Cuba Again

Ore : 10:43 AM

(I know, I know I should be sounding off on the bloody, slaughtery debacle continuing to flower in Lebanon. I swear I'll get to it when the abject horror I'm feeling has lifted a bit...)

So OK, I've visited the Cuba nostalgia
Web site, often linked to from right-wing sites. Lots of fun stuff: panama hats, reconstructions of low, homey Cuban storefronts, charmingly lurid oil pantings of Cuban themes. There's even a booth, IIRC, where you can buy those Che Guevara T-shirts, the ones with a bullet in the forehead -- adorably snarky, verdad? But if you visit, you'll notice a distinct lack of substance, of weight; it's all so vague (and it's the same all over the "Cuba libre pero con condiciones..." blogosphere.) There's no strident and specific manifesto, no rousing "Cuba has suffered for half a century under this evil communist dictatorship; now is the time for change, and this is what we'd like to see blahdiblahdiblah..."

So just for what are they feeling nostalgia? A pre-Castro Cuba, clearly; there is brief mention of Cuba once having been vacationer's paradise, an ersatz debonair's playground, as it is today for many Europeans and Canadians and Mexicans and South Americans and Asians. But the fleeting allusions elide the fact that back then it was so for only wealthiest, and for white Americans in the upper tax brackets. These people (mostly rightist Cuban exiles and American conservatarians) are so damn coy about what it is for which they yearn. But I think it's pretty clear they yearn for the crushing poverty that afflicted the majority of the populace, for the bloody excesses of Batista, for organized crime as an institution run amok, for the iron rod of unforgiving, foreign corporate rule. Given in particular the American Right's track record, under Bush, domestically and abroad, I think this is a conservative and all-too forgiving assessment of their state of mind.

Of course someone's bound to ask, "You mention Batista, but what about Castro?" Followed by some facile sophistry that's supposed to illuminate an equivalence between the two, and ultimately quash the conversation. Yes, Castro's crushed dissent and had people disappeared. His notion of making himself the keystone of an entire nation may very well doom the people he set out to save. As I have mentioned earlier,
I am no fan of the would-be slugger.

But this misses the point. The point is the future. Castro's on his way out, and his brother will not last long. Whither Cuba then? My greatest concern is, as it should be, that over which I and others of like mind may have some modicum of control -- specifically, the American Right's agenda as it pertains to Cuba. Just what specific policies will we see them implement? How will they attempt to insinuate their whims, their avarice and bloody-mindedness, into the inevitable transition, with all its attendant confusion and panic? To what lengths are they willing to go, and how much pain are they willing to inflict on the defenseless in pursuit of fulfilling their vendetta against a people who defied them for so long? What kind of obfuscatory, false, ostensibly mollifying-yet-self-aggrandizing language can we expect them to use to camoflauge their intentions and actions?

Most importantly, what can we do to stop them?

posted by teh l4m3 at 10:43 AM | Permalink |

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Comments for Cuba Again
The fly in the ointment of a new Cuba is South Florida where there is a more than significant chance that Cuban exiles will start clamoring for the restoration of their ancestral huts, er, homes, no make that mansions, or rather plantations, no make that 1000-acre ranchs with feudal villages. Some of the particularly idiotic looney-tunes in Miami have even talked about abandoning their domino games long enough to mount an invading force.

There's even a booth, IIRC, where you can buy those Che Guevara T-shirts, the ones with a bullet in the forehead -- adorably snarky, verdad?

I'm not very fond of that one.

No one can convince me that Cuba was better off under Batista(and the Capitalist America Juggernaut) than it was under Castro's rule.

Those psycho hose-beasts in Florida must be salivating over the thought of moving back in there and bringing the country back to the shame it was pre-Castro. All with the help of right-wing Christian United States backing them.

Someone please tell me this is not going to happen.

"...Cuban exiles will start clamoring for...restoration..."

And don't think they don't have an enormous amount of pull -- more with Republicans, but certainly some with Democrats, as well...


"I'm not very fond of that one."

I guessed as much ;)

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