Patterico's Pontifications

7/12/2021

Cubans Rise Up En Masse For Freedom

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:17 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Cuba: where some things never change:

Havana wants the world to believe that Cuban hardship in healthcare is caused by the U.S. embargo. But food and medicine are exempt from the embargo. As Julie Chung, now acting assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, tweeted in April 2020, the U.S. “routinely authorizes the export of humanitarian goods, agricultural products, medicine, and medical equipment to support the Cuban people.” Ms. Chung further noted that in 2019 the U.S. exported millions of dollars of medical goods to Cuba.

Cuba’s real problem is that it’s broke. And while all poor countries in the region have struggled to serve the public during Covid-19, only Cuba has made things worse by trying to use the pandemic as a way to earn hard currency for the ruling elite and boost its legitimacy around the world.

And from President Diaz-Canel:

President Díaz-Canel made an unplanned stop in San Antonio de los Baños on Sunday after police had cleared protesters, while Cuban government officials blamed the protests on “salaried agents” on Twitter.

President Diàz-Canel criticized the protests on Monday, calling demonstrators vandals who “broke into the stores and stole [many] items.” He reiterated that US sanctions were the cause of Cuba’s ailing economy.

Additionally:

He denounced vandalism by protesters, referring to it as “totally vulgar, indecent and delinquent behavior,” and blamed social media for weaponizing the economic crisis against the government.

Carlos Eire, the author of the brilliant memoir, Waiting for Snow in Havana wrote this a few months ago:

The natives are restless, for sure, trapped in a nightmare scenario. The pandemic is raging and has all but killed Cuba’s tourist industry. The flow of free oil from Venezuela has become a trickle. The economy is in a nosedive; food is in short supply, and waiting in line has become an exhausting daily routine. Dissidents seem to be growing bolder, despite brutal repression. Daring young artists have staged protests, too, despite arrests and physical attacks on them from the minister of culture himself.

So, theoretically, yes, change is possible. But as any good historian or insurance actuary will tell you, theoretical possibilities fall into the realm of faith rather than reason, and it is safest not to expect miracles. Given all that has been set into place in Cuba, change is not likely any time soon, so the safest bet is to be highly skeptical.

I am reminded of what I wrote in 2015 when the U. S. Flag was raised over the Embassy in Havana for the first time in 54 years:

Unfortunately, for political dissidents and human rights activists, the [Secretary of State John Kerry’s] message rang hollow as they were not invited to attend the ceremony in spite of Sec. Kerry having acknowledged that it has been the activists and dissidents “at the heart of US foreign policy for decades.” Kerry rationalized the snub during an interview with Telemundo TV:

That is a government-to-government moment, with very limited space…

President Biden reiterated that America stands with the Cuban people:

We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime. The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected. The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves.

–Dana

62 Responses to “Cubans Rise Up En Masse For Freedom”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. Then and now: the Mob rules.

    “Everything’s legal in Havana.” – Jim Wormold [Alec Guinness] ‘Our Man In Havana’ 1959

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  3. People in el salvador, gautamala and honduras were “saved” from communist take over by reagan who installed anti-communist governments yet their people are fleeing their anti-communist country to come here. Nicaragua who defeated reagan, ollie north and the CIA drug dealers have very few people leaving to come here.

    asset (545c31)

  4. One wonders if full-on Cuban liberation is like abortion and school-choice- where stated preferences might not match the true sentiments of its perceived proponents because of the possible practical ripple effects. In the case of abortion its “more —– people around” and for school choice “they may end up at our schools rather than new ones in their own neighborhoods”. I’ve already seen some right-leaners on other forums post things about “the risks of engagement” etc. And there was a large dichotomy with regard to Elian Gonzalez between suburban and rural conservative Republicans. What would be at issue here is that would Cubans stick around on the Island, become a big Visa overstay group or become star #5_?

    urbanleftbehind (93d7a1)

  5. They need to upgrade the rationing system.
    Although they did get a rice cooker in 2005.

    mg (8cbc69)

  6. South Africa gets in on the riot action
    https://twitter.com/SiphamandlaGoge
    https://twitter.com/goolammv

    Crazy videos of people shooting at looters, of burning buildings. People pulling looters out of their cars and taking the loot to the police station then setting the car on fire
    The police and army are overwhelmed at this point and the Zulu people are singing their war song as they try to free their former President who was convicted and imprisoned for corruption in Kwa Zulu-Natal.
    As usual the looting and burning has nothing really to do with the imprisonment and more to do with free stuff and vandals

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  7. Meanwhile, TX D’s are giving everyone an example of how leaders should act in a representative democracy.

    frosty (f27e97)

  8. Frosty,

    We’re not a democracy but a republic. It’s wrong to force a voting rights bill down the throat of a minority. We are not a country that lets mob rule in midnight sessions dictate partisan legislation against the wishes of nearly 50% of the population opposed.

    Did I miss any any of the usual talking points?

    And for those who do wish to compare Texas Democrats unfavorably to the filibuster, note that the Texans are actually having to go to some risk and trouble to make their opposition felt, as opposed to Senate Republicans who simply have to shrug and walk away.

    Victor (9ebafe)

  9. basement joe is behind the cuban people as long as they vote against the Georgia and Texas voting rights bill.

    mg (8cbc69)

  10. Biden better cover his and 0bama’s tracks… when you “normalize” relations with Cuba – restoring full diplomatic relations with the Commie regime – but fail to demand democratic reforms or progress on human rights in return (as was done during 0bama’s Reign of Error), you can chalk that up to a moronic F-up.

    Colonel Haiku (921def)

  11. Arguable that Biden’s “leading with his behind” will produce good results in any area.

    Colonel Haiku (921def)

  12. I hope the Cubans manage to get rid of the communist dictators that rule the country currently. I hope the people are safe.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  13. Mr. Sopo is correct, that is deeply moving.

    Related: Among the chants you will never hear at a Democrat rally: “USA! USA! USA!”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  14. Republicans are afraid of that chant, Col.

    mg (8cbc69)

  15. The RNC? Sure… or perhaps they recognize it as something to exploit. I’m talking about voters, mg.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. Biden better cover his and 0bama’s tracks… when you “normalize” relations with Cuba – restoring full diplomatic relations with the Commie regime – but fail to demand democratic reforms or progress on human rights in return (as was done during 0bama’s Reign of Error), you can chalk that up to a moronic F-up.

    In other words, the moronic f’up of the O/B regime was making the newer darker Cubans vote the same way the 59er white Cubans vote. Or did you mean something involving a character named Rebenga in a certain Al Pacino movie.

    urbanleftbehind (93d7a1)

  17. Saying you support the Cuban people in 2021 is just as effective as saying you supported the East Germans in 1953, the Hungarians in 1956, the Czechoslovakians in 1968, the Chinese in 1989, the Iraqi Marsh Arabs in 1991, and the Hong Kongers in 2014 and 2019-20.

    Talk is cheap. This applies both to Republicans and Democrats.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. Rip, what do you propose? Isolation didn’t work. Engagement, as we did it, didn’t work. You want boots on the ground?

    Time123 (bbaf32)

  19. Boots from the southern 3rd of the nearest state should be sufficient, as long as there is air cover…oh wait.

    urbanleftbehind (93d7a1)

  20. Rip, what do you propose? Isolation didn’t work. Engagement, as we did it, didn’t work. You want boots on the ground?

    Do and say nothing, as whenever we have encouraged citizens of a dictatorship to revolt or actively oppose a regime it has ended badly.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  21. It’s going to be interesting to watch the pro-marxist American left’s position on this. Any bets on what they’ll blame the uprising on other than failures of socialism? Something COVID related? Silence?

    frosty (f27e97)

  22. Havana wants the world to believe that Cuban hardship in healthcare is caused by the U.S. embargo. But food and medicine are exempt from the embargo.

    It’s always cracked me up immensely to hear apologists for the Castro regime make the argument that the only thing keeping the small communist nation blessed with tropical weather and more than enough arable land from achieving pure socialist bliss is the unwillingness of the big capitalist nation next door to prop up Cuba’s statist economy.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  23. Mg, did the rice cooker end up being regifted at several parties until about April 2013?

    urbanleftbehind (93d7a1)

  24. When has Cuba ever been free and democratic? Ever?
    When has it ever had a self-sustaining economy? Ever?
    It went from being a Spanish colony, to an American colony, to a Mafia/Del Monte colony, to a Soviet colony, to … back to something waiting to be discovered by Columbus.

    nk (1d9030)

  25. You can add the the Afghans, 2001-21, to my list.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  26. @13 chanting usa usa usa would condone the bad as well as the good. It would be the same as chanting Deutscheland uber alles!

    asset (488593)

  27. It’s going to be interesting to watch the pro-marxist American left’s position on this. Any bets on what they’ll blame the uprising on other than failures of socialism?

    We know how Bernie Sanders feels, at least in 2020. Today, not so much.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  28. I did not know they celebrated Christmas, urbanleftbehind.

    mg (8cbc69)

  29. Not that the Generalissimos are not right about the embargo. What will they buy the food and medicines with? Clam shells? What good is “arable land” if they cannot import the machinery to work it? And then what do they do with the crops if they’re not allowed to export them?

    nk (1d9030)

  30. Given all that has been set into place in Cuba, change is not likely any time soon, so the safest bet is to be highly skeptical.

    The original people who set up the repression have died or retired, and there’s a good chance their successors will mismanage it – and there’s no Russia, or China or Iran to rescue them.

    So things are better than they look in Syria.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  31. 17. And sometimes change succeeded when there was no strong support, like in Eastern Europe in 1989 and the Soviet Union in 1991. In fact, in 1991 GHWB urged caution. It was called his Chicken Kiev speech.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_Kiev_speech

    The Chicken Kiev speech is the nickname for a speech given by the United States president George H. W. Bush in Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine, on August 1, 1991, 3 weeks before the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine and 4 months before the December independence referendum in which 92.26% Ukrainians voted to withdraw from the Soviet Union, in which Bush cautioned against “suicidal nationalism”.[1] 145 days after the speech, the Soviet Union collapsed, partially pushed by Ukraine. The speech was written by Condoleezza Rice—later Secretary of State under President George W. Bush—when she was in charge of Soviet and Eastern European affairs for the first President Bush.[2] It outraged Ukrainians and American conservatives, with the conservative New York Times columnist William Safire calling it the “Chicken Kiev speech”, named after a dish of stuffed chicken breast, in protest at what he saw as its “colossal misjudgment” for the very weak tone and miscalculation.[3]

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  32. In German.

    In French.

    Sorry, no Greek, but seeing as the music (that Francis Scott Key set his lyrics to) was the “Anacreontic Song”, is it really needed?

    nk (1d9030)

  33. nk (1d9030) — 7/12/2021 @ 3:50 pm

    When has Cuba ever been free and democratic? Ever?
    When has it ever had a self-sustaining economy? Ever?

    From about 1944 to 1952.

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/comandante-pre-castro-cuba

    disaffected army officers joined in rebellion against Cuba’s fifth president, Gerardo Machado, a man who had taken corruption and repression to new heights. A university professor, Ramón Grau San Martín, took power at the head of a coalition. A nationalist, Grau called on “Cuba for all Cubans,” but the U.S. ambassador, Sumner Welles, made a deal with Fulgencio Batista, an English-speaking army sergeant, who unseated Grau. Batista became Cuba’s strongman behind a succession of presidents until 1940, when he was duly elected president. Batista surprised many, ushering in an era of hope in Cuba by sponsoring a progressive constitution, allowing the Cuban Communist Party to join the government, and stepping down in favor of his opponent, Grau, when his four-year term was over.

    For the next twelve years Cuba enjoyed democracy and free elections. But it was a democracy marred by corruption and political violence — the work of “action groups” or gangs who shot their way through politics at the University of Havana and on the city streets. When in March 1952, Batista, in a coup d’etat, destroyed the democratic republic he had brought into existence, the stage was set for revolution. ….

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  34. Cuba’s a head fake,eh Vlad and Xi?! Stress ol’ Squinty McStumblebum’s blood vessels in his previously-opened and surgically patched brain. Germany invaded Ukraine in the summer months; Taiwan has a brand new pair of roller skates; China has a brand new Xi. Go for it, fellas.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  35. The US is Cuba’s 4th largest importer after China, Spain and Germany. Diaz-Canel can blame the US all he wants, but we’re not the ones who strangled the freedom out of the Cuban people for the past seven decades.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  36. If the US really wanted to crack down on Cuba they would have cut off the approx. $3B in remittances transferred to Cuba, but that is politically impossible to do.

    Again, foreign policy is held hostage to domestic political concerns.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. George Dalaras should take a crack at it.

    mg (8cbc69)

  38. And they wave the American flag that BLM, Antifa as well as their leftist representatives such as the squad would rather trash and call hate speech.

    NJRob (e14cbc)

  39. Amazing how little the events in Cuba have to do with current domestic US policy and how desperate people are make the connection

    Time123 (bbaf32)

  40. Or maybe Cubans like those from Hong Kong before them understand what the American Flag stands for and what suffering under socialism/communism truly is like.

    NJRob (e14cbc)

  41. Run 220 volts through you-know-who’s-120 volt lines… then have Dr. Jill try to reset the breakers and have Kamala on stand-by w/a solar-powered generator, an extention cord and a pocket full of fuses. Copper pennies, eh, dear? You can get’em in change at your local ‘Kinko’s.’ 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  42. Cuba’s real problem is that it’s broke.

    Yet they have such a fine collection of classic American automobiles.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  43. But, but, but, I thought that the United States was evil, hated brown people and was rife with systemic racism? Why would all of those ‘brown’ Cubans be waving American flags?

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (405d48)

  44. We would all love to see Cuba be free
    Throw all the Commies into the sea
    But it’s all a no go
    If they need help from Joe
    But Hunter will help them for a fat fee!

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (405d48)

  45. Please set Cuba free
    It’s a land of great beaches
    Just don’t drive their cars

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (405d48)

  46. Why would all of those ‘brown’ Cubans be waving American flags?

    So the government can blame the riots as a CIA plot and be believed. Those American flag wavers are government agents provocateurs.

    A sixty-year old page out of the Castro handbook. Fidel would actually stage assassination attempts against himself, and if some idiots were actually drawn into them and genuinely arrested and/or shot that was only a bonus, his primary aim being to keep the country in a perpetual state of emergency.

    nk (1d9030)

  47. @47 It’s a bold strategy cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.

    frosty (f27e97)

  48. Sure, Obama and Biden aren’t likely to do much, but neither did Trump or W. I just hope that Biden doesn’t send troops to prop up the government and “avoid chaos.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  49. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 7/12/2021 @ 5:11 pm

    ; Taiwan has a brand new pair of roller skates; China has a brand new Xi. Go for it, fellas.

    China is not about to invade Taiwan yet – I think they took more control over Hong Kong for fear that the truth about the origin of the coronavirus could leak out through there. (Yes. I think it’s really that important to China even though the worst that it could be is incompetence, routine lying, and a cover-up. There are all sorts of people who do not recognize the routine and extreme lying and self-interest of the government of China.)

    Speaking about Taiwan, some Columbians hired (were they supposed to be the fall guys for the assassins?) took refuge on the grounds of the embassy of Taiwan in Haiti. Some ordinary Haitians thought they’d be safe from being shot on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy.

    Another country that still has relations with Taiwan is the country formerly known as Swaziland. It’s ruled by a king who was selected by his relatives as malleable when he was 14 in 1968. He was the son of a cleaning woman for one of his father’s 65 wives. The British left behind aWestminster system but that has lon been overthrown.

    https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2021/07/07/king-mswati-iii-africas-last-absolute-monarch-cracks-down

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  50. To all those who advocate a Puerto Rican state, fine. Add Cuba, too.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  51. 45. Maybe the poeple at the head of the government of Cuba are now at the stage where they could be paid off to go into exile on the island of Socotra.

    But there needs to be a provisional government.

    These demonstrations in Cuba happened because the government did not give too many people enough food.

    In the pre-Civil War American South slaveowners knew enough to feed their slaves. That was a point of pride with them, or maybe, more exactly it was how they distinguished between terrible masters and others – if they fed their slaves they were OK.

    Maybe they weren’t thinking of rebellion, though. And it was just a way to say to themselves they were moral people.

    In any case the government of Cuba was leaving some people with nothing to lose.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  52. 49. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 7/13/2021 @ 6:30 am

    I just hope that Biden doesn’t send troops to prop up the government and “avoid chaos.”

    That’s a possible strategy for Haiti, not Cuba. Now the problem with Haiti is not that the U.S. government and others engaged in nation building – the problem was that they were incompetent at it.

    They always favor what has a veneer of legality. With not too much behind it.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  53. 41. NJRob (e14cbc) — 7/12/2021 @ 6:15 pm

    Or maybe Cubans like those from Hong Kong before them understand what the American Flag stands for and what suffering under socialism/communism truly is like.

    And also the people in Afghanistan suffering under Islamofascism in 2001.

    That’s why the Pentagon was attacked on September 11, 2001. So that the people rebelling in Afghanistan should give upp hope, when, as they expected, the U.S. didn’t do any more than when the USS Cole was attacked

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  54. 51, good idea, but then Haiti and the DR will start harping on…geographic continuity

    urbanleftbehind (0b3e71)

  55. Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 7/13/2021 @ 7:58 am

    I think it’s really that important to China even though the worst that it could be is incompetence, routine lying, and a cover-up.

    I think it’s easy to underestimate the power of symbolism to the average Chinese citizen. The CCP has the same problem as the Pope. They’ve must pretend to be infallible.

    frosty (f27e97)

  56. Cash for clunkers kicked Cuba in the nuts.

    mg (8cbc69)

  57. 51, good idea, but then Haiti and the DR will start harping on…geographic continuity

    So let ‘em harp. It’s the voodoo/bad juju spells you gotta worry about…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  58. Make dat 55…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  59. Mr M wrote:

    To all those who advocate a Puerto Rican state, fine. Add Cuba, too.

    No, annex Cuba, but do not grant them any say in government, just like Puerto Rico.

    I’d be in favor of annexing all of Canada, except Ontario and Quebec, as well.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (405d48)

  60. https://twitter.com/i/status/1415041382062989321

    South Africa.
    Genius marketing

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  61. Steve’s Cream o’ johnson
    make you main boy with joy toy
    boss with teh hot sauce

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)


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