Wake Me Up When Cuba Is Free At Last!
By Donnel Jones, June 14, 2003
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I really can't bear it. Castro has flipped his lid and is alienating one of his few, remaining allies: the European Union. Whatever unlikely moral intelligence is left in the E.U., it should be commended for aligning itself with the United States in its censure of Cuba's most recent brutal crackdown on dissidents. Of course, this censure took the form of an announcement that the E.U. would "review" its relationship with the Caribbean dictatorship, so one shouldn't get one's hopes up. To help the E.U. strengthen its resolve, however, the Cuban government has seized control of the Spanish Embassy's cultural center in Havana. What is Castro thinking?

Here is the official word:

Far from promoting Spanish culture in our country - the reason it [the Spanish embassy's cultural center] was created - it has maintained a program of activities unrelated to its original function, in open challenge of Cuban laws and institutions, the statement added.

I suppose being free of Federico Francisco Franco's dictatorship and tasting the fruits of democratic freedoms and prosperity have driven Spain to oppose the promotion of "Spanish culture" in Cuba? Let's make one thing clear, something that Left-wing academics, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Jimmy Carter, the talking heads of America's network news channels, and limousine liberals of Hollywood, all too conveniently forget: Cuba is the only dictatorship in the American hemisphere.

Which means it is birds of a feather with North Korea, Iran, Syria, Libya, the Palestinian Authority, and, yes, the American-supported Pakistan. There is much to be alarmed about recent trends in Latin America viz-a-viz Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and the insurgents in Colombia, but, all in all, Cuba is the sore thumb of the Americas. Though Cuba still serves as a beacon of hope for the likes of Chavez, Lula da Silva, and Kirchner in Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina, respectively, and although Castro is enamored by anti-American elements throughout the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world, recent events in Cuba just might, once and for all, tarnish Castro's image even in the eyes of his allies.

Like Saddam Hussein before him, Castro could be nearing the end of his ninth life. Like Saddam of old, like Arafat, Castro is up to his usual games; this time, cracking down on the Varela Project while the U.S. was preoccupied with its invasion of Iraq. He gambled, thinking the world wouldn't really notice or care, especially in light of the hefty anti-Americanism characterizing world affairs leading up to the invasion. Surely the E.U. would look away, especially now and in the company of their Democrat allies in the U.S., being busy as it is taking Bush to task because weapons of mass destruction have yet to be found in Iraq.

Castro miscalculated.

Again, one should not get one's hopes up. Castro could find renewed support in due time. With Spain's Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar soon to leave office, it could happen that Spain will gladly concur with Cuba's abrupt censure of the Spanish Embassy in Havana as well as turn against the United States. In light of the Spanish citizenry's highly vocal opposition to the Spanish government's support of the American-led invasion of Iraq, such a development would not at all be surprising if regrettable. It remains to be seen.

But there is hope that dictatorship-loving individuals may see the light, however obliquely. Take Spanish artist Isidro Ferrer visiting Cuba to teach at the cultural center at the Spanish Embassy:

Ferrer, who was flying back to Madrid later Saturday, said it was unfortunate the center had become the focus of a political battle. "Cultural should not be at the service of politics," Ferrer said.

Mr. Ferrer and others like him need to read a primer on the nature of dictatorships. In dictatorships the cultural is always in the service of the political. The cultural is political. Hence the social engineers of the American Left, of a sizeable number of liberals, and of the paleo-right, seek to redesign American culture, to reach deeply into society itself and usher in change from within.

That is why feminism, gay sub-culture, black separatism, Europhile internationalism, identity politics, New Age "spirituality," Eric Rudolph's Christian militarism, the Christian Coalition, Pat Buchanan's racism, the Left's multi-culturalism, pandemic anti- Americanism, as well as the re-emergence of the most blatant anti-Jewish hatred since the 1930s, are all in some way an expression of the dictatorial in post-industrial democracies, exhibiting sympathy for, or at the very least a guarded censure of, third world regimes that brutalize their citizens. Maybe Ferrer will come to his senses. He might one day see what many on the Left actually believe about George W. Bush: that Castro is a dictator. Yet Ferrer's disappointment in Castro reveals he expects too much from the socialist revolution.

I just wish we could skip the nightmare and get to the good part when Cuba is free at least. Yes, I could drink a Cuba libre to that.


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