Behold the face of evil. He looks like a normal guy, but deep down he is as evil as they come. His job is to oppress a whole nation and lie to the world about it. In the process, he has to lie to himself too.
How did he get there? How does anyone become complicit with evil? Hannah Arendt spoke of “the banality of evil” in reference to Adolf Eichmann and other Nazis who simply followed orders. Her argument was that we are all capable of surrending to evil when it is committed by our government and we trust that the government’s reasoning is correct. There are few real monsters, she argued. Those responsible for the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes were not monsters, but ordinary people who thought that their actions were perfectly normal because those actions and the premises on which they were based were sanctioned by the state.
In other words, we are all capable of becoming Eichmanns and Mengeles and Castros. Or maybe we could all turn into Alberto Betancourt Roa, the monstrous little imp whose image is displayed above, .
I prefer to think that certain people become monsters because they enjoy the thrill of monsterhood. In fact, I think that while we are all indeed capable of becoming monsters, only relatively few ever choose that option. And they choose it willingly, because they love to have power over others. Some repent, too, and some never do.
This little monster is not in charge of running Cuba, but he helps those who are in charge. And he defends them, while dressed in a fine sports coat, nicely pressed shirt, first-class slacks, and a new leather belt that holds in a well-fed middle-aged paunch. Notice the glasses too, and the haircut. Notice how thoroughly bourgeois this Revolutionary seems to be, and how comfortable he is with his state of being and his wardrobe. Notice also his very light pigmentation, which marks him off as a “blanco” descended from the Celts and Visigoths who inhabited Spain before the Berbers took over in 711, No African blood courses through his veins. None at all. The only Cubans who look like this are those who live off the slave labor of 99.9% of their fellow Cubans. This blanquito is a Cuban economist, and his job is to implement the “reforms” of Raul Castro. Yesterday he was interviewed by the Spanish newspaper ABC, and here are a few of the gems that spewed from his indecently comfortable mouth.
“No se está aplicando ninguna reforma, no hay ningún cambio político, se está actualizando el modelo económico.” We aren’t applying any reforms, and there is no political change, we are actualizing an economic model.” The first two statements are shocking admissions, which might cost him his job. The third statement is bureaucratic horse manure, and shorthand for “we are not doing anything about the economy either.”
Whoa… talk about a diamond buried in a pile of manure… Will Phil Peters and other Cuba experts ever quote this guy?
“We have applied a broad spectrum of measures”… “but people would like to see a faster pace of change.” Well, it sounds as if this guy can lie and tell the truth simultaneously…
“We are moving ahead without pausing, but we are not in a hurry.” “Raul has said that the most essential problem is changing mentalities at all levels.”
When asked if the Castro regime was worried about the imminent demise of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, he said, no, no way. He’s doing fine and will come out of this illness, just fine, and Cuba has no worries whatsoever about what might happen, it will survive and keep true to its Revolution, no matter what.
When asked how it is possible for Cubans to live on and income of 15 Euros per month, all he had to say is that “we live within certain limitations,” and “we need to increase productivity.”
He defended the Cuban model of economic change, insisting it wasn’t the same as Vietman or China. “We do things at our own pace, the Cuban pace.”
When asked why so many Cubans flee the island, he said that the numbers are far lower than those from other Latin American nations. The world’s press picks on Cuba, he said, because the free press is dominated by American interests, and they love to twist the truth. Everyone who leaves Cuba nowadays leaves for economic reasons. There are no political factors influencing anyone’s decision to leave Cuba.
Everything is tough, but everything is loved by most Cubans. All talk about repression in Cuba is “un cuento” — nothing more than a made-up story.
When asked about dissidents on the island, this is what he had to say: “They are mercenaries who receive a salary from the United States, not dissidents.”
Yeah, buddy. Si, compay. Enjoy your fancy duds now, you lying hypocrite. Some day we will see in you in court. Pretty soon, too. And maybe some non-Cuban observer will write another essay on the banality of evil while you, a stinking low-level functionary are tried for your petty little crimes and your contempt for human decency.
Read the whole interview here, in Spanish. Be sure not to do it right after a meal.