Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rationality Pauses For Campaign Season

   The 2012 campaign season has begun.  Not that campaign seasons ever truly end in the U.S., but now there are actually faces to be on TV that declare themselves as candidates.  Along comes the customary promises that almost never will be fulfilled and soon will follow the bombardment of political ads that make television more unbearable than it already is.  And let's not forget the likelihood of over a billion dollars hiding under the irrational farce of being considered free speech.

   Politicians, almost all, from the aspiring representative all the way up to the sitting president are carving out positions on issues that they consider to be safe so as not to run the risk of losing ground in the polls.  So much is needed to be done yet for the next year it is unlikely that any politician is willing to do more than talk about what they will do instead of actually doing it.

   For fifty years the government in Washington has spun itself into a web of lunacy in international relations.  The Cold War, post-Soviet Union, the War on Terror, whatever the situation, Washington finds itself creating relationships and avoiding others becoming more hypocritical and inconsistent by the year.  In spite of all of the nice proclamations that are meant to appeal to the hearts of people, the policies of forceful domination remains a constant.  And when domination isn't possible, Washington becomes even more irrational. 

   The 18th congressional district is represented in Washington by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.  Her claim to fame is her infamous irrationality in influencing U.S. policy towards Cuba.  The U.S. has been unable to join the rest of the world in realizing that Cuba is not willing to submit to the demands of others, as no country should, and forsake its own people's interests for the greed and dominance that Washington would like to impose on the world.  Washington can't say with a straight face that Cuba is a threat or a sponsor of terrorism.  Washington can't claim that it is truly concerned with human rights as it has such a rich history of supporting repression if its interests are served.  So why is the U.S. so stubborn when it comes to Cuba?  Cuba has achieved great feats in comparison with many other nations when it comes to health, education, and international cooperation.  All this means nothing to Washington as it continues to ignore anything positive on the island, choosing instead to invent things that can be used to justify its stance.

    There are two issues that have gained a lot of news coverage recently in regards to Cuba-U.S. relations.  One being the imprisonment of Alan Gross which can only be resolved by rational respectful actions on the part of the United States.  Alan Gross was in Cuba, breaking Cuban law, and doing so as part of a U.S. government program meant to destabilize the country.  Cuba is well within its rights to allow Mr. Gross to remain in Cuba for the full 15 years.  If Cuba decides to release him, it can do so too, but why would it at this point given the refusal of Washington to even attempt to negotiate something?

   The other issue is the oil drilling that will begin soon of the coast of Cuba.  Years back, Cuba stated that U.S. oil companies would be welcome to participate in the venture.  Because of the embargo, U.S. companies are forbidden from doing business there.  Do we think that the oil companies don't want a piece of the action?!  Of course they do.  But I'm not here to cry about the U.S. oil industry not being able to make more money than they already have.  But I do wonder what the people of Ileana Ros-Lehtenin's district must be thinking as she leads the charge in preventing any cooperation in the event of an oil spill that could destroy the livelihood of much of her district.  Instead of acting responsibly, she attacks and threatens the companies that will be working with Cuba.  A bi-partisan letter, by a group of congressmen that depends on donations from the old guard extremists in Miami, was sent  to the Spanish company that will be drilling in the attempt to scare them from violating pending legislation.  Pending legislation!  Since when was pending legislation law?  As quickly as the letter was received it was dismissed.  The Spanish company has surely done its homework and will be careful not to violate the hopelessly spiteful embargo.

   Surely Ros-Lehtenin is worried.  Surely she screams louder since she is aware that the majority of Americans , including Cubans living in the U.S., are tired of this situation that has lasted for over five decades.  She has nothing to offer but disgruntled proclamations against Cuba.  She is doing nothing except try to prevent any logical cooperation in the event of an oil spill.  This nonsense is enough though for her.  She will continue to be funded by the dinosaurs in Miami whose wish of controlling Cuba never dies.  She need not sound or act rational, for if she did she would be betraying the only issue she is infamous for.  Besides, it's campaign season, and the president is unlikely to do anything to change the status quo of the embargo.  He too is jockeying for money and support from some of the same people, although he does so at the risk of alienating those who thought that he was smarter than that.

   Ileana can sleep well for the moment, but she will soon be quite distraught when after the election season the oil industry and others will be able to pressure Washington just enough to start the crumbling of the house of cards that the embargo is held up by.  The issue of Mr. Gross will have a chance of being  genuinely attended to and other aspects of the embargo will loosen as well.  The United States is capable of doing the right thing, it just unfortunately takes a while for it to do so.  We will get a chance to witness Ileana screaming and kicking while the world ignores her nonsensical rhetoric and she looses the only issue that has kept her career in the spotlight.  When that time comes, she will see how quickly her relevance vanishes and the Cuban and American people can be friends and respect each other, learning from each other and sharing in this thing we all share, life.

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