The last half-century of the Cuban saga has never had a shortage of surreal and bizarre events and characters. Perhaps it is the tropical setting, or maybe people have some type of morbid attraction to a cruel and vicious dictator. Whatever the reasons may be, their ambiguous origins are what make them unexplainable in the first place.
To add to this “huh?” aura that surrounds Cuba politics in this country, a story in yesterday’s Florida Times-Union attempts to provide America, and the world, yet another reason why the US should drop their embargo against the dictatorship in Cuba.
[Len] Weeks and his wife, as well Ron Dixon, Soledad Pagliuca and other members of the St. Augustine-Baracoa Friendship Association, sipped wine and shifted excitedly on sofas and chairs as the minutes ticked on CNN Heroes.
They wanted to see if Kristy Weeks’ nominee, Irania Martinez Garcia of Guantanamo, Cuba, would walk away with its “Defending the Planet” award.
Garcia led residents of a Guantanamo neighborhood to recycle a rubbish dump into compost materials. Now those organic materials are used to nurture woodlands and gardens. Trees now line a landscape once defined by smoke from burning trash. The program, which is supported by the United Nations Development Fund, has created jobs, as well.
“When I approached this solid waste dump, I couldn’t even smell it,” said Alberto Jones, who is a native of Guantanamo and vice president of the friendship association. “It was like a botanical garden … the air quality has improved in that area tremendously.”
“When I met this lady [Garcia], I said to Soledad: ‘She ought to be a CNN hero,’ ” Weeks told me. So Weeks nominated Garcia. And she won. The living room erupted into cheers.
Then came the rude interruption.
Actress Rosario Dawson announced that because of travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba, Garcia couldn’t come to New York to pick up her $10,000 prize. Jones had to accept it on her behalf.
Such craziness ought to make more Americans want to step up – and push for an end to the failed embargo and travel ban. (emphasis mine)
Well, how can you argue with that?
48 years of oppression, 48 years of murders, 48 years of tortures, 48 years of unjust incarcerations, 48 years of lies, 48 years of squandering natural resources, 48 years of robbing the national treasury to enrich the ruling elite, all pale in importance when we compare it to the new rubbish dump in Guantanamo.
I guess if we looked at Cuba through the bottom of a wine glass, we would miss seeing all the atrocities, the pain, and the injustices going on there too.