On Elian and the Public/Private Nature of the List

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 15 11:43:26 MDT 2003

Two different subjects, but Lou prefers long posts to multiple short ones,
so here we go:

1) One thing to note about the Elian confrontation was that it was a rare
chance for Cuba to "win" a confrontation with the US. There are many, far
more important confrontations going on - the blockade (better known as
economic warfare), the illegal occupation of Guantanamo, the unjust
conviction and incredibly harsh imprisonment of "the Five." In each of these
cases, Cuba's chances of prevailing in the confrontation range from slim
(the blockade, the Five) to none (Guantanamo) short of a revolution in the
US. And, if Elian's father had been on that boat with Elian and his mother,
and had also died, Cuba's chances of getting Elian back, no matter whether
his grandparents, or an aunt and uncle, or Fidel himself asked, were nil.
Only the fact that his father remained in Cuba, and the "human
interest/family rights" card could be played, combined with the efforts of
the Cuban people (massive demonstrations) and progressive Americans, allowed
Cuba to win that particular  confrontation. And almost by definition that
must be a good thing, even though it could be argued that the fate of "the
Five" may be at least partially a retaliation for that victory.

2) In yesterday's list activity, we (at least I) learned that the Militant
had written a long article (editorial) polemicizing against posts which Jose
had made on this list (and, as far as I know, nowhere "publicly.") We also
saw the scurrilous (but amusing!) web site Commiewatch posting information
about discussions which had gone on on this list on that very day. So the
question is, is this list meant to be a public or private list, and what
does that mean? Is it Louis's intention, or the intention of other
participants, for everything said on this list to be available to the
public, via Google searches, on a publicly accessible non-password-protected
website, etc.? Because of course that IS the case. I participate in several
other lists (listserv-based), of a totally non-controversial nature, where
you can also find archives on the web, but to access them you need to enter
your subscriber email address and a password; in other words, the archives
are available ONLY to listers, not to the general public. I personally
believe that is a preferable situation, but I'm new-ish on the list (I know,
I don't look newish :-) ), so I'd very much like to hear what Louis and
those who have been on the list for much longer than I think about this.

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