Monday, October 10, 2016

Cuba's Legitimate Gripes

Shame U. S. Democracy!!
And Mock U. S. Taxpayers!! 
       Cuba's Minister related to U. S. affairs, Josefina Vidal, has stunned even America's top diplomats with her skill in negotiating her David vs. Goliath points in her ongoing effort to normalize or least to improve relations between the two neighboring nations. In this month of October in the fast-fading year of 2016, Vidal is admitting that she has more to do or else she will abandon efforts to normalize U. S. relations so Cuba can concentrate on "dealing with friendly nations not under the yoke of self-serving Miami and Washington bashers of Cuba, those who have gotten rich and powerful by not just bashing the Cuban government but mostly by bashing the Cuban people." Vidal was apparently referencing Congress being able to maintain the Embargo against Cuba since 1962 and, also, she is undoubtedly aware that the leaders of more friendly nations -- China, France, Russia, Vietnam, South Korea, etc., etc. -- have recently visited Havana trying to take advantage of U. S. intransigence to gain "footholds" in Cuba because, as three of those leaders said within a two-week period, "Cuba is the pathway to closer ties in the Caribbean and Latin America." Such comments reminded Vidal that little Cuba, as the decent Obama administration draws to a close, is "not without leverage in dealing with the superpower to our north. There are other superpowers, none of whom are trying to starve Cuba. Except for the United States forever permitting a few in Miami to direct its basic Cuban policy, there is not a single nation in the whole world that can be described as anti-Cuba." 
       In October, 2016, Vidal's diplomacy is stronger than it was three years ago when she eagerly accepted the then-secretive and surprising overtures from the Obama administration to begin normalizing relations. With undeniable resolve, she immediately drew a line in the sand that many in Miami and Washington laughed at: "Remove Cuba from your State Sponsors of Terrorism list and then we'll talk." Having Cuba listed on that list was an absolute cornerstone for the Miami zealots who relished the undeserved shame it cast on Cuba and, significantly, enabled Cuban exiles to sue unrepresented Cuba in Miami courtrooms. Yet, Vidal's line in the sand moved the needle and Cuba, indeed, was taken off the onerous Sponsors of Terrorism list. Beyond that came more remarkable diplomacy that resulted in...the reopening of embassies in Havana and Washington for the first time since 1961, the resumption of cruise ships and commercial airplane traffic from the U. S. to Cuba for the first time since 1962, more Americans being allowed to visit Cuba and judge it for themselves, U. S. business relations with the island at least afforded some openings, etc., etc.
      Even while flashing her sweet, sanguine smile, Vidal this month of October has drawn another line in the sand. Like with the one regarding terrorism, she is not bluffing with her current demand, which is an end to the embargo that...quite literally...has tried to starve Cuba ever since 1962. The Miami hold on the U. S. Congress -- cemented and made indelible by the almighty alliance of the Bush dynasty with Jorge Mas Canosa back in the early 1980s -- supposedly has codified the embargo against Cuba for eternity, an abomination opposed even by most Cuban-Americans and by the entire world {the UN vote each October is 191-to-2 against it}. Yet it is abundantly clear to Vidal and to others that the hardline zealots in Miami and Washington have never been concerned about the damage to America's image and democracy's image done for decades by the U. S. Cuban policy -- the image of the vile Batista dictatorship in Cuba in the 1950s and, since 1959, by the Batistiano influence on a quite flawed and indefensible Cuban policy.
        The U. S. is not blessed with a diplomat as skilled as Vidal, but she says, "Hey! Any perceived advantage I have against the superpower is not me. My diplomatic opponents...good, smart people like Roberta Jacobson or whomever...try to defend a policy that serves just a few people...economically, politically and also the revenge motive...while they hide behind the world's richest and strongest nation. Any unbiased perspective spots a bully saying 'I can steal your lunch money because I'm strong and you're weak' or 'I can starve you into submission till you surrender totally.' Does that explain the theft of our Guantanamo Bay? Does that explain protected terrorists bombing a civilian Cuban plane loaded with children? Does that explain history's longest embargo? You tell me. I've answered your questions. Now you should answer mine." 
      Back in her purest diplomatic posture, Vidal actually started off this month of October-2016 with a Twitter Q & A session. I kid you not! She used that forum to finish drawing the line in the sand regarding the embargo, stressing that the U. S. end the embargo or Cuba -- with no options left like back in 1959 -- the island will be forced to "look elsewhere." She seems to feel that in 2016 Cuba would have more options than in 1959 when it actually had "just one," apparently meaning the Soviet Union. Vidal's most important quotation in this month's Twitter Q & A session was this exact sentence: "We have insisted once again on the need for the U. S. to end programs aimed at provoking bilateral relations." With that comment and with the above expression, Vidal is displaying frustration and surprise that the U. S. -- INCREDIBLY -- is spending millions of tax dollars each day on regime-change programs in Cuba even as it maintains the embargo and engages in efforts to normalize relations with the island. INCREDIBLE, even considering the complicity of the not-too-bright or bold taxpayers who have had six decades to muster courage to voice opinions.
     To grasp or begin to understand Vidal's staunch diplomatic stance, you need to study the above graphic. It is used courtesy of renowned Cuban expert Tracey Eaton and his Along the Malecon blog. Mr. Eaton used this graphic in regards to Vidal's Q & A session on Twitter. It references the incredible number of endless regime-change programs aimed at Cuba, specifically Mr. Eaton's new revelation concerning a propaganda effort lushly funded by unwitting taxpayers and aimed at "Cuban youth." It quickly produced a counter-effort on the island entitled: "Cuban University Students Condemn Subversive U. S. Schemes." It also rankles Vidal. Mr. Eaton also mentioned such ageless tax-sucking regime-change propaganda schemes as Radio-TV Marti, the lush and massive Miami-based operation that continues to this day although way back in the 1980s ABC News famously detailed that it was a useless "Broadcast to Nowhere" that Cuba could easily block, Cubans wouldn't believe anyway, and its apparent existence was to enrich certain Cuban-Americans in Miami. Thanks to Miami's control of Congress on Cuban issues, the Washington-to-Miami money pipeline for Radio TV-Marti still flourishes today even though neither my representative in Congress nor yours can remotely justify it...or any of the other myriad regime-change programs our tax dollars fund. Vidal says, "Expensive propaganda aimed at Cuba from the U. S. is one thing. Another thing is the expensive propaganda aimed at Americans about Cuba. And Americans pay for all that propaganda that eventually ends up hurting them perhaps more than it hurts Cubans. And are you telling me that all that regime-change money could not be better spent on worthy projects in the United States? But, uh...pardon me for asking. It's not really my place. It's actually Americans who should ask such questions." 
          As an American democracy-lover and taxpayer, I have a question: "Why does a Cuban named Josefina Vidal appear to have far more of a genuine concern for America's image and for American taxpayers than our representatives in the U. S. Congress?" In October of 2016, wouldn't the answer to that question best define America's incredible self-demeaning Cuban policy, a policy that no U. S. politician can remotely justify?
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