Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Little to the Right, Please

Judging by the media coverage of the proposed release of 50 political prisoners in Cuba, it would seem that the entire island has been liberated. Even Foxnews is running a banner indicating that with the promised release- more aptly described as the forced expulsion- of the 50, there remain only 100 political prisoners in Cuba. So while Spain, the Church, and the MSM celebrate the benificence of the regime, they forget about all of those incarcerated on other grounds but for political reasons, on charges like those of buying black market paint, etc... Darsi Ferrer, anyone? Extending the idea, the hoopla obscures the fact that exclusive of party apparatchiks, true believers, foreign government functionaries, western enablers, oh, tourists, expatriates, Eurotrash, anyone living in Cuba is in essence a political prisoner.

What this media ploy demonstrates is the only genius of the ruling military junta in Havana. They have murdered and pillaged, oppressed a people and mismanaged an economy, dragged a nation backwards into the third world, into the Stalinist era. They are surrounded by the desolation they have created, but, hey, they have a diabolical knack for propaganda. For decades it is they who have framed the discussion. This ostensibly humanitarian gesture has seemingly blinded the world community to the continued repression of half a century. And Cuban Americans, as usual, are left looking like... like, well, hardliners.

Let me explain my perspective: suppose a mugger is kneeling on the chest of his victim, applying just enough pressure, not enough to completely kill the unfortunate, but enough to make it near impossible to breathe. In comes Spain and the Church ( Picture it like a morality play) who after much cajoling and pleading succeed in convincing the aforementioned mugger to shift a little to the right allowing the victim just a bit more oxygen. Am I supposed to celebrate?

True, I am gladdened that the victim is afforded a bit more freedom. In this sense, I wholeheartedly rejoice that the beaten and tortured will no longer be beaten and tortured, just forced into permanent exile from their mother country for the crime of having an opinion. But I will not bang cymbals and jump up and down in ecstasy until the criminal is gone and victim is at last freed.

That Slippery Slope

Those of you who read the blog know that we bought the house next door a few years ago. It stayed vacant for a few years while the hubster- in his spare time- worked on making it livable. My mother used to say that he had his vacation home next door. This year we finally moved into the almost finished house, leaving the original house vacant. When the Census rolled around, I dutifully filled out the forms, indicating that no one lived in the cottage, that's a euphemism for shack.

Lo and behold, my very irate neighbor informed me that yesterday, one of the newly hired census people came by to check it out. Then I find a little form nicely requesting a call or expect another visit. My neighbor is correct in this one. What the f*#@? It's empty. They saw it was empty. My neighbor told the woman no one lived there. What more?