Ricardo Alarcon on ABC This Week (answer to Walter L.)
aymery at ix.netcom.com
Tue May 20 19:12:31 MDT 2003
Ricardo Alarcon is the President of Cuba's National Assembly of People's
Thank you (and Adam Levenstein) for the precision. When I listen to (or
read) Alarcon, I always keep in mind his tribute to John Lennon on
12/8/2000... You were there, weren't you?
My crystal ball not being as clear as it was at ages twenty or thirty, I'm not
able to be certain what the problems of the future will be with tourism. It
brings hard currency as well as contradictory social and probably political
consequences. In the real world, Cuba has to try to make do with what they
actually have on hand, not what someone writing in an ivory tower, or a party
office, might like to imagine they have to deal with. This is NOT a criticism of
you, by any means, Gilles. I appreciate your very thoughtful message. The
problems and contradictions you raise are important ones we all need to
The Cuban government has undoubtedly thought through the various options,
and realistically there was quite possibly no "good" option. As I said, I was
not criticizing the decisions made. The worries I felt when reading your piece
had to do with the potential negative consequences of marching on this two-
tier economic path. What I felt -- and this was just that, a feeling -- when
reading your report was: "Shsssssh, I hope they are not going to get re-
colonized through the tourism backdoor...", like Bali, Bermuda, or Tahiti, and
all the carribs, etc. But this is not the time nor the place to discuss this further.
The time is about solidarity and the defense, as best we can, of an
extraordinary human achievement. As to the place, I'll rather not spend Lou's
money to expand on what I suspect to be our commonality. My sense is that
depending on the polls, if Florida becomes another background for the 2004
US elections, there will be a strong incentive on the part of the Bush-the-
lesser's administration to "liberate" Cuba. In that optic, my worries, while
legitimate, should be set aside.
Why don't you send a note out to the readers of Swans with your comments
on my essay, and a link to the essay, so it can be more widely seen and also
discussed? I would love to accept your invitation to write for Swans. My
problem is where to find time to write more and yet spend more time wanding
around in Cuba and seeing it offline...
Swans is neither a bulletin board nor a Listserv. Not that it would not benefit
from adding these capabilities (it would)...but it does not have the people-
power (volunteers), the technical knowledge, and (me) the wherewithal to
make it happen. So, as it evolves, which it will, I focus on putting out original
work -- not scavenged work like ZNet, Counterpunch, and all -- and try to
bring principled authors on board. That you cannot contribute to Swans
makes much sense to me. You are doing an incredible job with CubaNews,
your site, and the various contributions you make on the Web. We all are part
of an effort toward justice, equity, and equality. And we are all doing our best.
I'm (you are) trying to bring people together. How naive of me (you)!
Idealism is what keep us together. I leave to others the privilege to implement
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