The Bard asks in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
That question becomes crucial in current discourse, due mainly to the constant use by the left of certain terms, phrases, names, and words, intended to color a person or group with (alleged) negative qualities. Terms like “fascist” or “right-winger” or “ultra-conservative” are bandied about without the slightest knowledge of the historical or political context of those words. Take the term “hard-liner,” a phrase used often as a pejorative when discussing a certain segment of the Cuban exile community. Carlos Saladrigas of the Cuba Study Group used it five times in a Miami Herald op-ed, as though the use of the word itself was an incantation to defeat the enemy.
By “hard-liner” the dialogueros and castristas mean those of us in the exile community who hold a position on Cuba that precludes, not only dialog, but the easing of ANY economic or travel sanction against the castro regime. We do not, according to those who attempt to tar us with that name, want a parlay, we do not want rapprochement, we do not want any type of opening with the regime of the castro brothers, other than the total dissolution of their regime. They are right, of course, but they miss the irony of what they write. I think Manuel Cereijo said it best in his piece of a few days ago in his closing paragraph:
No, con los tiranos no se dialoga. No, con los asesinos no se dialoga. Se les doblega, se les presiona, se les exige, se les vence. Son muchos los muertos, los presos, muchas separaciones, muchas torturas, muchas vidas truncadas, mucho sufrimiento, mucha miseria. El final tiene que ser una derrota total, completa, limpia, sin mediatizaciones. No importa cuánto cueste o cuánto más dure.
[No, you do not negotiate with tyrants. No, you do not negotiate with assassins. You do not bend to them; you pressure them, demand from them, and defeat them. There are too many dead, imprisoned, too many separations, too many tortured, too many lives shortened, too much suffering, too much misery. The end has to be a total defeat, complete, clean, and uninfluenced. The cost does not matter, nor how long it may take.]
If this highly moral and unambiguous position makes me a “hard-liner,” then I am as proud of that name as I am of “gusano.”