March 19, 2006

Gulag Nation - Black Spring

Foul deeds will rise, though all the earth o'erwhelm it, to men's eyes.
Marc Cooper rightly takes the left to task for the lack of blogging about the 3rd anniversary of the arrest and subsequent trial/imprisonment of 75 persons in Cuba. Arrested as anti-revolutionaries for handing out library books. Library books for Pete's Sake!

More impotantly, this issue has also escaped much of the MSM and the right blogs as well. Everybody is pointing to the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. But anti-war demonstrations have turned out to be more anti-American and/or Anti-Brittish/Australian demonstrations or just plain ole I hate Bushychimpmchitler. But this post is not about Iraq, it is about our friend Fidel in Cuba.

The Crime:

Between March 18-20, 2003, authorities rounded up about 100 dissidents and independent journalists.

Of those, 75 were quickly tried and sentenced to between six and 28 years in prison, including Cuba's best-known female dissident, economist Martha Beatriz Roque. Of those, 15 were gradually freed between April 2004 and December 2005.

Black spring is reported in a few blogs, newspapers, but not much else. And this is a shame, because it highlights the utter hypocracy of both the Castro regime in it's cry against the United States, and our supposed stand for human rigthts.

What do I mean by this? Simple. If we are to be the "City Shining On The Hill" then we also must condem the totalitarian forces that beset the peoples of the world. I'm probably going to be declared a heretic by my fellow conservatives, but I think that the way to bring Castro and his band of thugs down is to increase contact and trade with Cuba. Russia wasn't changed by the ability of the Communist government to control it's people, Russia was changed by the inability to keep up with the freedoms of the west. Likewise, the Cuban people if given free access to freedom as proposed by free trade, access to real information as opposed to contrived and controlled information of the Cuban government will opt for more freedom not less. In this, our refusal to deal with the people of Cuba has been a total failure. Cuba needs access to the benefits of a free society, and that and that alone will change the Cuban government.

Others reporting on the third anniversary of the Castro crackdown include: Wall Street Cafe, Uncommon Sense, Blog for Cuba, Marathon Pundit, Cuba Net and Babalu Blog.

Posted by GM Roper at March 19, 2006 05:51 AM | TrackBack

GM - good of you to bring this up.

I disagree with your prescription, however. The embargo is in place, IMHO, to punish Castro for his actions against American and American interests. It is a "realpolitk" action taken instead of war, because war was precluded by the relationship of Cuba with the USSR. Hence, although Castro had taken war-like actions against the US (including requesting the USSR to nuke the US ), confiscagtion of large amounts of American owned property, possible (probable in my mind) involvement in the assassination of Kennedy (yeah, I know, that's one of a million theories, but it has some legs), attempting to export Soviet-friendly communism throughout the Americas, and various other actions.

In other words, it stands as a warning to others who might do the same.

Perhaps at this point it has achieved all it can, especially given the actions the US took in Latin America and more recently in the Middle East.

However, I do not believe the purpose of the embargo was to gain freedom for Cuba. It was to punish and deter.

Posted by John Moore at March 19, 2006 04:00 PM

John, my only question is "How much did it punish Castro vs. his people and just how much did it deter him?" Castro remains a thug and he continues to foster anti-freedom regimes such as Chavez in Ven.

Freedom for the people of Cuba would have tossed him out on his ass say 20 years ago if we had dropped the idea of the embargo/isolation.

Posted by GM Roper at March 19, 2006 04:39 PM

I'm kinda surprised so few blogs covered this one. I remember when it happened, I was thinking Castro knew that the invasion of Iraq was going down, so he locked up the dissidents then cuz he knew the MSM would overlook it.

He was right.

Posted by John Ruberry at March 19, 2006 07:17 PM

My wife is a librarian, and I remember the various library journals and organizations backing off from condemning Castro. Their reason? Most of the 75 weren't "real" librarians, that is, graduates of accredited library schools. Shameful. The articles broadly hinted that these were just regular ol' dissidents who had also handed out books.

As to the embargo, WF Buckley has been saying that for years, so I don't think conservatives will accuse you of heresy, even if they disagree with you. As with any other foreign policy stance, there are gains and losses, and we hope we judge those correctly. Castro gets a lot out of the symbolic value of the embargo, because he can blame Cuban poverty on it.

We probably could do more to undermine him if we stopped giving federal subsidies to our American sugar industries. This would give several other Latin American nations an opportunity for some economic improvement, further isolating Cuba.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at March 19, 2006 07:49 PM

GM - this policy hurts the people. It is the nature of geopolitics that good actions hurt innocent people. How many innocents (and how many good American soldiers) did we kill freeing the Afghanis and the Iraqis?

However, I doubt our embargo hurts the Cuban people much. That you can blame on Castro's disastrous (as if he cared) economic policies. There were plenty of other folks he could trade with, after all. But his policies were so bad that the country supported itself for decades by renting its soldiers to the USSR to fight proxy wars - essentially putting its young in harms way for a few rubles.

As for detering Castro - that wasn't the point - he had already done his dirty deeds. It was to make an example of him - to deter other potential Castros.

It is also one of those things that countries are sort of required to do when certain wrongs have been done to them. In that sense, it is like a country fighting an invasion when it knows it will lose - countries still do it. It's just what's done.

Or, it is like sending a retaliatory nuclear strike after a first strike - the result is going to be a second strike of terrible magnitude, and yet the US, to this day, maintains a hair trigger readiness to launch that retaliatory strike - even before the first strike warheads detonate. That's an example of suicide of a nation, because that's what nations have to do in those circumstances! The world is an odd place.

I believe that if the USSR had not been holding Berlin hostage, we would have invaded Cuba in the 1960s and liberated it.

Given that the world hates us anyway, maybe we should have liberated Cuba as soon as the USSR removed its nuclear umbrella.

Hmmm.... was that a picture of Bin Laden hugging Castro last week? Well, that's what Photoshop is for!

Posted by John Moore at March 19, 2006 08:22 PM

I checked out this site, and it's worth a look to see how Castro has ruined Cuba and to understand the positions of loyal Cubans. Be sure to check out their various pages, as each section has good material.

Posted by Woody at March 19, 2006 09:40 PM

I wonder why it is that we are willing to trade with communist China but not with communist Cuba. Anybody know the answer to that one?

Posted by E. Nonee Moose at March 20, 2006 10:44 AM

Maybe the U.S. saw a huge market for our goods with a billion Chinese, but that doesn't stop the hypocrisy. To me, the situation is the same.

Posted by Woody at March 20, 2006 10:58 AM

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