. Even if everything they perceive is true, even if the evil Bastianos in Miami were oppressing the mass of Cuban humanity, further, even if Batista was a Caribbean Pol Pot, can there be any justification for the denial of the most basic of human rights now? Did Cubans sell their birthright as human beings for a bowl of ration card soup? Are they human beings or trained chimps to be fed a plate of scraps, treated by the vet, and kept in a cage? Not a single one of the enlightened who criticize US policy would want to live under the boot of the Cuban system. Yet these seemingly well-intentioned people accept the denial of the same rights they enjoy. Does it then follow that Cubans are less than they are?

In the end, there is no reasoning with evil. No amount of diplomacy or pussyfooting, American tourism or credit, is going to occasion the regime to self-immolate. Until it does, any affirmation of the ruling cadre is, in effect, a denial of the humanity of the Cuban people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People like Spielberg do not get it even though he wants us to understand and have empathy for the sufferings of the Jewish people during the Holocaust. When a guy like Spielberg says that the best hours he spent in his life were the ones he spent talking to Fidel Castro, he is beyond help. He did not say the best ones were the ones when his children were born or when he married his wife, but the hours he spent with a despicable tyrant murderer who has enslaved the Cuban people for over 50 years. People like this, I have nothing to say to them.