Thursday, December 6, 2012

Joe Garcia (part 2)

Transcript of part 2 of interview with Joe Garcia, politician and former director of the Cuban American National Foundation. See video.

Here you are, you cut in the middle, because here is the problem, such an emotion on debate that it doesn´t allowed rational sort of circumstances, because if you touch the emotion you immediately take a position, I remember once talking about Elian, …when Elian was here… to my wife and I was saying to her know.. on a rational basis a father should be with his son, but as a Cuban – American I understood the other side of it.
What father will wan his son to be in a jail with him?, but of course that was very difficult, it´s like the cold war, you know, the cold war ended everywhere else, … is still here, right? every day someone gets shut in the Berlin wall in terms of death on our shores. That sort of reality makes it very difficult to… So a typical conversation with 5 Cubans, right?

So the first case: You know we should do? We should promote more travel to Cuba. The next case: Yeah it’s a good idea. (They all understand Cuba is bad they old want the dictatorship down. I want to say that, because if you don´t say that in Miami…)
So the first case says: You know we should promote more travel. The next case: Yeah, more we means is to help families… and the next case says: Yeah we should do that, we should also, we should also see if there some way we can help create small business. And the next case says: Yeah, but Fidel Castro is a son of a bitch and a murder. And the next case says: Yeah his is in an a all moon (?) … starts spinning around how evil Fidel Castro is, and of course the first did suggestion, the rational conversation on how to promote the transition is lost because the emotional, the anger, the set up, put you in a very difficult place and I can imagine that debate occurring the same way from Cuba.
You know you´ve invested 40 years in the Cuban regime; you took money, food, and took well from your family, hoping that somehow the socialist utopia will flourish and it never happened and you sort of wasted to this failed policy.
Like the embargo, the embargo is a failed policy, in fact is not a policy, it´s a religion, just like what they have in Cuba, right? Because when somebody says to you: Does the embargo works? They look I… they use terms that are religious, they say: Yeah, I believe in the embargo. The same way I believe in the Holy Ghost and the Immaculate Conception.
Now, you know, if I stop a guy in the middle of a desert and I start to describe the Immaculate Conception…Now, you know, he would probably continue his way on the desert, because I´m crazy. But the embargo, how would you describe in a rude sadly a foreign policy that is failed for 50 years? The best I can think is, you know, comparative analysis of it and the commercial who said: 50 more years and then we will have them on the road.
Right, it a clearly failed policy, however, it´s what we got, right? You know, you know, I use this…, and now I run a Foundation, so if there was a church of the embargo I was probably a bishop of that church, and one of the things I try to do is, you know,
When you discover that one of your saints may be not the sainted you though, you try to move that saint to the back of the church, you try to bring one of the other saints to the fore, because that´s the problem, both sides are left to the no alternative, and without an alternative you cling to what you have people who are found they drowned in the open ocean. There sometimes they are holding a stick or rock, something that doesn´t float, but is all they have, so they held on, and so, both sides here, you know…
Communism is a failed ideology that has absolutely no future, but what is the alternative in Cuba? There is not, right? There is not… and in Miami there is no alternative to the embargo, is simply what we are for, and I think, I think, of course that´s to fail, and again, again, that deep dark place in hell…
I have created most of the ridiculous excuses of way embargo works, and of course it doesn´t works; however, it also is a Cuba´s problem. In fact you know, after 50 years Cuba hasn´t figure out get around this, shame on them, and that what they have, but is a perfect excuse for them, it’s a perfect excuse for us,
You know if the embargo were just a little tighter, right, you know, (???? )and we fill with gasoline and we wait it, we wait it, you know, and of course, it won’t happen and that´s why these middle spaces so important, and twice important to create this space, because I think the more human people gets, the more rational people gets, the more rational decisions become and the more rational decisions become the more irrational both sides in this debate are …it isn´t…
I want to be clear, I´m not saying that the argument on Cuba side has the more equivalence that the argument here. Is not right… I do believe there are in the United States Cuban Americans want democracy and a pluralistic society, but the reality is that… The debate.
When you got that web site that you are talking about, cutting people heads off, the same thing that happens to… to cut off …in gonna happens you. Yeah, from the short term the guy who was beating up people… that may be helpful, but for the long term perspective?
What would like you go? If this is what waiting you in the other side?, and, and the… you know, and I was (????) the phrase: Revenge has no future, Justice is about future, it may have inequities in the short term, but in the end justice is about long term seriously solution that provides the future for those people who have to live in the regimen.
Some people are gonna be victims, is horrible, you know, there have been victims in my family, I don´t want to justifies those events, but what you are looking for is a long term continuum that create a way of life for the Cuban people on both sides of the straits but in particular those in Cuba, that’s give them a future, and right now, you know, that´s not the case. Well the only thing I would add, as I usually do, I’ve… a few weeks ago I announce, that I´m gonna put in my passport to go to Cuba…
I mean… When you are talking about the absurdities, here I am as a central figure of the absurdity, right, I´m probably one of the foremost Cuba policy or politic person in the United States. Probably I was in more battles of this issue that anyone else.
I never been to Cuba, you know if sort of… like a… you know, I study African mines and I never actually seen an African mine, I never been in Africa, right?, and, so I´ve announce quite publically I´m submitting my passport, now I want to travel to Cuba, now, the Cubans may not let me go, because in Cuba I´m a terrorist and here I´m a communist, right?
So, but I a big believer that all Cubans should try to go on a Pope visit, right, the Pope´s visit I think sets the proper framework for opportunity, and an opportunity to top up the regime, and opportunity to sort of remove the barriers of government and create a broader understanding of the humanity that in the end share (?) on the line of this debate.
It is I mean, you know, is facinating when I did it on the radio show the other day, the first question was …of course they gona let you go, you are an apologist for the regime, and this case …you can´t go, they gona poison you, they gona kill you and then they gona blame on us.
You know is… you know… look, the reality is… almost 400 000 people go last year, many repeated actually, I´m a believer that… that there we should take advantages of this policy, that allows people to travel to broad… Pope´s visits is clearly aim on a religious exception on the embargo, and my believe is the more people go, the better,
I have no illusions on Cubans, have a… probably they not gona let me go, that´s it, if I can go, I´m gona try to go, and I think, I think in particularly, people who are in this controversial… as a, as a media cover design (?) shout, shout make an effort. I think that, that we missed an opportunity when John Paul went to Cuba, the Cuban community, and hopefully people will take advantages this time.
He hopes to go during Pope Benedict´s upcoming visit to Cuba.
Yeah, that what I hoping for. You need to… there is a form for purpose of travel that you got to get the church group who you going to fill up and it´s an organized, controlled trip, so the… you´ve got a get… and probably be part of the package tour of some sort.
Well, we´ll see, it makes you be… you know, thanks but no thanks moment but my hope it’s that, that as you lay this out, right? As you look at… is one of those moments where… you know, I was saying when the Cubans, at least for the last half century never we come to afford kind of road. It’s not that we take eider or, is that we go after road, right?.
We… you know, I never forget. We… I want to ???? (?) the Pope on Cubans, and the Pope was… So, do you want a violent and rapid change to Cuba or a slow and peaceful change to Cuba? And when you look at the underline the older first generation, Cuban – Americans, want a rapid and violent, obviously their time arises limited, and the people who arrive recently from Cuba wants slow, and then, what was fascinating… debate on Cuba radio was why can´t we have the rapid and peaceful.
Of course, yeah a chicken in every pot, but is at set up, you know I talked about the emotional, right?, so when you look at polls of Cuban – American, is a fascinating thing, so you ask Cubans: Do you want a negotiated solution to Cuba? 90 % say YES, next question: Who runs Cuba, Fidel and Raul Castro? 90 % tide, then the third question is: Do you want to negotiate with Fidel and Raul? Would you negotiate with Fidel and Raul? 90 % say NO.
Well you want to negotiate a solution but you don´t want to negotiate with those in power, and that´s the problem, the emotion engages in it doesn´t allow you to go forward, and this characters pass and their effect on the society passed. I think you get the thing you see when you go to Cuba: The guy who gets up every morning and tries to make it to soon set taking care of his family, taking care of those needs, moving along the spectrum of the rational as suppose to the ideological.
Does he have any relatives in Cuba?
Not any close, very far away, most of them passed. They are from the outskirts of Havana, small city called Cotorro and that´s closed city of the outskirts of Havana.

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