Friday, September 5, 2008

U.S. offers to help hurricane victims; Cuba rejects offer

The U.S. State Department offered aid to Cuban hurricane victims, as reported in the NY Times. Said Phil Peters in the Cuban Triangle:
Now let’s hope that the two governments find a way to make it work.
Well, they didn't make it work.

Cuba rejected the offering, saying that if the U.S. government really wanted to help, it would lift restrictions preventing Cuba from buying basic necessities, Cuaderno de Cuba reported.


leftside said...

Rather than freeing direct people-to-people assistance (I had to struggle to find a place to donate), Bush follows previous US practice by offering a pittance accompanied by insults and wasteful conditions. As Phil Peters noted, the Burmese junta got a far better response from the US. East Timor offered 5x what Bush did for goshsakes.

As long as the US is strengthening its strangle-hold on Cuba with one hand, half-hearted charity drafted by Cuba's worst enemies in Florida from the other is hard to take seriously. Maybe they well, as a sign of a new day day. The took aid from Uribe and thanked him in Granma...

Tracey Eaton said...

Allowing people-to-people assistance now does seem like a hollow gesture when you consider how enthusiastically the Bush administration has supported and tightened economic sanctions that have hurt Cuban families.

Walter Lippmann said...

The New York Times though a much more important story than the hurricane was to post a glorifying portrait of that potty-mouthed supposed "punk-rock dissident" Gorki Aquila.

Such a distorted sense of priorities!

Each day we live, we make choices. To get out of bed, or to go back to sleep. Newspaper editors to the same thing, and today we're getting a useful object lesson in journalistic decision- making from the New York Times. It's quite an object lesson. Here we see the choices made under a system which likes to proudly describe itself as having "freedom of the press".
In recent days the island of Cuba, referred to by its literary designation, "the pearl of the Antilles", survived an assault of an all-to-familiar type, Hurricane Gustav. Much power was knocked out, homes destroyed, agricultural lands were damaged.

Not one single life was lost amidst all of the devastation and, an arm of workers and volunteers began to struggle so that the population in the hardest-hit areas was fed, clothed, given a place to sleep, had electric power, and the schools opened on time as quickly as that could be arranged.

When we compare that with what we saw happening in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and after Gustav proceeded to the US and New Orleans after pummeling Cuba, you'd think that a few words of praise might be found for revolutionary Cuba's quick capacity for the restoration of public services to meet their people's individual and social need. You would be wrong, to be under any such misapprehension.
Cuban society is a complex one, with numerous problems and challenges, as any visitor there with any familiarity knows. Under nearly fifty years of unrelenting pressure from the US blockade, and having made some of its own errors as well, the Cuba Revolution still lives, sometimes it seems as by magic.

The NEW YORK TIMES finds all of this of no interest, providing an entirely different focus for its "Saturday Profile" today.

This presumably flattering portrait of a cranky opponent of the Cuban Revolution, filled with quotes, noticeably lacks any kind of dateline. He seems to be what in the United States of America is often referred to as a "shit-disturber", someone out to make trouble by any means: "As a logo for their group, they use a Soviet hammer and sickle transformed into a pornographic image."

By the activities described here, we have an individual and an admiring chorus of foreign admirers, who hope to create some kind of public incident, some trouble, some provocation, some anything.

Based on the quotations from him which are given to readers here, he seems to be quite successful in making a name for himself in the world outside of Cuba. A potty-mouthed individual, had been convicted on a drug charge, who married while in prison to use conjugal visitation rights, he's recently become the darling of a veritable army of Cuba-haters around the world. This can easily fund a career, and you should read this material all the way to the end, as it tells us about the priorities of this newspaper.
Gorki makes an interesting contrast with the last Cuban group of dissidents, the "Ladies in White", those quietly respectable mothers, girlfriends and spouses who used to march single-file to and from a Catholic church on Sundays. The "Ladies in White" have recently split, and now the Cuban dissidence presents its image to the world in this basically nihilistic manner.

With Gorki, Washington and the media stands up to salute. THIS is what they would use demonstrate as a role model for the kind of "freedom" they want to bring to Cuba? Evidently yes it is.

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California

Here's that NYT article:

Tracey Eaton said...

Thanks for your comment, Walter