Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Viva Cuba Libre!

By Capt. Fogg

Bush began to talk about the "blessings of Liberty" like some Chatty Kathy Doll when he heard of Fidel Castro's resignation as President of Cuba. He launched into a typically rambling riff about unfair elections and people rotting in prisons while the gods of hypocrisy smiled down on him like a proud parent upon a favored child.

No, I'm not a fan of Fidel, but many Cubans are and they see him as having provided a better life than they had when Cuba was run by a feudal corruptocracy owned by American interests, legitimate and otherwise. Many Cubans see their financial problems as something done to them out of spite and malice by our fair country and indeed our policies have hurt the common man while strengthening Castro and his party. I would hardly be surprised to hear that many Cuban patriots wonder if those blessings of liberty Bush extols are like the blessings we have afforded other countries whose resources we crave and the "fair" elections he describes would be like those we have squashed or rigged in places like Iran and Latin America and Vietnam.

It's not that I'm sad to see him step down and I'm hopeful that Cuba will be allowed to rejoin the world and its economy in my lifetime. As a lifelong fan of Earnest Hemingway I would love to follow his route from Key West to Cuba in my own boat and be free to return home without reprisals from my own government. Who knows? It may happen, but not now. The embargo will remain in place, no move toward reconciliation will be made, for despite the rapturous rhetoric about liberty, it's still all about the nationalization of US owned assets that offended our sense of entitlement so badly over 50 years ago. Cubans in Miami may be cheering Viva Cuba Libre, but in Washington the unheard prayer is Viva Coca Cola and Viva Cosa Nostra.

Cross posted from Human Voices

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16 Comments:

Anonymous lester said...

like all forms of interventionism, the embargo has had the complete opposite of it's intended effect. It's soldified Castro's rule and made him a hero. If the embargo was lifted and cubans were given the oppurtunity to make more money socialism would be over in 5 seconds. that's all anyone wants isn't it? prosperity and if it's possible liberty

11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

We have had the stupidest policy imaginable on Cuba. I also would like to see the day when you could sail your boat there. Hope it's big enough for stowaway. I might just sneak into the hold for that trip. Always wanted to go there myself. I hear it's beautiful.

11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous rockync said...

I also would love to visit Cuba. The US policy on cuba has been repressive and counterproductive and totally ineffective. Castro has always had the backing and support of Russia. How different it might have been if Americans weren't banned from visiting. How much more effective it would have been for Cubans to see visitors with money and freedom to travel, etc. Let's hope that with Castro stepping down, our new prez will find a way to reopen the issue.

11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The failure of the embargo is highlighted by the success of more open policies with other former communist countries. Let's hope whoever our new Pres is, he/she is willing to ignore the Miami Cuban lobby and the old cold war loonies and move forward.

It's hard to stow away on a 33 foot boat, but it does sleep 6 and can make Cuba from Key West in 3 hours. One has to deal with a tyrannical and unbalanced Captain though. . .

1:09:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL Fogg. Truthfully, I've never been more then ten minutes away from the sight of land in a boat. I think I'm a little afraid of the open sea. I'd probably opt out for flying but I do love hanging around on one that's docked. Let's play on meeting at the marina for a good old party in the event that we live long enough to see a sensible policy enacted.

1:25:00 PM  
Anonymous rockync said...

I can swim and I don't like flying, I'll be first mate Capt. Got to warn you though, you'll be dealing with a rebellious, unbalanced first mate!

2:21:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

you can't dowmplay cubas own ridiculous policies for their fate. not every country has an embargo on Cuba. I was in the bahamas a while ago. they had no income tax, just a Value added tax that meant tourists basically paid their taxes. The cab drivers make like 90,000 dollars a year. I have never met nicer or happier people. Cuba has the same beaches, it's in the same neighborhood, but they are miserable. and like all socialist countries, the absolute most rank forms of capitalism, gambling drugs prostitution, are widely avaialable on the black market

3:47:00 PM  
OpenID expatbrian said...

I'm reminded of Michael Moore's funny but moving and courageous trip to Cuba in Sicko. It showed a human side to the people from that island that Americans are forbidden to see.
I can not only sail and swim, I can fish!

7:59:00 PM  
Blogger JonBoy said...

What exactly is the point of this whole embargo anyways?

11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

"and like all socialist countries, the absolute most rank forms of capitalism, gambling drugs prostitution, are widely avaialable on the black market"

I guess Fulgencio Batista was a socialist, right? The Mafia are all a bunch of Commies too - and the Sugar cartels are definately Socialist - and nazis and Enviros too. What a world you live in!

If you keep inventing convenient and idiosyncratic definitions for things and then attacking what you mislabel as though there were any basis in truth to it, one might complain that you were Channeling Goebels. That makes you, by your own psychologic, a Nazi, doesn't it?

9:17:00 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

I'm not saying that capitlism does n't have vice. I'm saying that allegedly socialist countries have massive unrestricted and often quite deadly "capitalism" as well. the banning of religion certainly sees to that.

so my point is socialism is hypocritical because it doesn't stop exploitation or monopolies or any of that stuff. and it's bad economic policies and lack of moral foundation force more people into those markets. why are you always so angry?

10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

^lol poorly edited but you get the drift

10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I'm rarely angry - cynical and fed up with arguments about how Social Security leads to Communism and anarchy leads to peace and prosperity and how people who don't want you to shit in the well are EnviroNazis is more to the point.

Socialism itself isn't the key to whether socialism works. No system works for long without being embedded in an adaptive matrix with checks and balances. Sweden isn't going down the road to Communism or Fascism and yet they, like many other good countries to live in, have a controlled degree of socialism.

It's people that are hypocritical and dishonest and stupid and it comes out in everything they do. Democracy itself has often been the road to Communism and to Fascism - should we dispense with it and call it hypocritical?

2:34:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

"Democracy itself has often been the road to Communism and to Fascism - should we dispense with it and call it hypocritical?"

yes!

4:32:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Oh nice. And with what do you replace Democracy?

11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

nothing!

10:09:00 AM  

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