Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bush authorized Castro's death?

So he has said in an essay, with the title link of this post pointing to the original article. There are two things going on here. First is that the U.S. has indeed tried to kill Castro, over and over, and that Cuban exiles have...either on their own or with support from the CIA.....tried to kill Castro. The second thing is that the constant littany of publicized attempts on Castro's life, whether imagined, concocted, or real, has proved to be a potent propaganda weapon for the Cuban state against the Cuban people. By claiming that Castro is always in danger of being assasinated they can justify a continual sense of emergency. Imagine if Bush was constantly claiming that people were trying to kill him. Chavez tried this tactic a few years ago, when there were a spate of iffy announcements of attempted assasinations, but it seems that the Venezuelan people weren't buying it.

Other people have been to Cuba, a surprisingly high number in fact, people of all ages, but I haven't ever been, so this may be a little prejudicial, but the impression I get is that the Cuban government uses mass rallies and massive remembrences of key events in the official history of the Cuban revolution, repeated over and over and over again, to try to morally compell people to do a good job and to support the regime. There's Che, but of equal importance is possibly that heroic historical narrative of the Cuban Revolution. Any time that you hear or read someone who's really part of the Cuban system talk about Cuba you're sure to hear reference to the storming of the Moncada Barracks, which was the first abortive attempt by the Cuban revolutionaries to overthrow the Batista regime. If that's mentioned, surely you'll hear about the ship Granma, overloaded with revolutionary soldiers, sailing from Mexico to Cuba in order to spark the struggle. And this is just the people who speak English.

Cuba has made many advances, has gone from being an island owned by the mob and adminstered as an American playground to being a country that's in control of its own destiny, albeit after being in the Soviet sphere for decades. From what I understand there really is a lot of equality there, there's racial equality unlike anything that existed before the overthrow of Batista, education is good, and the standard of living is improving. The state of the public health system is especially good. But that doesn't mean that everything is all right.

Hopefully Cuba will turn into a country where the government doesn't have to try to motivate the people with false assasination attempts.

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