cj#727> Yves Leclerc re: Cuba

1997-11-06

Richard Moore

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997
Sender: Yves Leclerc <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#726> Our woman in Havana

Richard,

Jan's reaction to her week in Cuba exactly corresponds to my own past
experiences, and to those of a lot of Quebeckers and Canadians who've
been routinely going there for vacations -- and going back again and
again.

In fact, for whoever has experienced Cuba directly, it's just about
impossible to believe American propaganda about oppression and
dictatorship there. The people are open, outgoing, will talk willingly
to foreigners, are mildly critical of their government (to the same
extent Canadians, Frenchmen or Americans are)... but are fiercely
defensive of their country and what Castro has done for them.

It may not be a democracy in our sense of the word, but there's no doubt
that the regime has strong popular support, even in the face of current
adversity -- and its treatment of dissidents is not as inhuman as it is
painted: one should take into account that the country has been on a
virtual war footing because of the US blocus for nearly forty years.
Think how the US treated its own dissidents under similar conditions
during WW II, then during the McCarthy Era at the start of the Cold War,
then during the Vietnam War, with even less justification.

Another important cue is that the majority of political dissidents
exiling themselves haven't gone to the US, but to Mexico and Spain --
for good reason: they don't want anything to do with the "Cuban
leadership" in the States, which they say is still largely made up of
former Batista followers and their descendents, whom dissidents hate
even more that they disagree with Castro.

The United States' treatment of Cuba since the early sixties will remain
a shameful blot on its recent history. And to a lot of people around the
world, it makes a mockery of Americans' (often sincere) pleas for
justice and democracy.

--
Yves Leclerc, Montreal
"Les choses sont moins simples qu'elles ne paraissent,
mais plus simples qu'on ne les croit."

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Dear Yves,

Well said, and nice to hear from you.  Perhaps we'll begin a tradition of
"eyewitness reports" here on cj - a possibility afforded by the Internet
medium.  Even in these two short reports my sense of Cuba was considerably
enriched.

In addition to being a "shameful blot", America's attitude toward Cuba
provides a showcase example of the _transparency_ of media bias and
official lies.

Consider some of the regimes in Cuba's neighborhood - such as Hondouras and
El Salvador - which with US support have massacred peasants, deployed death
squads, and suppressed the population in the interest of foreign investors.
Yet just a few miles across the sea it is little Cuba - without comparable
suppression - who is blockaded on the grounds of "human rights".

It's not just unjust and hypocritical, it's _obviously_ so.  What amazes me
is that so many Americans can't see through such a transparent scam.
Either there is no ability to retain information when turning from story A
to story B in the news, or else there is no ability to formulate a thought
that hasn't been articulated first in the media.

rkm


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