Monday, February 6, 2012

Shameless, Weak

   Just a short time ago, William Villar Mendoza died while serving out a sentence for crimes he committed.  As the battle of ideas is being waged in the world today, shots were fired by the anti-Cuba press as news outlets ran story after story about the brave political prisoner who went on a hunger strike and ultimately gave his life for a cause. 

   But in a battle of ideas, the truth eventually triumphs.  The Cuban government released a statement explaining the circumstances of his death and the reasons for his incarceration.  Quite simply, the man who had been instantly branded a dissident, was actually not.  He was a person who had beaten his wife and was found guilty of that crime. 

   I know, we aren't supposed to believe Cuban authorities.  They are supposed to be our enemy, a country still on the list of terrorist nations.  But these "ideas" are nothing more that creations to justify the continued lack of political will of the folks in Washington.  These ideas are weak, these ideas are withering.

   Can we believe the newest member of the Ladies in White?  This group is constantly given much respect within our press.  Maritza Pelegrino joined these ladies after the death of her husband, Mr. Villar.  Let's be aware that according to her, as reported by the Washington Post "Maritza Pelegrino said her late husband, Wilman Villar, was first arrested after her mother alerted neighbors and police in July 2011 about a marital dispute. Authorities say Villar beat Pelegrino, but she downplayed the seriousness of the incident." 

   Of course domestic violence is not of a political nature, so why would Mr. Villar be considered a "dissident"?  Because knowing that he would face jail, he likely believed that by aligning himself with "dissident" groups, who themselves are aligned with the U.S., he felt that he could somehow be treated differently than ordinary criminals are.  He joined up with some of those groups just a couple of months after his initial arrest.  His belief was misguided and he ended up being sentenced anyway, as the common criminal that he was.

   What I'm writing isn't an invention.  I was a bit surprised that this correction to the original story was actually found in the Washington Post, one of the news outlets which had previously jumped on the "dead dissident" bandwagon.  It was published on January 30, 2012. 

   Shamelessly though, on the very same day, the Director of the Foundation for Human Rights(!), Matt Brady, felt the need to stick to the untrue story.  He continued to push the idea which had already disintegrated as the truth had come out.  The Huffington Post published his article named  "Letting Cuban Prisoners Die During Hunger Strikes Doesn't Make Sense...".  What doesn't make sense is that a person would cling to such a silly lie, certainly knowing that the truth had already been told.  He asserted that letting the man die shows a "complete disregard for humanity", surely knowing full well that the medical treatment that Mr. Villar received in one of the region's top medical facilities doesn't amount to a disregard for humanity.  The best medical treatment in the world can't always prevent death.

   Matt Brady is shameless.  He chose to glorify a man who physically abused his wife and dishonestly embraced him as some sort of hero.  Mr. Brady is a part of Freedom House, an organization which depends on U.S. tax dollars to operate, so it is no wonder why he would be interested in maintaining the status quo is far as the lies about Cuba go.  What the American people should be questioning is why we spend money on organizations such as Freedom House when they are obviously not willing to be truthful in the information that they spread.  It's not enough to question the integrity of organizations like that, we have to question the entire dialogue in our press about Cuba.  

   The simple fact is that the arguments and attacks against Cuba are shameless.   

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