A matter of perspective or a matter of fact?

I read an interesting column today by a woman named Gigi Sanchez. She asks if Americans are materialistic and compares the U.S. to, you guessed it, Cuba.

I went to Cuba for the first time in 1999. My parents are from Havana. Because of the embargo the United States has on Cuba, they don’t see a lot of imports and exports. It’s like watching cultural evolution before your eyes. A sociologists’ dream.

Here’s my email to her:

There is one country in the world that Cuba can not trade freely with: The United States. The last time I checked almost everything we consume in the United States is made in other countries. It is an error of fact to say that Cuba doesn’t get many imports because of the U.S. trade embargo. There are plenty of luxuries in Cuba for foreigners. There are stores full of merchandise for Cubans that have access to dollars. Perhaps if the Castro brothers removed the embargo they have placed on the Cuban people and allowed the much needed economic and political reforms the Cuban people would have some of the basic necessities which are currently luxuries in Cuba.

Her reply:

Interesting perspective. Thanks for your opinions.

My reply to her reply:

Yes, the truth is very interesting indeed.

Her reply to my reply to her reply:

Indeed Henry, from everyone’s perspective.

My reply to her reply to my reply to her reply:

What I said about Cuba being able to trade with EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY in the world is not a matter of perspective. It’s a matter of fact. That Cubans suffer shortages of even the most basic of necessities as a result of the failed economic policies of their leaders is not subject to interpretation. It’s a matter of fact. That the embargo remains today only because the Castro brothers refuse to release the political prisoners, allow political opposition and call for multiparty democratic elections is a matter of fact. That foreigners enjoy rights and privileges and goods and services that Cubans are forbidden from enjoying is a matter of fact.
To say otherwise is to be detached from reality.

Her reply to my reply to her reply to my reply to her reply:

Thanks again for all of your opinions. I wish you all the best.

My reply to her reply to my reply to her reply to my reply to her reply:

No problem. Glad to enlighten any time I can.

6 thoughts on “A matter of perspective or a matter of fact?”

  1. One very troubling aspect of American “education” to me is that so many of young folks cannot for the life of them: (a) research information (too many just blindly take information that “feels right” or comes from a source they like rather than judging where that information comes from and how valid it is); (b) distinguish facts from opinion and (c) assign a lesser value to opinions than facts.
    The above ought to trouble anyone who wants to see democracy continue and not see sloganeering/populism/communism rise. The former needs a public with a sense and knowledge of thinking and a sense of history. The latter discourages if not outlaws it.

  2. Henry, your reply to Gigi was right on the mark.
    I want to be able to participate in the sponcer program. I sent you an email last week but have not had a response yet. My email is henrya@aidshealth.org. Thanks Henry.

  3. so was there a reply to your reply to her reply to your reply to her reply to your reply to her reply?
    And all this without blowing a fuse? You have too much patience Henry, but gotta admit, great reply – all of them – to her initial column and subsequents replies to your replies.
    Headache inducing to keep these replies straight.

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