Saturday, June 26, 2004


I knew the weekend was going too well to be true. I should have stayed at Winds of Change when I got there. This is Saturday, their good-news day. But, nooooo, I had to continue cruising around the net until I stumbled on this piece of, well, crapola.

It would seem that this fellow, August Nimtz, a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota and member of the Minnesota Cuba Committee, has a few thoughts on real democracy. That is, the "real" democracy as practised by Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul.

I will excerpt a bit of this tripe for you.
Two related and bogus premises...One is that Washington has something to teach Cubans about democracy and, second, that there is a democratic deficit on the Caribbean island.
No deficit of democracy on the island, eh? So, bright and early Monday morning, any Cuban who so desires may launch an opposition political party and attack the rulers of the island by exposing their shortcomings and failings? This same person can then campaign against the rulers openly, post signs supporting his position, recruit supporters who will, by telephone and personal visits, seek support from the populace? And then take out advertisements in the free (oops, we haven't gotten there yet, patience, patience) press to denounce the aforementioned rulers and their policies? And have slobbering political science professors such as Mr. Nimtz write and have published in the free press attacks accusing the rulers of imperialism, lack of democracy, second rate health and educational programs, aching poverty in every city, town and village, bloodthirsty executions, and lack of a living wage paid? And this person and his supporters and the political science professor and the newspaper editor all would remain free to say anything they want to say and have printed anything they wish and remain out of prison?
I agree that gross human rights violations are commonplace in Cuba -- in the U.S.-occupied Cuban territory of Guantanamo!
Ah, yes, no political prisoners in Fidel's utopia of freedom. No torture, no kangaroo court executions, either.
The social gains that the Cuban people enjoy, as in education and health care, are possible because they possess political power -- in other words, real democracy. Precisely because U.S. workers lack such power, their social wages continue to erode.
Social gains? Education and health care? OK, the average life span of a Cuban has been increased from 35 to 40 years, congrats! (I know that's not true, but I couldn't help myself.) And education? Wow, let's count the latest Cuban Nobel winners in medecine, chemistry, economics, physics, etc. What? There aren't any? Tell me it's not true! And US workers "social" wages continue to erode. In relation to what? And what are "social" wages, exactly? How do US wages, social or otherwise, compare to those of the Cuban worker? And now that I think of it, "Cuban worker"? Working where? Working at the auto assembly plant? The steel mill? The Havana Wal-mart?
Finally, as the Amnesty International Web site confirms, three executions did take place in 2003, but they were carried out against armed hijackers, not political "dissidents."
Not dissidents? I agree that they were armed hijackers, but their plane was not aimed at an office tower. It was aimed at the tarmac of Miami International Airport. It was an escape, a flight to avoid abject poverty and hopelessness, a band of refugees. For this, they paid with their lives.
Briefly, the 1993 indictment against Raul Castro was based on testimony of a member of the Medellin drug cartel, and there was never any evidence to sustain an actual indictment. Further, the 1987 convictions in Miami of 17 drug traffickers with alleged connections to Cuba and Raul Castro is simply innuendo.
Hmm, we have a "1993" indictment but not an "actual" indictment. I'll check with Prof. Volokh and Prof. Bainbridge for an explanation as to the difference. And who would have testified against Raul concerning his ties to drug trafficking? Mother Teresa, Jesse Ventura, Garrison Keillor? If I am in the dock, any and all testimony against me is innuendo, yessireebob, you betcha.

One final remark, albiet in the interrogatory mood: Mr. Nimtz, could you have written a piece like this, modified to be anti-Castro and pro-USA, and had it published in Cuba? Go there. Try it. We'll see you on the outside in about, oh, thirty years.

Note to self: NO posting after the second Cuba Libre.

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