[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: CODEPINK Cares About Cuba

Sunday, January 07, 2007

CODEPINK Cares About Cuba

Unfortunately, not the Cuba I'd like to see them care about.

A couple of days ago, Ziva warned us about CODEPINK's upcoming visit to Cuba to protest the treatment of the prisoners in Guantanamo.

Well, it looks like they have landed in Cuba, with none other than Cindy Sheehan to lead the charge.

In previous posts during the last year or so, I have been critical of CODEPINK's for their lack of concern regarding political prisoners and dissidents in Cuba. It appears that their main concern is to bash the United States and its policies, which on its own is their right.

What bothers me isn't their criticism of U.S. policy, as much as I don't agree with it, but their hypocritical stance regarding the lack of human rights in Cuba. CODEPINK is supposed to stand for social justice, yet where is their denouncement of the human rights violations in Cuba?

Perhaps they care more about being against U.S. policy than for human rights. Alas, they're not the only ones.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

I don't agree with everything or, for that matter, most anything that Sheehan is doing, Robert, and the way she's doing it, but contrary to what you're saying, she is concerned about the lack of human rights in Cuba. Specifically, at Gitmo.

Your position that she is anti-American is typical conservative. She is anti-Bush, like a lot of Americans. Does that make her anti-American? No more than the Clinton haters were and still are. No more than the people who bash Nancy Pelosi.

I don't have a real problem with your point, Robert, that Sheehan should also be saying about Cuba's abysmal human rights record while she's on the island. But to paint her as anti-American just because she disagrees with the sitting president takes away a lot from your very valid point.

.

11:37 AM, January 07, 2007  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Robert:

Let us never forget that Guantánamo Naval Base is part of Cuba. The U.S. may lease the base in perpetuity contrary to international law, but it has never ceased to be an integral part of the Cuban Republic.

After the U.S. intervened in Cuba's War of Independence and robbed our mambises of their legitimate victory, it forced down the throats of the Cuban patriots the infamous Platt Amendment, which the Cuban Constituent Assembly was obliged to adopt and incorporate into Cuba's first Constitution or else the U.S. would never have retired its troops from Cuba or recognized Cuban sovereignty.

The Platt Amendment, as we all know, gave the U.S. the right to intervene militarily in Cuba — a right which it maintained until 1934, when that part of the Amendment was abrogated; it also compelled Cuba to lease the Guantanamo Naval Base in perpetuity to the U.S. as a "coaling station." Actually, the U.S. had originally wanted 10 such bases throughout the island and the Isle of Pines as well, but Cubans were able to contain that land grab.

Imagine, if you will, if the French had demanded a naval base at Chesapeake Base after the victory at Yorktown (incidentally, a manifestly French victory to which Cubans also contributed). Yet the French contributed far more to secure America's independence than the Americans did to secure Cuba's. In fact, what the Americans actually did was thwart Cuba's sovereignty and curtail her independence.

As I said, the lease of Guantanamo Naval Base has no legal standing: not only was it forced on the Cuban people by an occupying power, but its terms ("in perpetuity") violate international law. Also, contrary to the stipulations of the Amendment, the U.S. has unilaterally turned the obsolete coaling station into a detention camp, first for Cuban and Haitian refugees and now for Muslims. The laws against torture and illegal detention which the U.S. administration cannot break on U.S. soil it instead breaks on Cuban soil, which is what Guantánamo will always be.

I do not wish my country to be a stage for either Fidel Castro's predations on our people or the wanton violation of the human rights of foreign nationals by the U.S.

So even if Cindy Sheehan and her cohorts are self-serving hypocrites and Communist stooges —which I believe them to be — their opposition to the U.S. presence at Guantánamo and the deeds being committed there is legitimate.

2:54 PM, January 07, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Robert:
What bothers me isn't their criticism of U.S. policy, as much as I don't agree with it, but their hypocritical stance regarding the lack of human rights in Cuba. CODEPINK is supposed to stand for social justice, yet where is their denouncement of the human rights violations in Cuba? [emphasis added]

Rick:
I don't have a real problem with your point, Robert, that Sheehan should also be saying about Cuba's abysmal human rights record while she's on the island. But to paint her as anti-American just because she disagrees with the sitting president takes away a lot from your very valid point. [emphasis added]


Insightful analysis, Rick.

3:09 PM, January 07, 2007  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks, Jonathan.

Yeah, I guess I interpreted Robert's post to mean that Sheehan was anti-American. Thanks for clearing that up.

My bad.

4:37 PM, January 07, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Thanks for clearing that up Jonathan.

Again, I don't think what CODEPINK and Sheehan are doing in Cuba is anti-American. It's within their right to protest the situation at Gitmo.

I will say this, however. One can look at Sheehan's friendly meeting with Hugo Chavez, a fierce anti-American, and look at it as a very "un-American" thing to do. That's not the point of this post, but it's something to think about.

6:26 PM, January 07, 2007  
Blogger ziva said...

Not to mention the $600,000 that Code Pink and other groups they are aligned with gave to insurgents in Iraq. If supporting U.S. enemies, including Chavez, and the regime in Cuba as well as Irag insurgents isn't anti-American, I don't know what is. And, it's not just Bush. Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of Code Pink is decidedly anti-American, and has been for a long time.

4:09 PM, January 08, 2007  
Blogger Rick said...

Ziva: Do you honestly believe that if Codepink had provided aid to the insurgents like you've stated that their leadership wouldn't be sitting in jail (or maybe someplace worse) by now? Of course not. When the Bush Administration gives billions of tax payer dollars to Iraqis, it's called "rebuilding a country." When Codepink gives $600,000 to Fallujah refugees, it's called supporting the enemy.

You won't find me defending a lot of what Codepink does, but I will always take issue with baseless wingnut accusations.

.

7:36 AM, January 09, 2007  

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