Friday, September 9, 2011

Ping-Pong with Frank Calzon

This is my response to Frank Calzon's plea to remain ignorant in the Miami Herald.

   "Just sending athletes to Cuba to engage in some “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” won’t change Cuba." Your right about that. What will change Cuba, but not in the way you or your cohorts would hope, is the ability to sell goods to the largest consumer market in the world. Ending the embargo and all of the supplemental laws that tighten and expand the policy to other countries will give Cuba an opportunity to grow, something which the US has intentionally tried to prevent for a half century.
    You speak of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking against segregation in the US. Do you choose to leave out his belief that the US should respect the people of Cuba? Would you call him a communist as others called him back then? Would you try to marginalize him even though the majority of Americans think it is time to change our policies towards Cuba?
    Do we know about the increased repression? I certainly know that the US is still openly trying to undermine a sovereign country, Cuba. I certainly know that the video of four women standing for 30 minutes in front of the capitol building in Havana showed a camera man cheering them on almost by himself while others, ordinary Cubans walked by and laughed off the staged spectacle. After thirty minutes the women were taken to the patrol car without violence. I know that the creators of the video and their sponsors were frustrated by the fact that they couldn't provoke a violent response, but in spite of what the video shows, they still try to perpetuate the lie.
    "A single glimpse often leads to false conclusions." Right again. Americans should travel to Cuba many times, so that they can see for themselves the disservice the propaganda machine with its Miami headquarters has done by keeping American policy decades behind the rest of the world. Remember, the same press you say was duped into believing the "fresh fruits" trucks in the Soviet Union is the same press that seeks comments from people who meet regularly with the officials of the US Interests Section in Havana and receive compensation for much of their "independent work" on the island. This is the same press that sheepishly allowed the previous US administration lead us into a war in Iraq based on lies by the supposed "good guys."
    Those African nations which were aided by the Cuban people in their fights towards independence still remember to publicly appreciate the Cuban people for the support given at a time when the US was on the side of those against their independence. Is that what you call "documented anti-Americanism?" Would you say Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was also anti-American because he called our government "the greatest purveyor of violence?" Would you punish Dr. King's supporters and try to keep them separated from the rest of the world? Some arrogant people believe that not following the imaginary rules that are set in Washington is anti -American. So Washington refuses to respect the sovereignty of Cuba and continues to try to undermine it and punish the Cuban people.
    The US is increasingly marginalizing itself in a world that views its policies as being cruel and hypocritical. The "hard-liners" are finding themselves in a weakened position as they try to jockey for the sympathy of the American people and comically attempt to represent the aspirations of the Cuban people who they have intentionally caused to suffer unnecessarily for decades.
    Mr.Calzon, the end is near, you feel it, it burns. You and others know full well that you are in a race you can't win and won't. The Cuban people are making their own changes and the longer the hard-liners try to punish them for doing so, the less space their will be for them in Havana and Washington in the future.

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