Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Odds and ends

  • Next Monday, President Bush will award the Medal of Freedom to jailed Cuban dissident Oscar Elias Biscet. From the White House statement: “Oscar Elias Biscet is a champion in the fight against tyranny and oppression. Despite being persecuted and imprisoned for his beliefs, he continues to advocate for a free Cuba in which the rights of all people are respected.”

  • Ron Paul on Cuba: for him, the issue boils down to letting Americans make their own decisions. H/T: Stuck on the Palmetto.

  • Missed this one from last week: Cuban Air Force General Rafael del Pino, who defected in 1986, on the symbiosis between hard-liners on both sides of the Straits.

  • Here’s a link to an article that a friend sent to me; it’s by former Salvadoran FMLN guerrilla leader Joaquin Villalobos, who is now – what else? – a consultant on international conflict resolution. It appeared in Madrid’s El Pais last month. The article doesn’t have a lot to do with Cuba, but it does show how the world around Cuba has changed as the guerrillas who fought with Cuban and Soviet support in the 1970’s and 1980’s have moved to other pursuits. Villalobos disparages today’s violent left in Latin America, describing a “lumpenizaci√≥n” whereby today’s fighters are tied more to criminality than ideological motives. According to consultant Villalobos, the “greatest danger in the Cuban transition is not a war between Cubans, but that organized crime would take control of the island.”

  • If this was a baseball blog, I would write about 500 words on Alex Rodriguez’ vile attempt to upstage the Rockies and the Sox by announcing his “I want more money” contract decision in the middle of Sunday night’s World Series game.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Del Pino defected in 1987, not 1986.

Phil Peters said...

Thanks for the correction.

leftside said...

The Medal of Freedom is supposed to award private citizens who "have made remarkable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other private or public endeavors."

It is clear what criteria Biscet falls under (national interests of the US). I have nothing against Biscet, but it might be a useful mental exercise to wonder what might happen in this country if someone such as myself were to meet constantly with the Cuban or Iranian Ambassador, carry our the wishes of that office in regards to regime change activities to the extent that I am given a literal free pass into the offices of the their Embassy day or night - and also worked with a group that has conducted terrorist activity against my country. One doesn't have to read the Patriot Act very long to know that I would be in jail, like Mr. Biscet. Cavorting with the highest levels of the Diplomatic Corps of your country's mortal enemies is usually a good way to land in prison in any country.

Phil Peters said...

Ok, so apart from explaining why it's perfectly logical for him to be in jail, you have nothing against the guy. Got it.

leftside said...

Just like I have nothing personally against the million fellow US citizens in US jail on non-violent offenses...

Now I certainly do not respect Biscet, who has shown far less moral rectitude than many of the other "dissidents." But my main beef is with the US Government and the actions of the USIS. The activities of Mr. Biscet would be fine if the US did not take every opportunity to push the envelope in funding and organizing subversion against Cuba, using Biscet for their own illegal purposes. If the US did not have a policy of regime change and CANF was not buying helicopters and rocket propelled grenades, then contact with them would be fine. But as it is, working with these folks simply must be against the law. I have little doubt that Cuba's Law 88 (under which Biscet was charged) would be stricken from the books the moment the US stopped its policy of intervention and began to take terrorism launched from its shores seriously.

Anonymous said...

Leftside, I'll bet those CANF helicopters are flying above your house right now, aren't they?

leftside said...

Hilarious...

Unpleasant facts are still facts. Though, am I incorrect to assume that you probably saw nothing wrong with CANF arming themselves to the T, ready to ferry an army and Mas Canosa in fast boats and helicpters to Cuba as the new President? The Bay of Pigs would look good compared to what would happen if exiles tried that grand idea...