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Posted by Brett Mann on 22:05:22 2005/01/04
In Reply to: Re: Europe's betrayal of Cubans posted by Brian Lemon
I haven't been to Cuba for a while but I'm pretty sure the situation there has not changed radically in the past few years. The first thing a visitor to Cuba notices, especially if they have been exposed to the neo-con fantasy of Cuba as one giant Stalinist prison camp, is that it's relatively free. A tourist can simply walk around and talk to people, stay in private homes, rent a car and drive nearly anywhere (but don't go near military facilities at the risk of your life). After a short while and enough conversations with average Cubans, it becomes evident that this is not a free country, that people are clearly afraid to speak their minds.
On a scale of state terrorism, however, Cuba ranks much closer to America, a country which imprisons more of its own people than any nation on earth, practices the death penalty and winks at torture - than it is to say Uzbekistan, (if I've got my "stans" right) where the esteemed leader is reported to boil his opponents live in oil. Uzbekistan is a close strategic ally of America, and depite some recent US attempts to clean up human rights violations there, is somewhat emblematic of the murdering, torturing hypocrisy of America on the subject of human rights. The US has very little to teach and a great deal to learn on this topic.
Cubans are fanatically nationalistic. A good number of them are still fervent fans of Castro, and the nation would rally around him or his successor in the event of an American invasion (which has been pushed for by some senior people like Bolton in the US administration). If people who hated Saddam are now fighting against Americans in Iraq, what would be the situation in Cuba?
Finally, I have travelled Central America a bit and seen first hand the gut-wrenching obscene poverty in "free" "democratic" "free enterprise" countries like Honduras. Compared to the plight of the poorest of the poor in such places, socialist Cuba is a paradise. But of course this argument will mean nothing to those who care nothing for the poorest of the poor.
Those who repeat as a given the stale neo-con propaganda on Cuba are merely demonstrating how ideological blindness leads to impaired thinking and faulty reality contact, neo-con characteristics whose effects can be seen daily in Iraq.
More about the disgaceful, immoral, duplicitous and criminal treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay later.
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