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The U.S. stuck its grubby fingers in the Cuban pie over a hundred years ago and they're still there.

Related Gully Stories

100 Years of Failure
U.S.-Cuba foreign policy..

The Cuba Files
Includes Cuba Today: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

The Complete Elian
The Gully's complete coverage of the Elian Gonzalez saga.

tio sam

The Cuba Gospel
According to Chuck

by Chuck 45

MAY 1, 2000. Enough with the irate, blowhard letters, especially the anonymous ones, demanding that Gully writers, especially me, "keep your trap shut about Cuba" "mind your own business" or "move there you !$#@% commie if you love it so much."

You think only Cubans (who think exactly like you) can talk about Cuba. Or better yet, only Cuban-Americans. Well, it's a little late for that, don't you think? The U.S. stuck their grubby fingers in the Cuban pie over a hundred years ago and they're still there.

The U.S. has their mangy fingers almost everywhere. In the Philippines, and Puerto Rico, in Africa, and in Europe. If there's a buck to be made, manufactured, or scammed, we're there. Buy our Cokes. Sew our shoes. Sometimes we even come in peace, though not as soon as we should, and with ugly demands of undying gratitude and a controlling share in your future markets.

The best the average American can do is try to persuade the U.S. hand not to lift the Cuban pie (or the Salvadorian pie, or the Haiti pie) to a big hungry face and gobble it up like we usually do.

If you must know, my Cuban-American fanáticos, the real problem is that too few Americans are speaking up about Cuba.

Too few Americans are demanding that our foreign policy be based less on domestic posturing, and more on common sense.

Like that stupid, endless embargo. Let me be the first to say it: foreign policy should be utilitarian, and not punitive. There should be a goal, and results. It should be appropriate. Like chemo. You don't give it endlessly--unless you want to kill the patient.

And while Castro grows stronger with the handy embargo scapegoat, the already poor are getting poorer, especially mixed race and black Cubans. So end it. Admit honorably that the policy has failed, and end it. We normalized relations with China for absolutely no concessions, and we can do it with Cuba.

And while I'm at it, I say we should end the multi-million dollar boondoggle of funding hardline anti-Castroites like Radio Marti and CANF, or anyone else in the Cuba biz. Instead, we should begin listening to moderate Cubans and Cuban-Americans. You know, those few small voices who despite death threats and ostracism are committed to democracy.

We should give moral and political support to these few folks sick of the vendetta, sick of the wackos who have fantasized for forty years of storming back into Cuba and recreating Batista's dictatorial, cattle-prod wielding disaster which helped pave the way for revolution in the first place. Cause and effect, Dollface.

So call me a commie for saying it. I am actually something far worse, I am common. I am an American. I like our Constitution, especially as amended. I like democracy and I wish there was more of it, especially in Miami. And while I've never been too fond of American moralizing, that was before I started doing it myself right here, right now, in my own queer way. It feels good. Get used to it.

Related links:

For an outsiders point of view go to the Japan Times The Fight Over Elian.

For Mark Twain's insight on U.S. imperialism
To the Person Sitting in Darkness

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