Friday, August 18, 2006

Your Daily Dicator News: Cuba and Chile Update

The Washington Post is keeping us up to date on our Latin American dictators today. Down in Chile, the Supreme Court has stripped Augusto Pinochet of immunity in a $27 million tax fraud case. In a word – good. They got Capone on tax evasion, and it’s good enough for Pinochet. I know, the wingers will scream, “But he saved Chile from Allende!” Look, overthrowing Allende was a political act, and only the sovereign people of Chile can decide whether it was justified or not. But the 17 years of brutal, criminal dictatorship were not justified by anything that happened during the brief reign of Allende. No matter what your enemy does, you are still under obligation to adhere to the rule of law. You are not justified in torturing terrorists. You are not justified in wantonly killing civilians because your enemy has done the same. As was explained to most of us at a young age, “He did it first!” is not a sound moral argument.

A bit closer to home, Raul Castro has emerged from his hibernation and seen the United States’ shadow. Raul told the Cubans that shortly after his brother’s illness became public, he called up tens of thousands of militia and reservists. Why? "We could not rule out the risk of somebody going crazy, or even crazier, within the U.S. government."

Dear Washington D.C.: Did you notice what just happened here? The Cuban government faces a crisis and what does it do? It tries to scare the Cuban people into thinking the United States might do something “crazy.” Do you know what everyone in Cuba calls the embargo? “El bloqueo”? What’s a “bloqueo? It’s a blockade. What’s a blockade? Why, it’s an act of war. Who actually benefits from the embargo? It’s not Washington, and it’s not the exiles. The embargo has failed mightily to oust Fidel Castro. It sure as heck ain’t the Cuban people who have benefited. Who then? One man- Fidel Castro. From the beginning, Fidel has told the Cubans that the United States was at war with Cuba, and the embargo has been exhibit “A.” Why is the economy so bad? El bloqueo. Why can’t we have elections? El bloqueo. Why must we repress dissent? El bloqueo – don’t you people know we’re at war?

Drop the embargo. I know your feelings got hurt back in 1959, but that was a long time ago. The embargo is Fidel’s crutch. It gives him an excuse for everything that’s wrong, and lets him strut about as the nationalist hero facing down the big, bad imperialist yanquis. Get rid of the embargo, and flood the island with Americans, with American dollars, and with American values. Make the old man irrelevant.

It’s past time – drop the embargo.

1 comment:

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