Riba smri od glave a ne od repa

The title of this post is attributed to Arnold Harris in the comments section of this post at Dean’s World. It means “The fish stinks from the head and not the tail” in Croatian.

The post at Dean’s World is in reference to an editorial by Oswaldo Paya, titled “The Unstoppable Cuban Spring,” in the Wall Street Journal. Other bloggers covered this editorial as well: Instapundit; Wall Street Cafe; James Hudnall; Gateway Pundit; Future Atlas.

I appreciate Mr. Paya’s dedication and hard work and truly hope that the Varela Project is able to carve out some measure of success. And anyone that reads this blog knows we fully support all dissidents in Cuba who work for the freedom of the Cuban people. Mr. Paya’s editorial linked above is beautiful. It offers hope and helps illuminate the tribulations that freedom seeking Cubans must go through to further their cause.

However, I find Mr. Paya’s editorial to be flawed. Not because of the direction he feels Cuba should take, but because the direction is based on the premise that the Cuban Government cares about its people. Forty-seven years of oppression, Committes for the Defense of the Revolution, actos de repudio, arbitrary encarcerations, vacuous promises, summary executions, indoctrination, indentured servitude, apartheid – just to name a few – are proof positive that the present government of Cuba cares not about the Cuban people, but only about remaining in power.

fidel castro and his government have had ample opportunity to allow the Cuban people to progress. castro has had ample opportunity to allow the Cuban people to speak freely, to think freely, to seek better lives freely. There has been ample opportunity for the Cuban government to allow a free economy. To allow the Cuban worker to work for his own benefit and not that of the state. There has been ample opportunity for the Cuban government to allow for the free dissemination of information. There has been ample opportunity for the Cuban government to treat the Cuban people with the same respect it offers the foreigner. The Cuban government has had ample opportunity to allow the Cuban people to live with true dignity and not a mock one based on propaganda and falsehood. The Cuban government has had ample opportunity to allow its people the most basic civil and human rights.

But it has not. And it does not. And it will not.

There will be no reconciliation in Cuba as long as fidel castro is in power simply because fidel castro doesnt have the need for reconciliation to remain in power. fidel castro doesnt believe in reconcialition. fidel castro believes only in fidel castro.

Cuba’s spring is undoubtedly unstoppable, but before that spring comes, Cuba’s Old Man Winter, along with his cadre of abominable snowmen, must be a memory.

17 thoughts on “Riba smri od glave a ne od repa”

  1. Val,

    I didn’t like the editorial either, but I want to keep an open mind. I want to give Paya the benefit of the doubt. I’m presumming for instance that his comments about no lynchings, and about keeping Cuba’s much hyped and phony social welfare system alive is just a pre-emptive strike against the Cuban government that depicts the intentions of those who want to bring democracy to Cuba as destructive, evil, and twisted as opposed to Castro’s wonderful humanistic revolution [chic].

    There will be no lynching, I agree with Paya, but there needs to be justice. There needs to be democratic tribunals where guilty government officials will be tried in accordance to international law. How can a country cure its wounds without justice? What type of new society will we built if murderers, thieves and mafiosos are given a free pass for their atrocities?

    And about Cuba’s present social welfare system, Cuba has to have a safety net for the poor and invalid, but it cannot be based on the one that Castro has set up with filthy hospitals for the average Cuban and state-of-the-art hospitals for the nomenklature.

    It becomes obvious why left-leaning papers like the Washington Post published Paya’s editorial, he is for “contructive engagement” with the castro-crime-family run tyranny like they are.

  2. Ray,

    Im not really criticizing Paya. I truly admire his idealism and perhaps certain portions of his editorial are meant to assuage the cuban govenrment, but it’s ridiculous to even contemplate thinking that after almost 50 years of dogged and brutal reign, fidel castro and his minions are ready and willing to “reconcile”.

    I mean, how many time does one try to pet a dog that’s already bitten them once before?

  3. I have a serious question that is a little off topic but nontheless deserves attention in a post Castro Cuba.

    What is to become of the Castro family in Cuba when he dies and if and when democracy is installed? They might flee the island to Spain – but if they stay, should they be tried and deported – everyone of them? Or, as other Cubans have stated – eliminated – everyone of them no matter how young or old? I know the last option sounds very cruel, but do we really want Castro’s blood line claiming power in the near future. I don’t want violence but I think every visable trace of the Castro-Ruz bloodline should be removed from Cuba and deported to where ever the hell they came from originally.

    What do you guys think?

    Actually, what are we to do with all the ministers and important functionaries of the regime?

  4. mandingo,

    You wont have to do anything to those people. Take whatever money they have as restitution, then let them fend for themselves in Cuba without the auspices of their nanny government. They wouldnt be able to function within a free economy as they’ve probably never workeda hard day in their lives.

  5. Why is Mr. Paya the only “dissident” that is allowed to leave Cuba and return with no reprisals? Why is he the only “dissident” that has never been beaten, harazzed or been a recepient of “actos de repudio”? Why is he the only “dissident” that is able to travel throughout the Island when others need special passes, and those are always denied? Why is Mr. Paya friends with people currently in possitions of power? Why is the Catholic Church offering their PROTECTION to Mr. Paya and not to others who truly OPPOSE the Cuban regime?

    I’ll tell you why! Because Mr. Paya is the proverbial WOLF in SHEEP’s clothing. He plays the dissident part VERY well. The Catholic Church in all these 47 years has done NOTHING to help ANYONE in Cuba who opposes Castro. Many are languishing in prison and not a PEEP from the Catholic Church. The fact that they have conseived a document that GIVES TOTAL AMNESTY for those that have commited CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY should be clue No.1.

    I don’t trust Mr. Paya nor the “Proyecto Varela” (It is a disgrace that they have used the name of such a great man for such a despicable document). You must read it in its entirety to be able to judge it. I have!

  6. I agree, there should be no lynchings. What’s required are executions. Not for everyone, but some crimes committed make those responsible animals and they don’t deserve any consideration. If this offends anyone sorry.

  7. Ziva,

    I agree there should be no lynchings as this would make us no better than they are; but definitely, there will be executions after a Tribunal find those responsible for “war crimes” and crimes against humanity GUILTY.

  8. A Cuban tribunal, otherwise you can kiss justice goodbye, you know the lawyers would be lining up to represent those murdering bastards.

  9. Absolutely! A Cuban Tribunal and nothing less or the apologists for the Castro regime will find a way to play down the crimes. Trust me, if you leave justice to the United Nations there will be NONE. We must take into account not only the living but also the dead. They must be brought to trial posthumously so that their name will be forever dammed by Cuba’s future generations.

  10. I think the model should be the one they used in Eastern Europe after the fall of the wall. I hope that a peaceful transition will occur.

    But I differ with those seeking execution. I don’t believe execution of anyone accomplishes anything. Rather, they should be forced to serve life in imprisonment in the same squalid jails that dissidents have been forced to live in. They should be forced to live in prison and be fed the same rations they gave dissidents. They should be isolated and given the same medical treatment they gave the dissidents. For truly that is hell on earth. An old saying is that those who go to hell are force to experience the evil they cast upon others.

    But before they begin to serve the rest of their days on earth in the cuban prisons they themselves have created, they should be forced to witness for themselves the effect of their crimes. The should have to face all of their victims and the families of their victims wherein the families and victims can give them a piece of mind as to what evil they had done. ONce they are forced to face the piper as they say, off to Boniato for the rest of their life. No early release. No parole. Just the rest of their early life in prison. Perhaps then being forced to face the same hell that they have wrought on a people, they can languish and prefer death. If they die at their own hands, then so be it. But execution only makes criminals martyrs in my opinion and by executing these criminals, they will never feel anything remotely to the pain they have caused others to bear.

    Just my 2 1/2 cents…I’m on a roll today…

  11. I’m certain that those on trial will not only face their victims (or their kin) but will be forced to listen to all the charges brought against them. Make no mistake, there are those in exile and in Cuba documenting these atrocities. As to the matter of executions, the judicial process will allow these men to defend themselves. The verdict will dictate their punishment. As I see it, execution will accomplish everything: 1. It will serve as deterrent for any future tyrannical government. 2. It would prevent the accused from wielding their influence far beyond the prisons causing God only knows what problems. 3. It will provide the victims and their families with CLOSURE. 4. Justice would be served.

  12. Didnt the Castro Regime do the same to Batista and his goverment..Tried..then excecuted them..Was it for the same crimes?

  13. Seguro que Sí,Indeed,inderdaad,dat klopt.this article in my humble opinion,hits the nail on the head.

  14. No,there were/are no “real” trials in castro’s Cuba. Just kangaroo courts and summary executions/sentencing. Not the same thing at all.

  15. M26

    To answer your question: no it was not for the same crimes.

    After Castro there was/is no Rule of Law in Cuba. Comparing the crimes committed by the Batista dictatorship to that of Castro’s totalitarian government is completely ludicrous. Castro was a terrorist before terrorism became “fashionable.” Years before Castro seized power, his 26th of July Movement was responsible for numerous bombings in public places that killed or wounded many people. Documented reports also exist of assassinations, kidnappings and airline highjackings. In Castro’s own words “bullets not ballots was the way to achieve power.”

    Mass arrests and summary executions began in January 1959. After a one day trial the revolutionary Tribunal (made up of militia men) passed their death sentence. Executions took place in the middle of the night on the same day the death sentence was given. Many of these men had never committed any crimes. Their only guilt was that they had served in the military or in the police force. In Castro’s view the best way to prevent any uprising was to do away with those that had the capability and knowledge to carry it out. Not only did he disarm the Cuban population (owning a weapon was/is punishable by death) he took away the only means to fight him. By the way, before these men were executed they were bled (he sold their blood to Vietnam) and had to be carried out in stretchers. In addition to the military there were many civilians (as young as 14 years old) mostly university students, that were sent to the firing squads. Counting Castro’s Victims – http://www.cubaarchive.org/english_version/

    Death Caused by the Castro Totalitarian Government (and counting)

    18,000 Executed
    1,000 Extrajudicial assassinations
    250 Disappeared
    500 Died in prison for lack of
    medical attention
    500 Murdered in prison by guards
    150 Extrajudicial assassinations (women)
    20,400 Sub-total for extrajudicial killings
    200 Political prisoners who reportedly
    committed suicide in prison
    83,000 Died at sea attempting to flee.
    based on Coast Guard estimates
    10,000 Cubans killed in wars in Africa
    113,600 Total

    Death Caused by the Batista Regime

    2,200 Deaths in military battles
    in the Sierra Maestra and
    were mostly soldiers.
    300 Murdered by Batista’s security forces
    2,500 Total

    The above information was compiled by Dr. Armando Lago http://www.cubaarchive.org/english_version/

  16. The timing on this article is too suspect. Methinks it was done with the “permission” of someone. Who allowed it? I smell a faction within the Nomenclatura, and not the Castroites.

    The endgame must be in sight.

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