Tag Archives: diplomacy

Cubans have much more to lose in closer ties with the United States

FILE - In this July 31, 2004 file photo, Cuba's President Fidel Castro, left, and his brother, Minister of Defense Raul Castro, attend a Parliament session in Havana, Cuba. The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union devastated the Cuban economy, but the country limped along, first under Fidel and then, after he fell ill in 2006, under his brother Raul, head of the Cuban military. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, the U.S. and Cuba agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War. (AP Photo/Cristobal Herrera, File)

Associated Press photo

The 88-year-old Fidel Castro won’t live forever, and Cuba is about a lot more than Fidel Castro. (Castro is shown above in 2004 with his brother, Raul Castro, who took over as the leader of the island nation in 2008 due to Fidel Castro’s failing health.) The United States should have restored diplomatic relations with Cuba decades ago, and the tiny but loud minority of right-wing Cuban Americans need to shut the fuck up and for once put the greater good of Americans and Cubans above their own bitterness and selfishness — and humble themselves and remind themselves that the majority of the American people twice elected President Barack Obama to represent the United States on the global stage.

One of U.S. President Barack Obama’s best moves is his decision to open diplomatic relations with the government of Cuba after more than 50 years of a pointless cold war with the island nation.

For all of the selfish whining of the tiny but loud minority of Cuban-American wingnuts — who always have been a bunch of fucking ingrates who believe that they should control U.S. foreign policy — ironically, Cubans have a lot more to lose than do Americans should the United States and Cuba ever become super-cozy.

The typical Cuban, after all, has better access to higher education and health care than does the average American. The typical Cuban’s life expectancy is close behind the typical American’s and Cubans’ life expectancy ranks No. 1 among the Latin American nations.

Cuba has universal health care (yes, health care is a human right, and shouldn’t be an opportunity for profiteering) and Cuba’s literacy rate of 99.8 percent beats the United States’ rate of 99 percent.

Not that Cuba is perfect, perhaps especially on the measure of freedom of speech, but, of course, the United States, which, among other things, calls torture “enhanced interrogation” (someone recently remarked that that’s like calling rape “enhanced dating”) and slaughters scores of innocent civilians by drones in the name of “democracy,” isn’t exactly a paragon of human rights itself, is it?

However, would it benefit most Cubans for American corporations to muscle back into the nation and turn most Cubans into wage slaves, like most Americans are? (Capitalism is, after all, wage slavery that of course creates insane socioeconomic inequality.) Are Cubans really just itching for such wonderful imported American “freedoms” as crushing student-loan debt, wage slavery and bankruptcy from insane health-care costs?

You’d think the rabidly wingnutty Cuban Americans would salivate over the idea of turning Cuba into a cash cow for the corporations again, as it was when darling-of-the-right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista, who couldn’t sell out the people of Cuba enough to American corporations for his own benefit and the benefit of his fellow elites, was in power.

But what’s up the right-wing Cuban-American ingrates’ asses is that they expect the U.S. government to maintain a cold war with Cuba on their behalf for eternity. They believe that their bitterness against Fidel Castro, who overthrew dictator Batista in the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s, should be reflected by U.S. governmental policy toward Cuba in perpetuity.

(Batista, by the way, fled Cuba on January 1, 1959, with hundreds of millions of dollars he’d taken through obscene corruption and after having slaughtered as many as 20,000 of his political opponents. This is the kind of man, like murderous Chilean dictator Agosto Pinochet, who gets the support of the right wing.

If you think that I’m full of shit, know that President John Kennedy said of Batista that his was “one of the most bloody and repressive dictatorships in the long history of Latin American repression” and that Kennedy wrote this:

I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.

Um, yeah.)

To open diplomatic relations with another nation is not to agree with everything that nation does and has done. Certainly the U.S. government and the governments of China and Russia don’t agree on everything, but they maintain diplomatic relations nonetheless.

The teeny-tiny minority of right-wing Cuban-Americans and their supporters (including, of course, the craven politicians who want right-wing Cuban-Americans’ money and votes, such as right-wing Cuban-American scumbags U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida) need to shut the fuck up and put the greater good of the American people and the Cuban people above their own selfish political agendas, and they need to wake the fuck up and stop expecting the rest of us, the vast majority, to maintain their insane cold war of more than five decades.

I support diplomatic relations with Cuba because Cuba has much to teach the United States, which, of course, just might be just what the Cuban-American wingnuts fear most.

But, again, it is Cubans, not Americans, who have the most to lose in significantly close ties between the two nations.

The specter of Cubans once again being oppressed by the craven corporate America is, in fact, the only reason that I would or could oppose diplomatic relations with Cuba.

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This is what DIPLOMACY is SUPPOSED to look like

President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with Venezuela's ...

Associated Press photo

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez before the opening session of the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on Friday. Former U.S. “President” George W. Bush, whose right-wing regime most likely was behind the failed 2002 right-wing coup attempt against the democratically elected Chavez, had refused to meet with Chavez, whom the unelected Bush and the members of his regime hypocritically falsely branded a “dictator.”

The wingnuts must be agog that President Barack Obama — gasp! — shook hands with socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at this weekend’s meeting of Latin American national leaders.

Chavez was hypocritically falsely branded by the members of the murderous, unelected Bush regime as a dictator,” yet while Chavez actually was elected democratically and fairly by the people of Venezuela — yes, the majority of the people of a nation can vote for socialism, as capitalism is not the only economic model, despite what you hear on Fox “News” — the members of the Bush regime, who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, never were fairly and democratically elected, but blatantly stole office.

Chavez’s big crime”? He consistently has refused to kiss U.S. ass and has stood up for the best interests of his people, which they elected him to do, instead of selling his people out to the corporations, like a good” little Latin American leader should” (and like the members of the Bush regime sold the American people out to corporate interests).

Chavez had good cause to villify the unelected, dictatorial George W. Bush and his regime: the anti-democratic Bush regime most likely was behind the illegal, anti-democratic, right-wing capitalist coup that in 2002 removed the democratically elected Chavez from power for no more than a few days before the historically oppressed Venezuelan people who had elected Chavez rose up against the treasonous ring-wing usurpers and returned Chavez to power.

The autocratic rule that the right-wing capitalist coup leaders had tried to impose on the people of Venezuela, stripping them of their democratic choices of Chavez and their nation’s new constitution, received the full blessing of the members of the unelected Bush regime, who love democracy only when the results of elections go their way (which they demonstrated amply in late 2000).

That little history lesson was necessary because all that Americans are supposed to “know” about Chavez (and the likes of the pro-plutocratic Fox News” gladly help them to know”) is that he is a murderous” dictator,” even though he repeatedly has been elected democratically and it has not been documented that he ever had a single political opponent executed.

The history lesson concluded, let me point out now that it is the job of President Obama to be his nation’s top diplomat.

That means things like shaking hands with other nations’ top leaders, and as one political news analysis pointed out, a handshake is just a handshake; a handshake indicates only a willingness to talk, a willingness to be diplomatic. Obama’s shaking hands with a national leader does not mean that Obama agrees with everything that that leader believes, and nor does a handshake signify Obama’s subservience to any other nation’s leader.

After eight long nightmarish years of the unelected Bush regime’s and its supporters’ idea of diplomacy” — which is as correct as are their Orwellian ideas of democracy” and freedom” and the like — too many of the American people need to be reminded of what diplomacy is supposed to look like. 

It looks like the news photo above.

Diplomacy is not refusing to even talk to other nations that won’t bend over and take orders from the United States like “good” nations should. That is the members’ of the Bush regime and the wingnuts’ idea of “diplomacy,” but George W. Bush was an ugly anomaly in the White House, a dark blight on American history; he radically deviated from the presidential norms, to which Barack Obama simply is returning.

P.S. I have to note that during their summit, Chavez gave Obama a copy of the book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano (as pictured below).

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, hands President Barack ...

Associated Press photo

The paperback edition of the book, pictured below, which until very recently was quite obscure to American readers, as I type this sentence sits at No. 2 on amazon.com’s best-selling book list.

It would be fucking hilarious if the book supplants the wingnut book that has been at No. 1 on amazon.com for some time now, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, the stupid white male author of which I am sure is perfectly fine with the continued capitalist/corporate exploitation of Latin America, because to the wingnuts it’s “liberty” and “freedom” when the capitalist plutocrats exploit the masses and it’s “tyranny” when the masses actually fight back against their plutocratic overlords and gain true freedom and democracy.

  

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Much, much bigger fish to fry

The United States of America — the same nation that just simply allowed a presidential election to be stolen blatantly in 2000 and then just simply allowed the unelected White House regime to then launch a bogus war in March 2003 (based falsely upon the 2001 terrorist attack that the same regime had simply just let happen— suddenly is all about etiquette.

Miss Manners for President 2012!

First it was “scandalous” that first lady Michelle Obama touched the queen of England at Buckingham Palace.

You don’t touch the queen of England! Everyone knows that!

(I watched the clip of the Buckingham Palace incident linked to above, and it does appear that the queen was taken back a bit that protocol was breached, but I think that she’ll probably recover.)

Then, supposedly President Barack Obama was incredibly subservient to the king of Saudi Arabia when he “bowed” before him.

I watched a video clip of Obama’s “bow.” It looked like only a quick gesture of respect and good will to me. Can you even call it a bow? It looks more like a half-bow to me. Obama did not exactly prostrate himself on the ground before the king’s feet, kissing the king’s feet and and swearing to be the king’s good little bitch boy.

And if no president or first lady should cringe before royalty, why is it that it was a “faux pas” for the first lady to have touched the crusty queen of England? The queen of England is just an old white broad, right? Our first lady should not have to suck up to the queen of England, whose nation’s ass we kicked in the Revolutionary War, right?

But suddenly it’s then a “problem” that Obama briefly half-bowed (at best) to the Saudi king?

“Bowgate” is such fucking bullshit that I wasn’t even going to write about it, but now that the Repugnicans shamelessly have exploited the non-issue in a fundraising e-mail*, I feel compelled to give it some space.

Some background on U.S.-Saudi relations:

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001 were from Saudi Arabia. (And oh, yeah: 9/11 mastermind-at-large Osama bin Laden is from Saudi Arabia, too.) Not one of the 9/11 hijackers was from Iraq, the nation that the unelected Bush regime invaded and then occupied in bullshit “retaliation” for 9/11.

Saudi Arabia got off scot-free for 9/11 because the oily Saudi ruling family and the oily Bush crime family long have been closer than those two guys in “Brokeback Mountain.”

(And why is U.S.-imposed “democracy” so vitally fucking important in Iraq yet neighboring Saudi Arabia gets to remain a fucking monarchy with no pressure from the United States to democratize??? Um, yeah...)

Anyway, President Obama did not, as far as I know, hold hands with the Saudi king, as did former “President” George W. Bush (back in 2005, when the king was still the crown prince):

CBS News image

As an American, I find the hand-holding (even though it is acceptable in the Saudi culture) to have been much, much more embarrassing to our nation** than was Obama’s half-bow-at-best that isn’t even worth drawing attention to — except in incredibly hypocritical Repugnican fundraising e-mails and on wingnut blogs.

Can we Americans stop obsessing over trivia and maybe stop the slide of the American empire to the fate of the Roman Empire?

*”Symbolism and leadership are critical in matters of world affairs.  So it’s stunning that just hours after he apologized to a European audience last week, and said America has been ‘arrogant’ and ‘dismissive,’ President Obama paid fealty to Saudi King Abdullah by bowing to him at the G-20 Summit in London,” the executive director of the National Repugnican Senatorial Committee huffs in a fundraising e-mail that I received today. (Yes, I’m on the enemy’s e-mail list in order to see what lies the enemy is telling.) 

The e-mail continues: “In both instances, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that our new president would rather be accepted and befriended by his new friends abroad than preserve America’s reputation and leadership as the world’s pre-eminent superpower….”

So, if you don’t act like a frat-boy prick, like George W. Bush and his henchpeople did, then you are selling your nation out to your “new friends abroad.” That’s essentially the Repugnican/wingnut “argument.”

Gee, I thought that not being a fucking prick was called diplomacy…

**Although hand-holding between two presumably heterosexual men is acceptable in the Saudi culture, Bush could have politely explained to the Saudi king that in the American culture, it’s considered strange at best for the U.S. president to hold hands with another head of a nation (especially a male leader).

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