After witnessing what has been called the "Arab Spring", many commentators here in the U.S. ask the question "will there be a Cuban Spring?" A better question might be "will Americans be there?" Not many. The U.S. still doesn't allow American to travel freely to the island. Though there are now more opportunities for Americans to travel to Cuba, a person must fall in to one of the few categories of approved licences by the Treasury Department. Hopefully, in the near future, our politicians will unshackle themselves from the cold hearted extremists who have controlled the issue for over 50 years.
Micheal Goodwin earlier this week, wrote a piece carried on the FOX website, asking that same tired question. In order for him to have formed his rationale, he had to be willing to play dumb for his audience.
He began his article with this quote from the right-wing Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” This is the typical slanderous jab at the system which seeks to create a more just society. It seems especially disingenuous when the United States depends so heavily on "other people's money." Not only does our government rely on borrowing from other countries, but one of the largest financiers is communist China. Perhaps the capitalist United States should keep its fingers crossed that it doesn't run out of communists to support its system of inequality. If it were to run out, we may experience our own special period.
He goes on to explain how Havana's buildings are crumbling. Certainly proof that socialism is bankrupt, right? But of course he fails to mention that a similar situation occurred in South America's largest economy, Brazil, within the last week. Perhaps the bridge that collapsed in Minnesota a couple of years back slipped his mind. Would these two examples be proof of the failed capitalist world? Perhaps.
Having forgotten such things, the author goes on to speak about rumors about Fidel having dementia. He must be referring to an article written by Carlos Alberto Montaner in early January. Intelligent people realize that Mr. Montaner is completely delusional, if not dishonest, about the subject of Cuba. Perhaps both suffer from dementia. Fidel is certainly lucid enough to accurately describe the Republican primaries!
He claims that Cubans are cut off from the outside world. The lack of iPhones is the measuring stick that he prefers in this instance. Then, he points out that the rest of the world, not the United States, is increasingly engaged in the island. He points out the silly positions taken by Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney opposing trade with Cuba. He points out the contradiction in trading with China and not Cuba. He actually correctly points out that they voice this opposition to trade with Cuba to appeal to the crowd in Miami. This must be the most pandered to group over the past five decades.
He then implies that Cuba isn't really interested in trading with the U.S. This claim comes despite many calls by the Cuban government and the rest of the world to end the embargo. How does he imagine this? Does he pretend that the embargo doesn't really effect the Cuban economy? Cubans would be delighted to be able to sell things to the largest consumer market in the world. Besides selling to us, the Cuban state would save millions of dollars not having to navigate its way around the most far reaching sanctions ever imposed on a nation.
"Their arrest of Alan Gross, an American working with the State Department to help Cuban Jews connect to the Internet, was a chilling illustration of who they are. Gross is serving a 15-year sentence." Statements like this are fine in the land of propaganda, but it ignores the simple fact that Mr. Gross is in prison for violating Cuban law by clandestinely working for USAID. What the situation really tells us is how the politicians, aware of the solution to the situation, prefer to have him remain imprisoned for now so as to have some sort of talking point against Cuba since their arguments no longer make much sense to anyone.
He finishes his article with a sarcastic statement which reads, "So don’t expect a Cuban Spring anytime soon." Allow me to answer the poor man with a bit of sarcasm but truth. Spring starts on Tuesday March 20.