[Marxism] Albor Ruiz: W's out of touch on what's really going on in Cuba

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Oct 28 06:18:05 MDT 2007

(There hasn't been any word out of Menoyo 
in a very long time and now he speaks up.)


W's out of touch on what's really going on in Cuba

Sunday, October 28th 2007, 4:00 AM

President Bush's recent speech on U.S. policy toward Cuba was so bad,
so misguided, had so little to do with reality that the Havana
government thought it was great for its credibility with the people
of Cuba.

In an unusual move, most of the President's words were published on
Thursday - the day after the speech - on the front page of Granma,
the Cuban Communist Party newspaper, as well as on national TV.

"The speech insists again on his passion for controlling Cuba, and
disrespects Cubans by trying to dictate to them what they must do,"
said Eloy Gutiérrez Menoyo, a Cuban dissident living in Havana.
"Maybe the President forgot he has no right to intervene in matters
that concern Cuba."

Gutiérrez Menoyo, not a government sympathizer by any stretch of the
imagination, pretty much summarizes the generalized reaction in Cuba.

The arrogant and interventionist tone, the ignorance about the
island's reality and its history, the obvious manipulation of facts,
the speculation about violence did not make for a great speech.

Hard as it may be to believe, the violent lessons of Iraq have not
had any effect on the White House. Asserting that Cuba was going
through a transition, Bush practically called on Cuba's armed forces
and on its people to rise up.

"When Cubans rise up to demand their liberty, you've got to make a
choice," the President said. "Will you defend a disgraced and dying
order by using force against your own people? Or will you embrace
your people's desire for change?"

It is as if Bush had not found out yet that Fidel Castro relinquished
power to his younger brother more than a year ago and that a
transition already has taken place in Cuba.

"All of [the speech] was predicated on the false notions that the
transition in Cuba has not already occurred, and when it does, there
will be a climactic moment where Cubans arise and the world rushes
in," said Sarah Stephens, of the Center for Democracy in the
Americas. "It made the President appear uninformed about what is
happening in Cuba - as if the White House library stopped acquiring
new books in the mid-1990s."

EVEN MORE surreal was the President's insistence in the speech that
the U.S. "stands by" the Cuban people. Not a very convincing message,
given that he himself tightened a trade embargo on the island that
for half a century has made the life of ordinary Cubans much more

Add to this that it was his government that prohibited
Cuban-Americans from traveling to the island more than once every
three years, and only to visit very close relatives, that
humanitarian visas are nonexistent and that remittances to help
families were severely curtailed, and you will realize that the
President's words of concern for the Cuban people must have sounded
to them like so much hot air.

As if to take the absurdity to the extreme, Bush said that his words
were addressed to the Cuban people.

He also said that Cubans were taking a great risk to watch him and
hear his message on TV Marti, the U.S. station that is supposed to
provide an alternative source of information to the island. In
reality, though, it is well documented that the Havana government
thinks that TV Marti is a violation of Cuba's sovereignty and
successfully blocks its signal.

Ironically, the President got his wish and his counterproductive
speech did get to the Cuban people through the island's own
newspapers and TV stations - and with the blessing of the Communist
government. What that says about his message is a different matter.

Obviously, Bush desperately needs new advisers that will tell him the
"real truth" about Cuba.

Albor Ruiz

aruiz at edit.nydailynews.com

Albor Ruiz has been a columnist for the Daily News since 1997, but
joined the paper in 1993 as the first Latino member of its Editorial
Board. Ruiz was also the editor-in-chief of El Daily News, the first
bilingual newspaper in the country. Throughout his career, Ruiz has
never lost sight of the struggles of Latino immigrants. Whether
writing for English- or Spanish-language media, Ruiz' journalistic
mission has been to provide a voice for those whose stories often go
untold by the mainstream media.

Walter Lippmann
Havana, Cuba
"Un paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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