Do we ever?!
Here’s a beautiful note that I received this afternoon:
Subject: reaction to “The problem with self-proclaimed Cubanologists“
Date: April 6, 2008 3:09:19 PM EDT
Good points, with a bit of validity, but overall you are flat out wrong.(and ignorant)
-Phil is very smart guy who even works for a CONSERVATIVE – leaning thinktank[sic]!
-He worked as POLITICAL APOINTEE [sic]for State for REAGAN and BUSH- I! In other words, He knows more than you.
-He knows cuba [sic] much better also b/c he has been visiting there for over the past 20 years! Unlike yourselves.
(1) If you had ever been to Cuba over past 20 years -you would know the majority of Cubans (from brainwashing or not) are true believers in
social justice and egalitarian ideals. Of course, they regonize [sic]the current system brings NONE of that, and is repressive, still the popular culure[sic] is totally left leaning down there – you can’t change that.
(2) The reason Fidel has been able to stay around is the historical context, – Cubans truely believed he would bring social justice and more socieconomic[sic] egalitarinism[sic] (result – all poor), but still this evidence is inconsistent with your story..
(3) You and your readers hostirlity [sic]toward intellectuals and real academics is just class- envy –
Sorry you didn’t a chance to go to a good school .. your brain would work better if you did.
PS: i [sic]write all of this as someone who recognizes the sins of the revolution. but also the sins of the exiles who want to push their view on a whole people.
Let’s see, where to begin? How about right at the beginning. I never claimed to know “more” than Phil Peters. I claimed to know better than him what motivated castro during his 49 year rule to enact policies such as the bans which his younger brother is now removing.
It’s precisely because Peters has been visiting Cuba for 20 years that I don’t trust the guy. I’ve never been in outer space but I know it’s a vacuum. Mr. Madrid’s argument comes from page one of castroism for dummies: “You can discredit opponents of totalitarian rule in Cuba by reminding them that they’ve never been there.” Well I’ve never been to Nazi Germany either but am smart enough to know the holocaust happened.
For the record I never said anything about what the Cuban people think. My post was about fidel castro’s supposed “hyperegalitarian” motivations. But the evidence does not seem to support the idea that most of Cuba would be left leaning if exposed to outside thought. I may not know more than Phil Peters but two million Cubans living abroad and rejecting that “free” world class health care and education must tell you something.
As for why fidel has been able to stay power, what I said doesn’t contradict what Mr. Madrid is saying which is that Cubans truly believed (past tense) what fidel never believed. He cynically manipulated them into accepting things they would never accept otherwise because of what they believed. If fidel had broadcast on Radio Rebelde when he was in the Sierra Maestra the fact that he intended to make Cuba a one-party communist state in which the act of disagreeing with the government, staying in a hotel that foreigners were entitled to stay or owning the latest piece of consumer technology would be forbidden, he would have never gotten out of the mountains alive. Instead he promised a utopia of social justice based on ordinary democracy and corruption-free leadership.
I am not hostile to intellectuals or academics, nor do I think the rest of our Babalu family is, nor was I hostile to Mr. Peters. I disagree with Peters. That’s still permitted, right? This is still America, right? I question what Cuban intellectuals on the island say because they are under duress. I know enough to know that many Cuban intellectuals change their tune once in exile.
As for the schools I attended, I was educated by some of the same good fathers that educated fidel. Also I attended the University of Florida where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Economics. Where Mr. Madrid attended school nobody knows but I’ll say one thing: on a Sunday afternoon he felt that I was important enough to refute. If what I say is so misguided then why is it so important to correct me? I’m just a man. Why does it seem that there are more and more people out there who think it’s important to dissect my every word? Whatever the reason it’s flattering to know that an “ignorant” person whose “brain doesn’t work well” like me needs to be refuted.
As for the supposed sins of the exiles who want to “to push their view on a whole people” nothing could be further from the truth. Liberty is having the freedom choose from many views and decide which one (or none of them) to believe. That’s a freedom we have here, and a freedom I want for Cuba.