Cuba and moral blindness
Yesterday I came across an article by Salman Rushdie where he claims that Gabriel García Márquez’s Work Was Rooted in the Real because “in his pages I found a reality I knew well from my own experience in India and Pakistan.” According to Rushdie, “[Gabriel García Márquez, a.k.a. Gabo] was a journalist who never lost sight of the facts.”
As long as you turn a blind eye to the half-century of human rights abuses in the island-prison, that is.
According to a new book on Fidel Castro,
Castro enjoyed a private island – Cayo Piedra, south of the Bay of Pigs, scene of the failed CIA-sponsored invasion of 1961 – describing it as a “garden of Eden” where he entertained selected guests including the writer Gabríel Garcia Márquez, and enjoyed spear-fishing.
The former bodyguard says Castro sailed to the island on his luxury yacht, the Aquarama II, fitted out with rare Angolan wood and powered by four motors sent by the Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev.
“Castro would sit in his large black leather director’s armchair … a glass of Chivas Regal on the rocks (his favourite drink) in his hand,” writes Sánchez.
While Fidel and Gabo sipped Chivas in the yacht, to this day the Cuban people make due on $20/month as their world literally collapses around them. Michael Totten writes about Havana, The Last Communist City, a cesspool of despair and need. Hotel workers get paid 67 cents a day,
The government contracts with Spanish companies such as Meliá International to manage Havana’s hotels. Before accepting its contract, Meliá said that it wanted to pay workers a decent wage. The Cuban government said fine, so the company pays $8–$10 an hour. But Meliá doesn’t pay its employees directly. Instead, the firm gives the compensation to the government, which then pays the workers—but only after pocketing most of the money. I asked several Cubans in my hotel if that arrangement is really true. All confirmed that it is. The workers don’t get $8–$10 an hour; they get 67 cents a day—a child’s allowance.
The regime suppresses all dissent: Cuba remains the only country in Latin America that represses virtually all forms of political dissent. In 2012, the government of Raúl Castro continued to enforce political conformity using short-term detentions, beatings, public acts of repudiation, travel restrictions, and forced exile.
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