Monday, July 10, 2006

Waiting for the Big Guy to die

BBC: US President George W Bush has approved an $80m (£43m) fund towards boosting democracy in Cuba.

The article notes that not only is this government waiting for Castro to die, they're actively working with local organizations to promote change within the country.

Personally, I think the best thing that ever happened to Castro's regime is the embargo. In trying to starve the Communist regime to death, we've only given them a bigger point to prove. As some readers of this blog will attest, some people would rather let the world fall apart around them than submit to reason. For the U.S. to begin funnelling money into Cuba nowthough makes as a wager that the country is going to embrace democracy as soon as the old man croaks is a crap shoot.

While countless Cubans have had to flea their homeland, many more have decided to stay. Why is that? Why hasn't there been a revolt in Cuba to overthrow Fidel? As much as many of us here in the States hate him, many people, including Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Harry Belafonte think Fidel is the best thing ever. My point is, the Cubans don't hate Fidel as much as we would want them to. They've had more than enough time to overhtrow that wacko, but he's remained esconsed in power because his people adore him. Think back to Elian, people.

Growing up in a Colombian/Puerto Rican household, I would hear my very outspoken Colombian relatives chide and praise the Cuban people for sticking together in this country and making something of themselves. In short, the stereotype goes, the Cubans don't bullshit. My point here is that this intrepid and industrious people would very well have gotten rid of Castro if that's what they really wanted.

Not to offend my Cuban people in Miami, but the Castro is a pig rhetoric is old and is being preached to the choir. Sidebar: These Cuban Republicans really annoy me, though I loved how people like Senator Mel Martinez had to swallow their "do it for yourself" politics when the immigration debacle took center stage. Their thinking is that they left Cuba with nothing and came to this country to make themselves somebodies, without the help of the government. Fair enough, but one might argue that assylum (something we're not handing out to the Haitians, for instance, is a huge help).

But I digress.

I say we lift the embargo, let the Cubans enjoy the spoils of commercialism and use that $80 million to help U.S. organizations that are helping our kids read, write, add and subtract better so that they can compete with their Cuban counterparts. They've got doctors for days and the highest literacy rate in Latin America. Azucar!


Red Tulips said...

*totally agrees with you*

Berdo said...

And Berdo half agrees with you...and I swear I'll stop posting today...I guess I'm on a roll (and have no plans tonight).

I think it's folly to believe that those who are in Cuba and haven't risked their lives to leave it have somehow "chosen" to stay. It is more than a little hard to take to see rich Americans - Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover among them - preach the benefits of the communist country and then leave to continue their luxurious lives replete with a neverending pulpit to espouse their views.

That is far more than can be said for the average Cuban - many of whom have found themselves in jail for dissenting - or trying to seek a view of the world the Cuban government doesn't pre-approve (such is the nature of a state-controlled press). IN a series of columns he wrote while in Cuba, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby says of the high literacy rate that it makes the fact that the government tightly controls what can be read within its borders that much more inexcusable. I couldn't agree more.

So let's dispense with the idea that there is a 50/50 dynamic to this debate. There's an oppressed majority, a power-hungry, pampered, ruthless elite, and a group of hollywood jerks who find themselves always on the wrong side of virtually every issue.

Brytta said...

First off, Harry Belafonte is a wack job, and the fact that you had to dig that far down the Celebrity C List to find a Castro apologist speaks volumes against your argument. And the fact that so many Cubans remain in Cuba, well, your conclusion simply boggles the mind. Eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain under Stalin? Adored him, never left. North Koreans under Kim Jung-il? Adored him, never left. Kurds in Iraq under Saddam Hussein? Adored him, never left.

The thing with the embargo is that the US is the only country who has the embargo. Cuba is able to trade with EVERY other country in the world. UK, France, Germany, etc, you get the gist. Cuba is a small enough country that they could find enough other countries to trade with to make a success of it. However, their whole system is a shambles, and nobody wants anything they have, due to their whole economic system. So the US didn’t wreck their island paradise, Castro did, condemning the whole place to grinding poverty and failure.

Nope, keep the embargo. They don’t want us and we don’t need them.

Anonymous said...

Why must the Cubans be dependent on the US? They already trade with Canada and Europe. Seems to me that that should be enough to have a decent standard of living. Isn't it rather paternalistic to think that a nation can prosper only if is associated with the US?