It would seem a shame that someone championing a seminar entitled “Rapprochement With Cuba: Good for Tampa Bay, Good For Florida, Good For America” hosted by an entity which calls itself the “Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy” would not exercise a bit of that same spirit of rapprochement toward his fellow American citizens, or even a bit of responsibility.
Joe O’Neill’s diatribe in a local paper seemingly directed at the public officials who opted not to attend is rife with slurs and inaccuracies directed at Cuban Americans. The now conventional use of hardliners to describe people who want nothing more than the same freedoms for their fellow man that people like Mr. O’Neill enjoy is supplemented here with repeated quotes from the president of said organization, one Al Fox, who in a supreme example of irony accuses a handful of “Bastitianos” of limiting American freedoms. As a side note, it is interesting to see that Mr. Fox avails himself of the castrian lexicon. I would say that given the repeated election of those South Florida politicians Mr. O’Neill decries, the ones who hold Wasserman-Schultz and Meeks in their “pockets,” there would seem to be more than a handful of these same.
In what passes for reasoning here, Fox asks whether Taiwan can tell the US not to have relations with mainland China, implicit of course is the notion that Cuban Americans are foreigners dictating American foreign policy and not citizens exercising their right to vote. Mr. O’Neill- not to be left behind- creates his own parallel with Iran. Americans can travel to Iran, he informs us. But, aah, how many mojitos are there in downtown Tehran? You can bet that if Americans tourists were enriching Iranian coffers, there would be a hue and cry to end travel there. Speaking of which, how many organizations for “Responsible Iran Policy” have you seen?
Of course, the purported benefits of easing restrictions are grossly exaggerated. Trade by definition would seem to require payment, something the Cuban government seems particularly adept at evading. Then there is the notion, put forth by Tampa Port Authority member Carl Lindell, that Cuba is not a terrorist state. No, Mr. Lindell, it no longer has nuclear warheads pointed at our cities as it once did, now the ruling military junta uses its anti-American propaganda, advisors, and willing stooges like Chavez to spread its totalitarian ideology. If Cuba no longer sends armies, it’s because it can’t afford to. It is no less an enemy.
A little article in a local paper about a small gathering in an American city, but a marvelous exemplar of people who would cut out the offending member if they were ever to utter the “n” word but who have absolutely no difficulty defaming and trivializing Cuban Americans.