Monday, May 16, 2011

Downplaying Reality or Just Pretending It Isn't So

  Juan O. Tamayo's latest attempt to downplay the results of the recent congress in Cuba shouldn't be taken with a grain of salt, but an entire spoonful.  As is quite common for the anti-Cuba crowd in Miami, nothing that happens in Cuba can be spoken of positively nor taken seriously.  They suggest rather that their "exile" expertise should be recognized, even thought their predictions about Cuba have been wrong for fifty two years!  Besides having become something to make a living off of, Cuba is basically a thorn in the side of those who feel that it is some sort of natural right to be able to dictate to other nations according to their own interests, ignoring things like respect and sovereignty.  It is a point of view stemming from imperial arrogance.  In the view of most of the world, Cuba represents a nation strong enough to endure a fifty year old economic war waged by the most powerful country in the history of the world.  Not only that, to many all over, Cuba is also an example of unique progress ready to share what it can , whether it be doctors and medical training or ways to produce organic food efficiently with few resources.  These realities are all brushed aside by the folks in Miami and Washington because a recognition of any of this would be an admission of their own failures.
   In their confusion and lack of anything thoughtful in response to the recent congress, they have resorted to trying to say everything and anything.  Nothing has to make sense, nor are you supposed to realize it.  Your job is to just get enough propaganda to believe that Cuba's revolution won't be around for long.  Oh yeah, try not to remember that whatever the situation has been, they have been saying that since 1959.
   You have people trying to point out a black economist who says the changes will disproportionately affect black people on the island as opposed to whites, and it will be necessary to have a type of affirmative action to make things more fair. Really? And who is this argument directed towards? Certainly they can't be appealing to the white racists who moved to Miami after having maintained a system of segregation on the island.  Many of those same people intended to wait for the fruits of the embargo and acts of terrorism against the people in Cuba to return and pick up their exploitation right where they left off.  So this must be an appeal to the majority, the good people who are in favor of equality for all and won't accept racism.  The problem that they run against with this argument is the fact that most good people understand that our harsh policy towards Cuba  is unjustifiable and should be ended. 
   There is the argument that the changes coming in Cuba will be so extreme that the people who supported the "shock doctrine" that was applied in the former Soviet states would wince.  Without much thinking at all, it would be easy to understand that Cuba had the advantage of seeing the despair in those countries, and has long stated very clearly that that is not a path that interests them, not from the standpoint of the people, nor from the standpoint of the state.  Selling off one's sovereignty will not be the way for Cuba.
   Then we have the view put out by Juan O. Tamayo.  A view designed to protect the extremists' positions in "exile".  If they can say that changes really won't be occuring, they will find it easier to mantain their stubborn position.  Cuba will not fail and fall apart.  Instead they will be able to pretend that Cuba is "being ruled by an iron fist" as they always contend, which in their minds justifies a continuation of their parasitic existence.  They will have a reason for taking the American public's money for pet projects like Radio an TV Marti.  The politicians will be able to raise money for their campaigns as they all try to posistion themselves as "Cuba's worst enemy" in Congress or City Council or whatever. 
   Just weeks after the Cuban Congress finished it's work and days after they published all of the results for the population, Mr. Tamayo has, with his usual contemptuous atitude, decided that the Cuban people have already given up on the new direction put forth by the Congress. Utter silliness is what he offers readers as proof of his theory.  He suggests that although they sold quite quickly in the beginning, there now seems to be many left on the shelves.  He also states that the originals were so much in demand that they were even resold for more than the face value. If that is the case, then he helps disprove his own analysis since more people read the first copies, opting to buy them from others, which would mean more being left on the shelves later!  He writes off complaints about there being too many generalities, but in fact it puts a plan in effect that is able to move more quickly or slowly so as to protect the population from a "shock therapy" as others suggest.  It portays certain changes as decisions to not change!  There are certain things that cannot be given a specific timeline such as the dual currency situation, but it makes sense that there is an honest desire on the part of everyone to eventually have one currency.  The fact that there will be certain restrictions on the accumulation of property is a sign that Cuba's revolution will be sticking to its principles, although it will be allowing a market for private businesses (which is being promoted), home sales, and other things. 
   The postponement of layoffs is more unsettling for the enemies of Cuba than it is for the Cuban economy.  Although there is a need for trimming certain redundant jobs and jobs that can be handled by "cuentapropistas" doing so to rapidly would probably cause more harm than good.  Therein lies the reason for the disappointment on the part of the people waiting for Cuba to fail.  Oh how they would love to show pictures of the horrors of Cuba!  But they can't and they won't have their pictures. They try to use the new guidelines as evidence of a criticism of Fidel Castro, but anyone who has been paying attention would know that Fidel has been speaking of some of these things for a while.  In fact, some of these things are expansions of programs that started before his retirement.  Of course Mr. Tamayo had to finish his article with a metaphor talking about the mixture of chickpeas and coffee causing some coffee makers to explode.  What he and many others seem to not grasp is that is a sign of Cuba's ability to adjust and adapt to circumstances and not a sign of surrender.

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