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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

The true politics of Cuban American relations

Posted May 14, 2007 by Roberto Coven in Cuba Politics.
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Last week after information had been released about the potential airplane hijacking incident in Cuba a contradiction of news surfaced about really happened.  The international newspapers printed the Cuban state run account painting heroic details of how the Cuban military soldier had been killed by the potential hijackers and now had been honored at burial wearing the pride of Cuba.  Opponents of the government surfaced with unnamed source accounts of how the Cuban soldier had in fact been killed by friendly fire in the intense moments of the conflict between the would be hijackers and the Cuban military.

Unfortunately this contradiction of such a story is typical.  In this era of poor Cuba-American government relations, respective mistrust and opportunistic propaganda by both sides, dissidents, government officials and others make it impossible to know what really happened. Unless one happened to witness the event himself, in current day Cuba reading is not believing.  Instead of reporting the truth and all of us interested in Cuban-American relations having facts to guide us, politicians and those interested in winning new believers unto their side post what they believe serves them.

What about the Cuban people?  Fidelitos and Bush backers are not going to change their minds regardless of what damning information shows itself about any Cuban or Cuban-American issue.  They are stuck in their points of view and will probably die that way.

This in a nutshell is the problem for Cubans and Cuban-American relations.  The truth takes a back seek to political interests and the Cuban people, those who really are the sufferers of decades old Cuban-American non-relations continue moneyless, confused and in need.  If the United States was truly the heart based, family issues society that we preach, we would look beyond the respective government facades and do something to help the Cuban people.  Beyond the few who make it to the island via help oriented organizations, there are millions of Americans who with the opportunity to see Cuba freely for themselves might help start bringing positive changes to the country.  Until that day arrives we are up against the wall of propaganda.  A hard one to overcome.

Member Comments

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On May 16, 2007, Pac McLaurin wrote:

Certainly if our government (the US) will lie to its people for political advantage, see Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch, it will lie to us about a dead Cuban. I have visited Cuba many times, all legally, and attended the Cuba Day effort in Washington 2 years ago. I was apalled at how ignorant my congressional representatives and their office staffs were re: Cuba, trade with Cuba, and the threat to our country from Cuba. When I hear rfeally dumb things from these sources I first think, “They’re making up a pack of lies.”  After some reflection, I often conclude, these people are just really not smart or curious. I aasked one outspoken young woman in a congressional office iof she had vivited Cuba. This after a very belligerent outburst, She answered, “No, I don’t need to, I lived in Roumania in the 80s and I know what Cuba is like!”

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On May 16, 2007, publisher wrote:

“After some reflection, I often conclude, these people are just really not smart or curious.”

Right. Good way to summarize it.

I was reading an interview with Juli Sweig and she said that if there were a secret vote in Congress that the Embargo would be lifted tomorrow but that the Cuba issue is just not high on the agenda and that it is a lot of work to go against the hardliners and President Bush.

I think that Cuba just doesn’t “exist” in the minds of politicians because nobody really talks about it or has any good information.

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On May 16, 2007, Roberto Coven wrote:

To say that Cuba is like any other country on the planet speaks to not knowing Cuba.  Most people only go politics deep.  They don’t know the people, culture, language, food, spirit or what day to day life is like in the country.  Cuba is a magnet for commentary and politicization by those who know nothing of the country.

I wonder what a congressional field trip would be like to a jazz club in Vedado or an architectual tour of old Havana or a Cuban baseball series game.  Political moralists just chant Fidel this, Fidel that, Fidel the communist.  Well soon he will be gone.  Then what will the chants be, Jinitera, Jinitera, Jinitera.

Cuba is a place of strange irony, paradox and wonderful mystery.  I wish more Americans and politicians would really know the country.  Then we could cut through the judgment and paranoia and have human relations with a wonderful people.