Notwithstanding the pedanticism of this editorial by Julia Sweig at Real Clear Politics, titled “fidel’s Final Victory,” if you took the time to labor through it, you would learn a few things.

First, that Cuba’s problems all derive not from the country’s ruling dictatorship, but from Washington DC and the Cuban exile community. You will also learn that political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are basically par for the course, given that only one sentence is devoted to the subject in an editorial that is as lengthy as it is myopic.

You’ll also learn that Cuban leaders are not only doing a bang up job but that the author of the piece has met with every single one of them and is on a first name basis with same.

You’ll learn about the great healthcare – despite the fact that Cuban in exile have to supply their families with everything from aspirins to bed sheets – and the hundred percent literacy. The lowest infant mortality rate boast is also tossed in for good measure, ignoring the obvious: Cuba has the highest abortion rate in the hemisphere.

You will also learn that lifting the embargo and trade sanctions are the answer to all of Cuba’s ills, but you will not learn how it is, exactly, that this will come about.

I could, as the editorial does, go on and on and on. But I wont, because I live in reality and not some self-absorbed intellectual echo chamber.

10 thoughts on “Pedanticism”

  1. No doubt Ms. Sweig swings to the left! I found the following paragraph very amusing and revealing! Typical from castro apologists!

    “Cuba is far from a multiparty democracy, but it is a functioning country with highly opinionated citizens where locally elected officials (albeit all from one party) worry about issues such as garbage collection, public transportation, employment, education, health care, and safety. Although plagued by worsening corruption, Cuban institutions are staffed by an educated civil service, battle-tested military officers, a capable diplomatic corps, and a skilled work force. Cuban citizens are highly literate, cosmopolitan, endlessly entrepreneurial, and by global standards quite healthy.”

    As mi Tia Carmela would say: “No queda duda que esta come de lo que pica el gallo y caga el gato.”

    Healthy, Happy and a Free Cuba in 2007! 🙂 Melek

    . . . and a powerful statement from Carlos A. Montaner: “There are always intellectuals ready to justify crimes. It was the case with Stalin and Franco, and now it will be the case with Castro. It’s morally incomprehensible: They love the executioners and hate the victims.”

  2. My email to Ms. Sweig:

    Ms. Sweig,

    I read with great interest your latest editorial “Fidel’s Final Victory” at Real Clear Politics and thought, given its length and your expertise on the subject matter, that it would offer something new, or, at the least, a viable working theory as to how, exactly, lifting the embargo would be the answer to all that ails Cuba. But nowhere in said editorial do you give us a model or hypothesis as to how this would work.

    You fail to mention a few things such as the 38 states that currently have trade agreements with the Cuban government and how the US is now that nation’s number one supplier of agricultural goods. You fail to mention that everything is available in Cuba at present, from Sony TV’s to Budweiser beer and that the average Cuban who earns an average of $10 a month is unable to obtain and of these goods legally, if at all, in Cuba. You fail to mention the castro government’s penchant for not paying its debts, which amount to twenty some odd billion to the Soviets and another 14 billion to various other nations.

    You mention the great healthcare, but neglect to mention that the average Cuban depends on his exile counterparts for everything from aspirins to bed sheets. You mention the literacy rate but neglect to mention that what is read is controlled. Try to find a New York Times in the average Cuban household.

    You also mention the low infant mortality rate, but neglect to mention that Cuba has the hemisphere’s highest abortion rate – at 6 out of ten pregnancies being terminated.

    You also mention political prisoners only once in your editorial – one sentence – and give the impression that these are par for the course. You fail to mention that the average Cuban worker is but an indentured servant.

    If you truly believe that lifting the embargo and travel restrictions will foster change in Cuba, then you should take the time and explain it to us yeomen. Give us the step by step.

    You seem to be convinced that it is American administrations that have helped fidel castro maintain his rule over Cuba. I wholeheartedly disagree. It is Americans like you, who have no understanding of the culture and the people of Cuba and who fail to see, for whatever reason, the Cuban government’s exaggerations and distortions. Your refering to Cuba as a “developing” nation proves that your theories are ill-based from pre-conceived notions. Cuba, Ms. Sweig, is a re-developing nation as regardless of the brutality of the previous regime, the island had a sound economic infrastructure with a self sustained economy, a middle class, low infant mortality rate, high literacy rate, higher standard of living and a growing market economy.

    If Cuba has survived communism, and should the case be that the US embargo did have a detrimental effect on the country and she has survived despite this, then it has not been because of the policies of the castro regime, but rather the industrious and resilient nature of her people.

    I dont expect a response from you, I am, after all, a Cuban exile, and despite having experienced the true nature of the Castro regime, people like you prefer to ignore and debase my reality if it does not coincide with your interpretation of same.

    Valentin J. Prieto

  3. You know…I am so tired of hearing this embargo argument! It is a moot point! You can’t buy anything unless you have a bit of CASH! It is not America’s role to produce wealth for Cuba. It is the assignment of the Cuban people on the island to do that. Only then could they possible buy something. But Castro’s economic policy, which I’ll dub “stupidomics” makes it illegal for Cubans to efficiently create wealth. So everyone sits on their ass down there, makes no money and listens to fools like the moron who wrote this article blame their bad government woos on the U.S. Yet somehow the South Africans, who had a worldwide embargo against them during apartheid, managed to create wealth and had the normal items of civilization readily available to them. The reason South Africans had toilet paper and sanitary napkins while these are luxuries in Cuba is because South Africans were allowed to legally make these then sell them on the open market. In Cuba this form of normal commercial activity is against Cuban law. That and the excuses penned by this author to support this brain-dead economic policy are of equal stupidity. To avoid exposing the magnitude of her ignorance on matters of economics I would suggest that she never, ever address the subject in the future again. As for decent social policy, she might be able to understand how it feels to be robbed, tortured or killed – but first she would have to actually take a look. Obviously she has never done so for if she had what kind of a beast would she be, Cubans, to support this evil empire? If she knew what we know what kind of scum would she be if she had a kind word for Fidel? No, I’ll bet she has never actually taken a look at Cubans outside the tourist zone. Honey…there is no pie in the sky, you can’t make money for nothing and chicks certainly aren’t free!

  4. The theory is that a small fiercely independent island close to a threatening and powerful neighbor must take desperate measures to survive. Because the United States threatens the existence of the revolution, a single party is needed, civil liberties must be eliminated and a constant state of paranoia must be the norm. Poverty, oppression and deprivation are justified by the existence of this giant enemy with evil intentions. If only the US would “go away” all would be well.

    The reality is that a small and fiercely independent island (Taiwan), close to a threatening and powerful neighbor (China) which seeks to absorb (annex) it, remains to this day a democracy with a multiplicity of parties. Its economy is one of the most successful in the world. Its people are free. People flee from the giant neighbor to live in this small over populated island.

    In another part of the world there is a figurative island (Israel), surrounded by more populous and powerful neighbors, who seek not to annex it, but to “erase it from the map.” Yet, Israel’s leaders have not deemed it necessary to impose one-party rule, imprison dissidents, eliminate a free press or otherwise oppress its people in the name of national sovereignty or survival.

    Neither Taiwan nor Israel have the natural resources or optimal geographic location that favors Cuba. Yet, Cuba’s economy lies in ruins while Taiwan and Israel flourish.

    Can someone explain why castro apologists continue to point the finger at Washington, when the solution to all of Cuba’s problems lies in Cuba?

  5. P.S. A permanent website needs to go up called, “Propagandists” which should list the apologists for the tyrants of the world. They should be given monthly awards (for example, Biggest Whopper of the Month or Monthly Mud-Slinger Award) and these people would automatically qualify for the yearly title.

    The reason for this is the Stephan Lendmans and Julia Sweigs of the world believe they can promote tyrants for fun and profit then slink away into obscurity. Wrong! We need to let the world know who they are and more importantly – where they are and why they are doing the nasty things they are doing.

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