[Marxism] Obama on Cuba

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 16 15:28:29 MDT 2009


Links and formatting in the original:
 http://lefti.blogspot.com/2009/04/obama-on-cuba.html

President Obama was interviewed on CNN today. I liked the way the discussion of Cuba started:

Q
You're going to Trinidad and Tobago. Most of these countries...want to
bring Cuba up as an issue...How is this issue going to play out?

THE
PRESIDENT: Well, you know, I have no problem with them bringing up Cuba
as an issue. I think I've been very clear about my position on Cuba.

In other words, they can say whatever the hell they want. I'll pretend to be listening but nothing they say will change my mind.
But for sheer ignorance, it's hard to top this response:
Q
Fidel Castro reacted to your lifting of sanctions, saying it was a
positive move, but that he expected the lifting of the embargo. And he
said that Cuba won't beg, but that's what eventually they expect from
the U.S.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don't expect Cuba to beg. Nobody
is asking for anybody to beg. What we're looking for is some signal
that there are going to be changes in how Cuba operates that assures
that political prisoners are released, that people can speak their
minds freely, that they can travel, that they can write and attend
church, and do the things that people throughout the hemisphere can do
and take for granted. And if there's some sense of movement on those
fronts in Cuba, then I think that we can see a further thawing of
relations and further changes.

But we took an important first step.

Some
of those require a long explanation. But that we have a President who
doesn't know that Cubans have the right (a right they exercise) to
attend church is an appalling demonstration of ignorance, and of the
power of stigmatization (in that it can effect even otherwise
intelligent and well-educated people like Obama).
As far as the right to travel, Obama really has a good deal of nerve to bring that up. This (the U.S.) is the country which refused to allow
77-year-old Ibrahim Ferrer to travel to the U.S. to attend the Grammys
in 2004. This is the country which refused to allow eminent Cuban
scientist Dr. Verez Bencomo to come to a scientific awards ceremony in the U.S. (and, by the way, refused to allow him to accept his $50,000 award.

And this is the country which was recently condemned by Amnesty International
for refusing permission for the wives of two of the Cuban Five to
travel to the U.S. to visit their husbands, permission which has denied
for many years in gross contravention of international law and basic
humanitarian standards.

Obama closes by saying that the U.S.
took an "important step." Perhaps so. But the restriction that he
removed was a restriction on U.S. citizens (and only some of them, of course). He has done nothing to remove the U.S. actions against Cuba, most notably the internationally (and universally) condemned blockade.


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