[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Screaming Into A Vacuum

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Screaming Into A Vacuum

Much of the frustration Cuban-Americans feel comes as a result of a perceived lack of understanding, and perhaps even sympathy, from non-Cubans.

There are exceptions, of course. I don't want to generalize. But sometimes, it sure does seem that way.

I mean, who can deny that was castro has done to Cuba is just plain horrible? Who can deny a couple million Cubans abandoning their homeland? It's not like the rafts are heading in both directions.

The typical answer we get is that Cubans haven't played the PR game correctly, that we've let our emotions talk instead of reason. While I think we've allowed our enemies to win the PR battle, it still doesn't make sense to me. What are we supposed to do, play nice to the man that signed the death warrants for many of our relatives?

Even worse, the pro-castro elements within our community know our weaknesses and exploit them every chance they get.

Yes, we're loud. Yes, we're not afraid to speak our minds. Yes, we sometimes let our emotions get the best of us.

So what?! We're humans, right? Can't the facts speak for themselves?

It also doesn't help that the MSM is largely unsympathetic.

In fact, I'll take it a step further. They are the #1 reason so many Americans misunderstand Cuba. Is it because we tend to be outspoken and confident conservatives in a land where minorities are supposed to be subservient? To a large extent, yes.

This editorial, which happens to be from an English-language paper in the United Arab Emirates, underscores the frustration so many Cuban-Americans feel:
To his credit, Castro inspired Cubans; and the anti-American, anti-capitalist movements worldwide. His long innings in power showed his capacity to lead and the strength of the defence mechanisms that he built around him. And, truth be told: without the likes of Castro, the world would have been a more difficult place to live in.
I didn't make that up. What can I say in response, except to say that it goes against everything in my belief system. Sure, the MSM does throw occasional nuggets our way, but when pro-Che films win Oscars and castro-run Cuba earns a seat in the United Nations Human Rights Commission, I can only conclude that the world by and large just doesn't care when it comes to Cuba.

This frustration is shared by another Cuban-American, filmmaker Agustin Blazquez, who passionately describes his feelings in this piece which was posted on Babalu Blog back in January and deserves to be read again.

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Blogger ziva said...

I've given this a lot of thought, year’s worth of reading, and writing. I've come to the conclusion that not only do they not care, but that they are the harbingers of a sick longing for Cuba as exotica left over from the colonial upper-class racist snobs who used to travel the world in search of titillating new places to visit. Add to them the che & fidel worshippers, searching, grouping for a non-existent utopia. This latter group has no problem sacrificing Cubans to maintain their illusion. Whom do I fault? The MSM members whose actions place them into the above described ranks, and who are willing to slant the news in favor of their personal bias. How else can you explain almost 50 years of the media's love affair with castro and che? Too many in the MSM press are nothing more than celebrity enamored groupies of the lowest sort. To make the point, you need look no further than Barbara Walters’s recent interview with hugo chavez.

1:49 AM, March 21, 2007  
Blogger Fidel pro democracy said...

In reality, the PR problem is deeper than what you explain, we are very similar to the jews in there strugle, every one knows that they are doing us wrong, but they don't stop, we are not crying and begging, we are firm and confident, ask any cuban and he knows the solution to any of Cuba's problems, we don't compromise, because we are covinced of what we are saying. People only agree with us usually, like in the case of the jews, when is to late. As far as I am concern, we live now in a world that is worst than 50 years ago, because a tyrannt like Castro, is getting away with more that what Hitler did, and nobody is doing or saying anything. Lets keep on fighting.

11:32 PM, March 21, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

The post just scratches the surface on the issue. I could have made it a lot more in-depth, but wanted to put something out there as a vehicle for further discussion.

One thing that I would add to my post is that what some people consider as intransigence on the part of Cuban-Americans, I believe is standing firm by your convictions. Intransigence doesn't mean you blow people away just because they don't agree. You can listen, but in the end your principles ought to be able to stand out.

Intransigence even allows for pragmatism, IMO, so long as it doesn't violate the core belief.

11:46 AM, March 22, 2007  
Blogger Mambi_Watch said...

"Intransigence even allows for pragmatism"??

I don't really see how this functions? Please clarify if you can.

My understanding is that a pragmatic solution agrees on a perceived end. This compromise would most likely violate whatever you would term "core beliefs." And it applies to both sides.

In a sense, I believe pragmatism in politics should not really concentrate on whatever are a person's "core beliefs", but rather to attempt to first envision a space where "core beliefs" can be then be exercised afterwards, not initially.

7:48 PM, March 23, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Sometimes compromise is not pragmatic, for example, when it is available only by abandoning core principles. In such cases, it is more pragmatic to be intransigent and hold out for what you know is right.

12:42 AM, March 24, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Pragmatism and compromise is rarely black and white. I think you have to separate what are untouchable core beliefs from things than can be negotiated and compromised in order to reach an acceptable solution. This is what I meant by being pragmatic without going against your core beliefs.

As Jonathan noted, once your core beliefs are abandoned, that's when you have to draw the line. Unfortunately, so many politicians step all over that line all too often.

10:02 AM, March 24, 2007  
Blogger Mambi_Watch said...

I'm curious about these "untouchable core beliefs". Maybe you can give examples.

But, in my opinion, pragmatism is a function where there is an initial virtual abandonment of personal views, in order to allow a constructive path towards the full exercise of individual "core beliefs". Therefore, the end is the greater good, far greater than initial personal beliefs.

Appreciate the exchange, given that I have been virtually banned from other "unfriendly" blogs.

1:25 PM, March 24, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


There are certain personal beliefs that one can be flexible with, and there are others that can't. It's up to the individual to determine which beliefs he/she finds to be unnegotiable. That's why I believe this is not a black and white issue.

Don't worry MW, it takes a lot to get banned from here (I've never banned anyone to this day). We may diagree, but you've never even come close to pushing the limit. I welcome the honest and open discussion.

10:40 AM, March 25, 2007  

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