Havana-Miami-Washington events and arguments and their impact on Cuba
Friday, February 28, 2014
National Review and Cuba
Did you know that the Cuban
government has a “brutal food-denial program” that is holding the Cuban people “on
the edge of starvation?”That this “crime
against humanity” amounts to the “use of hunger as a weapon of political
The article, written by a U.S.
businessman, is based not on reporting in Cuba or interviews with any Cubans in
Cuba – rather, it is based on the writer’s talks in Mexico with some Mexicans who
had visited the island.
For the editors of National Review,
that was good enough.
If you’re of a certain age you
may remember this magazine as a place to get an education in conservatism, with
humor and civility, from founder William F. Buckley with writers such as William
Rusher, James Kilpatrick, and George Will.Even people who disagreed could enjoy the discussion.
It’s a little different now.
Regarding the deliberate
near-starvation of the Cuban people, an assertion too ridiculous to rebut, one
has to note that no dissident in Cuba has ever said such a thing, not to
mention any human rights monitor anywhere, or any journalist or other
observer.The author implies that the
rest of us have missed this near-famine because we’re all dupes and admirers of
A cartoon vision of Cuba, in
other words, that is just fine for today’s National Review.
For contrast, read the late
Buckley himself disdaining Cuba’s government and political system while also
having little use for the “politically based” perpetual embargo policy that
continues even today (see here, here, and here).
Then there’s NR editor Jay
Nordlinger, a classical music critic who, when he writes about Cuba, writes
about the dissidents.
Recently he wrote that people who oppose U.S. sanctions
against Cuba – from the great liberal Representative Charles Rangel to the
great conservative Senator Jeff Flake – are “apologists” for the Cuban
government and constitute the “Castro caucus.”In other words, they are disloyal to our own country.
So, by Nordlinger’s lights, would
be William F. Buckley himself.Buckley
himself traveled to Cuba, for which he should be condemned, and he went to see
Pope John Paul II who should also be condemned because he opposed the U.S.
embargo.So many commie sympathizers, so
little time for poor Nordlinger to write.
As a commenter on Nordlinger’s article
“Jay, do you think the embargo has weakened Castro,
helped the Cuban people or achieved its stated objective of regime change? Do you think a person who answers the previous
question in the negative is necessarily pro-Castro?”
Nordlinger then goes on to
condemn some religious leaders from Cuba who are soon to visit the United
States.Sight unseen, they are “stooges
of the dictatorship” because they probably don’t share Nordlinger’s own views.(One of these pastors co-authored an article here.)