Havana-Miami-Washington events and arguments and their impact on Cuba
President Bush met leaders of the Cuban American community at Havana Harry’s in Coral Gables last Friday. His brief remarks, sort of a wistful farewell, are here.
[White House photo.]
From the speech:"It's so sad that right off the shores of our great, you know, nation that believes in human rights and human dignity exists this dungeon. But someday Cuba will be free. Someday the people who are there will realize the blessing of freedom. And I want to thank the people around this table for working to see that day come. Thank you very much." Someday he says.Anyway, readers should know about the people who Pres. Bush is thanking. Most of them make up organizations that have supported the US policy of isolation that has yet to provide any indication of success in Cuba.The two persons sitting next to Pres. Bush (Iriondo and De Cespedes) have in the past supported the strange and confused efforts of this administration, and have consistently stood behind Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart.In 2006, right before the news broke that Fidel Castro had intestinal surgery, Iriondo and De Cespedes stood behind a threatening measure to blacklist members of the Cuban military if they participated in political oppression in Cuba. The measure was lead by Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart.http://blogs.herald.com/cuban_connection/2006/08/congressional_r.htmlPhoto here:http://blogs.herald.com/cuban_connection/2006/08/what_theyre_say.htmlThe meeting in Coral Gables was also attended by Ninoska Perez-Castellon and Armando Perez-Roura, longtime militants of Radio Mambi.Photo here:http://www.daylife.com/photo/0dnL8a77LV9oSBoth radio host of Radio Mambi have no problem calling for, and supporting, the violent overthrow of the Cuban government.Armando Perez-Roura is Chairman of the militant organization Unidad Cubana, some of whose members also belong to the militant organization Commandos F4. Radio Mambi occasionally provides air time to the Commandos F4 to raise money.These are the people that Pres. Bush thanked.
I'm not quite sure I follow what you're getting at. The Bush administration is an utter travesty and the exile community needs to turn to some new tactics, obviously but - exactly what is wrong with pushing for the overthrow of a reviled regime that brutally oppresses its own people?Furthermore, what is wrong with this:"n 2006, right before the news broke that Fidel Castro had intestinal surgery, Iriondo and De Cespedes stood behind a threatening measure to blacklist members of the Cuban military if they participated in political oppression in Cuba."I just don't understand what you're getting at.-Anatasio
What I myself am getting at is this - it is our duty as Cubans to push for the end of the regime. We owe it to ourselves, our families, the Cuban people. It is our responsibility to push for an egalitarian system of laws constructed by the people and not a minority of political elite.
Who says its a "duty"? Who chose that this should be the way? What about other alternatives? Where's the voices that produce alternatives to a violent overthrow (or the use of threats)?Anastasio, thanks for taking the time to write, and I will respond in kind.You asked ONE simple question:"what is wrong with pushing for the overthrow of a reviled regime that brutally oppresses its own people?"Upon first glance, the answer is simple: there's no problem. But once we examine the specific history, there are many problems.The most obvious is the fact that last week the President of the United States met with some in the Cuban exile community that encourage the violation of federal law, such as the 1939 Neutrality Act. Also, Pres. Bush met with some Cuban exiles that support the preparation for an overthrow of a foreign government by stockpiling illegal weapons, or by committing other illegal acts (such as "sabotage").These wouldn't be problems if Pres. Bush would declare war with Cuba, but that is not the case. Therefore, people like Santiago Alvarez, Eduardo Arocena and others have run into problems with US law.Now, your question also brings up the moral argument over whether it is justified to overthrow a "brutally oppress[ive]" government. One almost intuitively repsonds with a "Yes". But, the argument changes once you examine some facts.The most important being that prominent dissidents in Cuba DO NOT SUPPORT a violent overthrow of the Cuban government. Most prefer a political solution, and a gradual one instead of a disruptive one.Why? The reason should be obvious: a sudden and violent disruption could have unpredictable and catastrophic consequences, not just for Cuba, but for the neighboring region.The moral argument should thus weigh the relevant consequences of the region, and its international order.Finally, and most importantly, you mentioned: "it is our duty as Cubans to push for the end of the regime. We owe it to ourselves, our families, the Cuban people."Fine. YOU may feel that it is YOUR duty. But, since when do you speak for OTHERS? Responsibility is a personal issue, right? So, let it be. If you believe in individual freedom, then allow people to take up their struggles, to form their own loyalties, and be responsible for their own actions.I respect your commitment to a free Cuba, I hope you respect others. But, if your support a violent overthrow, will you accept the responsibility for the potential consequences that may occur?That's up to you. But, at least acknowledge that there are alternatives to violence. Though, Cuban militants in exile won't hear of it.
"If you believe in individual freedom, then allow people to take up their struggles, to form their own loyalties, and be responsible for their own actions."Mami - I AM the people. All of us, Cubans, are the people in this case. And I am not necessarily advocating violent overthrow. I would much rather see it just die out with Raul and change organically but what if it doesn't immediately die out with Raul? When I return home to visit, what I see are a people too involved in simply trying to "get by" to take on the cause of changing the system. It is indeed a catch-22.Some of the militants in exile are as crazy as Fidel - take these folks who take part in military exercises in the Everglades as an example but, I feel as though everytime a CUBAN talks about the yearning to live in something other than a dictatorship, folks automatically state that they have no right to say such things. We're Cuban for crying out loud, it is our nation, of course we have the right to advocate for change. Ay ay ay. . . Still, your use of logic regarding the neutrality act, etc, is cogent. And technically, Bush should not be meeting with folks who advocate the overthrow of a government but, it happens all the time. The United States supports the end of the military, the end of the military regime in Burma, the end of the North Korean dictatorship, it's not like this is only happening with regards to Cuba. Regarding violence. I don't think we should be so naive to think that it will never need to come to that. If the fat-cats in Havana remain entrneched post-Raul, that would - in my opinion - provide more than enough moral reason to use force. The Cuban people have been clamoring for it for decades. Question is, given that the only people able to force change are those in the military, how does one achieve this when military leaders are paid off via tourism dollars, newer model VW's, etc, etc. The whole damn system is corrupt. Anyhow, good argument on your end, although I ultimately disagree.-AB
Anastasio,Please note that I never opposed the idea that you, as a Cuban, "have the right to advocate for change" in Cuba.I respect it. But, let's be specific about what is being discussed: whether or not it is wrong to advocate the overthrowing of a foreign government.As I mentioned above, the issue becomes complex when we consider some legal and moral issues. For example, the US government has NEVER issued official statements that support or approve of overthrowing foreign governments (while in the case of the Burmese Junta, political analysts did suggest it). But, the US government has certainly hinted in that direction concerning some nations.Nevertheless, there are agreed international standards that proscribe that behavior.You also asked: "what if [the Cuban dictatorship] doesn't immediately die out with Raul?"Well, it seem that you are looking to justify ONE solution: an overthrow. This has been happening for the past half-century, and you will most likely end up with the same answer.I think when you view the Cuban government through its relations with other nations, and understand how the military oligarchy operates with them, then one can finally find a solution on how to negotiate specific terms. The top of my list being Cuba's political prisoners, followed by human rights.It's been done with other nations, with the potential for other positive steps (there are unknown conditions no doubt), but its honest. Unlike the path of militancy, a political resolution can assure transparency and honesty. This benefits all neighboring regions, and can create an atmosphere where more issues can be discussed.Especially human rights.
hey mambi, while you're at it, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
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