Today the Miami Herald blessed us with the view of another of the celebrated theorists from the anti-Cuba crowd, Jose Azel. His expertise have gotten him in the heirarchy of "Cuba Studies" and is a professor at the University of Miami. Why? Well his type of expertise are the kind that is always in demand at the institutions in Miami.
He begins his piece with references to the uprisings in Africa and the Middle East, which have caught the world powers off guard as they struggle with the typical hypocrisy and inconsistencies as they try to deal with the situations. Obvious favoritisms in that part of the world get in the way of being able to form a consistent policy on the part of Washington and Europe. Our media chooses to highlight certain acts of violence carried out by regimes long considered hostile to our interests, while obscuring equal or greater violence being carried out by "friendly" regimes.
Since nothing of the sort has occurred in Cuba, Miami's right wing has been left day dreaming about countless "what ifs". After their high hopes of a similar rebellion in Cuba, they are resigning themselves to the fact that it will not occur. So back to their traditional theories they go as to what the future will hold.
In what Mr. Azer calls a "milestone", the famous in Miami Dr. Biscet, declared that the "dissidents" in Cuba are prepared to negotiate a transition in Cuba. This "milestone" most certainly will turn out to be yet another footnote in the annals of anti-Castro history in the pseudo-reality Miami's right wing lives in.
Describing the "opposition movement" in Cuba as "coming to age" is an example of how out of touch some people are. Many people have spoken to Cubans and have reported that most Cubans aren't in favor of regime change, just the ability to help improve their country's economy in order for all Cubans to live more comfortably. He claims that the Communist Party "has lost its ideological footing." The recent decisions affirmed by their recent congress reflects an evolutrion within the country to better adjust itself to the realities of the world. There is no more communist bloc to organize trade relations separate from the capitalist world, so it is quite obvious to everyone on the island (and it has been for some years) that certain changes in its economy and laws are necessary. As opposed to the suggestion by Mr. Azel, the party is putting itself on more solid ground as it adjusts things more in line with what the citizens of Cuba would like. At the same time, the government is staying true to its ideology of trying to ensure that nobody is left with nothing. By making sure that changes do not occur in a hurried manner, it is being careful not to repeat the disasters that occurred in some post-Soviet societies during the 1990's.
The word "embryonic" chosen by Mr. Azel to describe the "opposition" is quite comical at this point since we are to have supposed that there has been this opposition for 52 years. How long can an embryo exist??!! So much of what is considered as the opposition by the folks in Miami are nothing more than their own creations. The U.S. government working hand in hand with the extremists in Miami have worked long and hard at creating and supporting "dissidents" to no avail. They remain virtual unknowns on the island and serve primarily as propaganda tools for our own consuption through our media. Saying that there are challenges to the methods of government would be true, but the author fails to either realize or mention that these methods are being discussed and debated openly and at times implemented within the existing system. He believes that the answers to Cuba's future can be found in pre-revolutionary Cuba, Talk about being stuck in the past! What should be understood about Cuba before 1959 is that by having such a corrupt and foreign dominated government gave rise to the revolution itself. This is something that the experts in Miami seem to forget. Suggesting a return to such a situation is suggesting that you fail to understand why the revolution even happened. He points out that previously the politics were "personality driven", but by elevating people like Biscet to prominence is nothing different. He is banking on the idea that things will be more diverse if the regime were to disappear. I suspect that part of that diversity would include a large voice at the table for the people in Miami as defacto representatives for Washington's interests as is the case in some of the African and Middle East countries which are experiencing the backlash of not enjoying true independence as Cuba does today.
If Mr. Azel is planning to "chart" the future of Cuba, he needs not do anything but pay attention to what goes on there. Otherwise he will waste alot of paper with the charts he creates, as he continues with the ignorant theories that have long guided the people in Miami.
Please click on the link to the opinion piece if you are interested in understanding how out of touch professor Azel is.