As Professor Carlos Eire recently pointed out to NPR, most of the dissidents in Cuba feel betrayed by President Obama’s recent announcement regarding Cuba policy. Truth be told, however, most of these same dissidents, with a few notable exceptions, had previously made statements against the embargo and US non-recognition of Cuba’s government. Many of the the high-profile critics of the castro regime almost unanimously favored “normalization” between the two countries.
It becomes clear that once the clashing cymbals of the news media heralding the new era of relations between the two countries quiets down, as if often the case with announcements made by this president, the reality of “normal” begins to set in. Things in Cuba are already back to “normal” and the repression continues, except now the one country that marginally said anything about it will be silent for the sake of normalcy.
Moving forward these dissidents must accept that, in the eyes of US policy, being arrested and imprisoned for expressing opposition to the dictator of Cuba is considered normal. That being paid $20 a month by the Cuban state for work that would be much more valuable in a free market is normal. That the arbitrary enforcement of laws which keeps the citizenry constantly off-balance is normal.
To me it’s almost as if these people hadn’t thought their positions out to their logical conclusions. It is difficult for me to criticize the people who are brave enough to openly defy the castro brothers but it should serve as a reminder to all of us about one of the most important life lessons we hear from the time we are children, “be careful what you wish for.”
If these dissidents were literally and figuratively on an island before, well now they are on another planet. We here at Babalu have always been clear-eyed about what “normalization” means. We’ve written millions of words, read by millions of readers, trying to do the impossible in a war of words against the nation’s left wing media, starting with the despicable New York Times but also including CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS.
Tonight Barack Obama will sleep in his comfortable bed, as normal. The journalists who have been actively amplifying the calls for these changes will set their alarm clocks to go to work in the morning as normal. And Cuba’s people will sleep without hope of the new era they were promised. Everything will be back to normal.