27 March 2007

Cuba e Hipocrecía

The entire existence of the Spanish Phrase of the Day is rooted in my heritage. My mother came from Cuba with her family in 1961. They fled Castro's communism, and were fortunate to do so. Cuba is repressive economically and politically, and it is about the latter that I choose to comment today.

Yesterday I read this blog post from David Corn. He is not someone I read often, as we fall on very different sides of the ideological divide. He is responding to a piece written by the President of Cuba's National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon. Alarcon writes in praise of a U.S. communist, C. Wright Mills, that persisted in writing and working even in the face of McCarthyism. Corn finds exception with Alarcon in this way:

Imagine a Cuban who wants to write and publish a Cuban version of The Power Elite [Mills' book]. That person would be locked up in a modern-day dungeon by Alarcon and his comrades. Alarcon, thus, has no standing to bemoan the harassment of Mills or to pontificate about the glories of pursuing establishment-defying truths. (Stating the obvious about the gross absence of political and human rights within Cuba should not be equated with support for the economic embargo maintained by the Bush administration against Cuba. The wrongs of each side do not justify the other.)
"Today," Alarcon writes, "Cuba forges a path to craft its own unique socialist system, rooted on its own historical experience and with the active participation of its people." Not the active participation of anyone who wants to write or report news and ideas not sanctioned by Alarcon and his colleagues. It takes nerve for a person who runs one of the ten most censored countries to praise a pioneering and influential free thinker. That's why Alarcon's accolade for Mills is best read as farce.


I despise communism, therefore I enjoy any opportunity to showcase its inevitable hypocrisy. I don't care for the work or ideas of Mills, Alarcon's subject, but I am glad that I live in a country where he could live and write. I wish it were so from Cubans. Someday it will be.

1 comment:

Marcus said...

Well said. It's amazing the PR campaign that so many people willingly run for Cuba. Here in Uruguay there are many people who hold the government of Cuba up as an ideal to be aspired to. It's amazing how people can turn such a blind eye to what life is really like in Castro's Cuba just to promote their own socialist and communist ideas.