[Marxism] OPEN LETTER: Barack Obama, wherefore art thou?

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 14 07:20:52 MDT 2008


(This is an outstanding example of how to reach people who are in
motion though you disagree with the specific method which they have
chosen or the vehicle they have selected to try to achieve an
important social or political change. Written in this way, it's
possible to engage their minds in an effective discussion, in the
same ways that Cynthia McKinney is trying to do as well. This is 
a method which we can all learn something from. Those who are
practicing denuncification against Obama, and who deride him as no
different from Clinton or McCain, are missing a chance to reach the
people to whom he speaks. You catch more flies with honey than with
vinegar, as the old saying goes. Perfectionism spells paralysis.)
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WORKERS WORLD

OPEN LETTER
Barack Obama, wherefore art thou?
By Dolores Cox
Published Jun 14, 2008 7:46 AM

Dolores Cox, at NYC rally,<br>demands justice for<br>Sean Bell, May 1.

Dolores Cox, at NYC rally,
demands justice for
Sean Bell, May 1.
WW photo: Monica Moorehead

You’re my guy; don’t get me wrong. But did you have to be so adamant and vociferous when you addressed the Cuban American National Foundation on May 23 during the commemoration of Cuban Independence Week regarding Fidel Castro and the Cuban government?

The issue of Cuba could play a significant role, since Florida could be critical to you winning in the November election. But you almost came across sounding like some preacher in the pulpit (pun intended) or like one of those right-wing hate mongers. You could’ve toned it down a bit and still have gotten your message across.

You’re willing to meet with the likes of Fidel, and now Raúl Castro, and talk with other “enemies” at any time and place of your choosing. You say it’s “time to pursue diplomacy with friends and foe alike without preconditions.” Current U.S. policy, it should be noted, is that there can be no negotiations whatsoever with Cuba’s leaders. And this influential and powerful anti-Castro exile group does not share your willingness to talk to Cuba.

You also said you’ll immediately ease restrictions on travel and limits on the amount of money relatives here can send back home to Cuba if and when you become president. Let’s hope you mean it (and can do it). And while you’re at it, how about lifting the travel ban completely for everyone?

At the same time that you talk about opening up diplomatic relations with Cuba, though, you say that you’re committed to maintaining the nearly fifty-year-old economic embargo, as a way to force regime change and reforms in Cuba.

And you speak about needing to see “significant steps toward democracy there.” What are these steps you allude to that must be taken? Do you mean conversion to a capitalist system? Or allowing domination and control by the U.S. of their island, instead of sovereignty?

We know you’re worried about committing political suicide and all that, but are the votes of that group in Miami and their sympathizers really more important than a sense of decency? Are dishonest ways of currying favor also more important? Do Cuba and Castro really inspire so much vehemence in you and arouse your ire? And if so, are you conveniently forgetting certain facts?

Facts like the U.S.’s numerous assassination attempts on Castro? Like the Bay of Pigs operation? Like U.S. support and installation of numerous dictators and monarchies worldwide and conducting daily business with them, etc.?

What’s next? Another assassination attempt? Bombing or another invasion attempt? More poisoning of Cuba’s tobacco crops? More punishing of countries that do business with Cuba? More spying on Cuba? More vicious propaganda?

When will enough be enough? (We also remember the U.S. bombing of the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada in an effort to root out communism everywhere on this planet, by any means necessary.)

Or does the U. S. have something in mind similar to the guise of bringing freedom and democracy to the people of Iraq as justification for invading their country, destroying their economy and infrastructure, arrests of its citizens, theft of their treasury, deposing and engineering the murder of their leader, and causing the death and displacement of thousands of innocent civilians? Are you content to see the United States government and its people continue to be viewed as bullies and pariahs, conducting despicable acts of terrorism and imperialism worldwide?

And Obama, why did you speak so passionately about “dissidents in Cuba who are locked away in dark cells for the crime of speaking the truth” as you describe them? Especially when the U.S. government continues to incarcerate hundreds of political prisoners unjustly? You went on to say, “Never in the lives of two generations of Cubans have the people of Cuba known democracy; this is the terrible and tragic status quo.” And you added that “for half a century elections in Cuba have been anything but free and fair.” You ended your speech by promising the Cuban people that you “won’t stand for this injustice” and you’ll “stand up for their freedom,” if elected president.

Ironically, your message of condemnation is given at the same time that the U.S. continues to exploit, oppress and commit human rights crimes all over the world, moving from one target to the next. And, needless to say, the government has been violating the civil and human rights of its own people here at home for hundreds of years (Post-Katrina, especially New Orleans, shows us who the government really cares about in this so-called great democracy.) Come on now, Obama. Let’s clean up our own backyard before pointing fingers elsewhere. To coin a phrase, “Me thinks thou doth protest too much.”

We understand that you have allegiance to the powers that be. And that you’ve probably been selected based on the Jackie Robinson principle with regard to temperament, obedience and acceptability, sort of a “test case.” But you also need to have allegiance to us, the people. Continuing sanctions against Cuba is not the will of the people, except for those who have something vindictive to gain.

Imagine the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world picking on and punishing this small island in the Caribbean just because it can’t have its way with it, because it refuses and resists U.S. imperialism. What a disgrace. How about putting petty and hateful punitive behavior behind? It’s time to give the Cuban people a break.

If you’re really about “Change,” Obama, you must include more extensive policy changes regarding Cuba. As an agent of change in the U.S., you’ll need to give the people what they want. To be sure, it’ll definitely be an uphill battle because the powers that be will exercise every resistance at their disposal, and fight you tooth and nail. But if you’re sincere and have integrity about making change, the people will have your back.

The writer was part of a delegation that attended the 8th annual Latin America Hemispheric Free Trade Agreement Conference in Havana, Cuba, this past April.

















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     WALTER LIPPMANN
     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"
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