One of the things I find most disturbing about castro apologists – the non-Cuban kind – is their inability – or self-imposed blindness – to see the truth when it’s staring them right in the face. They quickly promote the rhetoric – Free Healthcare!!! 100% literacy!!! Low infant mortality rate!!! – and tell all who would listen just how great castro’s Cuba is and how successful the revolution is and just what a utopian society exists on that little island. But they dont, or wont, dig a little deeper. If someone mentions the plight of the Cuban people they quickly, and like good little soldiers, blame the US for all of Cuba’s ills.
Take this post at Harry’s Place sent to me by reader Adriene. The entry is a condemnation of fidel castro’s Cuba via a link to an Argentinian Indymedia website that uses the photos of Cuba from the Real Cuba to show the reality that is Cuba. The comments section is chock full of castro apologists ranting on, ad nauseum, on the triumph of la revolucion.
But there’s a problem with all of those pro-fidel comments. None of them comes from a Cuban, specifically, from a Cuban living in Cuba. An average Jose from Cienfuegos. Every single pro-castro comment in that thread comes from someone, some self-proclaimed intellectual beacon, that has never had to live in castro’s Cuba. Never had to deal with ration cards and CDR’s. Never had to see his little sister or brother sell him or herself to some fat tourist for a few bucks. Never had to live like a second class citizen in their own country. Never had to live in a place where there are no New York Times or Washington Posts or CNNs, only state run media. Never had to live without internet access, completely sheltered from the rest of the world. Never had to live deaf, dumb and blind. Never had to live without opinions. Never had to live as part of a collective instead of as an individual.
So all those Viva fidels! and Viva La Revolucions! in the comments of that thread are pointless because the commenters know not of what they speak. They lack the basic and underlying understanding of what being a Cuban living in Cuba really is.
To make this even more disturbing, the majority of these castro apologists, along with a good number of people who dont really give a shit about Cuba, depict the Cuban exile community as some crazy malcontent whiners. In their eyes, the opinions and histories of almost three million people are moot. They prefer to be taught by professor fidel than by experience. Not only are they complicit in the silencing of the people of Cuba, but they refuse to listen to those Cubans who have the freedom to speak freely.
I could be wrong, of course (all evidence to the contrary). The people of Cuba could very well be happy with their lives and with fidel, but until I hear it from them, en masse, instead of from your typical Alarcon, or from some guy living in a typical suburban house in a typical suburban neighborhood in Boise, Idaho, I will continue to do what I do here. Until I read a million blogs eminating from Cuba telling me Im wrong, Ill sleep soundly, knowing full well what is just and right.