Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Babalú Commandment #2: Do Unto Others But Not Unto Me

"Now I want to address the issue of China here, because it always comes up as point in this debate: We are hypocritical because we do business with China. Well two things here. First I'm not Chinese so I don't really care and I haven't seen any Chinese-Americans calling for a hard-line against China. Maybe they are out there but I haven't seen them. If they are out there and they want support for a harder line toward China I'd be inclined to offer it."Henry Gómez,

Thus spake Henry in his latest post on Babalú, something called "Talking Turkey About the Embargo" (I guess Henry saves his vaunted inspiration for the advertising slogans of his trade). All who live under the yoke of Communism are our brothers in suffering, and nothing binds people more closely than shared tribulations. We cannot dismiss or diminish the suffering of the Chinese people without calling into question our own. Yes, it is only human that we should place the liberation of our own country uppermost, as no doubt the Chinese would also. However, our love of country should not obliterate or exclude our common humanity. On the contrary, it should affirm it. To say, as Henry does, "I am not Chinese so I don't really care" is nothing less than to renounce that common humanity and makes us vulnerable to the question: "If you are OK with Communism in China as your total indifference denotes, then why aren't you OK with Communism in Cuba?" That, of course, opens the way for the likes of Steve Clemons to assign venal motives to our opposition to Castro: "You don't care about Communism in China because you don't expect to get anything from it; but you do expect to profit by the fall of Communism in Cuba."

For a Cuban to say that he doesn't care what happens in China because he is not Chinese is like saying: "I am against the death penalty (for Communism is both a life sentence and a death sentence) but only when it is practiced on me or on mine."

No less ridiculous is Henry's suggestion that Chinese-Americans are indifferent to or even supportive of Communism in their homeland. All this tells us is that Henry has never met a Chinese-American in his life and assumes that what is bad for us is good for them.

Communism has killed 76.6 million Chinese since 1949. But there are so many Chinese, right, Henry? So the 76.6 million are not even missed, right, Henry? And Tianamen Square never happened, right, Henry? And the persecution of Christians and the Falun Gong is a myth, right, Henry?

The Chinese countryside is in the grip of the worst and longest famine in Chinese history, which is saying some. Aren't you aware, Henry, that "state capitalism" in China is just another Communist sham like Castro's "personal capitalism," which profits only him?

It's not that there aren't Chinese-Americans who oppose Communism (in any variant) in China. It is you who pay them no heed, and, indeed, question their suffering. That you do this to exalt our own makes it all the more reprehensible.

Here, start educating yourself about Chinese-American exiles and their opposition to the Communist regime:


On re-reading the "Turkey and the Embargo" thread, I find the following exchange between Dave Sandoval and Henry. Although Sandoval starts with the usual greasing, he soon is challenging Henry on his callous indifference to the suffering of the Chinese people. The natives are indeed restless when Sandoval of all people challenges #1 Deputy:

Conductor, you wrote a very thoughtful response. But I have to take issue with one thing you said: that you are not Chinese so you don't care about the situation in China.
I disagree. If we want others (non-Cubans) to care about our cause, then we should be an example and show that we care about other, similar causes.
To me, it's about human rights. All human beings have inalienable rights to self expression, to make their own way in life, etc. That goes above and beyond national borders. It's about all the people of the world.
To observe a crime in silence is to commit it. As Cubans, if our moral to be taken seriously by the outside world, we have to have the same moral standards for other countries. That's why it's important we support human rights in China, Cuba, and anywhere else there is injustice
Posted by: Dave Sandoval at April 11, 2007 10:09 AM

Dave, I was exaggerating to make a point. But the truth is that I can never have the passion over China that I do over Cuba. For one thing it's a completely different history and I'd have to do a lot of studying to get up to date on that history to speak with with any confidence on it. If Cuba, a country with 11 million people is a complicated issue, imagine china with 100 times the population has. And as I said, I would join forces with anyone to support more human rights and reform in China if they reached out for such support but in all my thousands of hours of surfing the net, I tend to find the only people that make such arguments are columnists for the Wall Street Journal and similar publications.
Posted by: Henry "Conductor" Gomez at April 11, 2007 10:28 AM

So Henry has never had "the same passion" over China which he feels for Cuba. No one ever expected him to. What all sensible people would expect is that he not minimize or denigrate the suffering of the victims of Communism in China. Henry admits that he does not know Chinese history and must do a lot of reading before he is qualified to speak on the subject, but this self-confessed ignorance does not prevent him from opining on China as if he were a liberal expert. He would support "more human rights and reform in China," which presupposes, of course, that there has already been reform and an improvement in human rights. But he does not stop there, which would have been bad enough. He goes on to state that in his "thousands of hours surfing the net" [for what?] "the only people who make such arguments [for human rights and reforms in Red China] "are columnists for The Wall Street Journal and similar publications." Henry has just liberated China as Jerry Ford liberated Poland (with his foot stuck firmly in his mouth). There is no Communism in China, according to Henry. Just those nasty WSJ columnists who insist on telling us against the interests of their advertisers that there is a Communist tyranny in China.


Charlie Bravo said...

My comment, in two parts:
"nunca hubo un Chino-Cubano cobarde, nunca hubo un Chino-Cubano traidor, o desertor"
(Monument to the Cuban-Chinese Independence Fighters, El Vedado. Havana Cuba)
And then the second part of my comment is my hommage to a Cuban Chinese who was a fervent anticommunist:

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Since the arrival of the first Chinese in Cuba on June 13, 1847 (one of the seminal dates in Cuban history), the Chinese have played an integral part in our country's history and become an essential component of Cuban society. The quote you cite was spoken by Gonzalo de Quesada, Martí's secretary and spiritual son. To give but one example of their contributions to our wars of independence, at the pivotal battle of Guásimas, 500 of the 1500 soldiers commanded by Gen. Máximo Gómez were Chinese and they defeated a Spanish force twice their number (3000).

It is really indefensible, in light of this history, for a Cuban to suggest that the Chinese are organically indifferent to tyranny. But Henry, as he himself admits, has a lot of reading to do. I would suggest that he not limit himself just to Chinese history: a few books on Cuban history are more than advisable.

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, I was quoting from memory, from remembering the black granite monument in Havana, with the inscriptions in Spanish and Chinese.
Actually, the Chinese exiles in the States do not advocate for the isolation of their own country men, either, just because they have been less fortunate and they haven't been able to come to the United States, that I know of, the chinese "casinos" -to use the terminology they employed in Cuba- of New York City send a sizable amount of money and assistance to their fellow countrymen nor they lambast anyone who travels back to China.... Maybe we all have to do a lot of learning from other communities in exile, lest we want to allienate everybody from our cause.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


With respect to sanctions on China, given this country's now symbiotic economic relationship with that Communist state, which holds the largest share of the U.S. foreign debt, it is nearly impossible and utterly useless for Chinese-Americans to press for economic or political sanctions against the mainland without confronting the irrepressible might of the multinationals, which control U.S. policy on China, in all its aspects, not the Congress, forever pressed to the teats of the Chinese lobbyists, or the president, who relies on China as a stabilizing influence on North Korea, when, in fact, it is quite the opposite, since China uses North Korea as a bogeyman to manage U.S. foreign policy to its own advantage.

Much the same thing is currently underway with Cuba as well, and the same multinationals are leading the campaign to "normalize" economic and political relations with the island-prison since they have a vested interest in assuring the status quo, hoping to transform Cuba, as they have already transformed China, into an international sweatshop without unions or any guarantees for the workers, old-fashioned slavery masquerading as newfangled capitalism.

If that ever happens, as it appears likely, I will continue my opposition to the Castro regime with the same resignation as the Chinese exiles who still campaign against abuses in their country, although the administration pays even less attention to them than it does to us. It is the apathy of government and media that you see: do not confuse it for apathy among Chinese-Americans, who do support democracy and the free market for China, not the renunciation of the first and perversion of the latter practiced by the Chinese regime.

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, we have an uphill battle in front of us. There seem to be a willingness of accepting a Chinese or Vietnamese (adaptive) model to keep Cuba under a tyranny (they call it a "stable regime"!!!) and transform the whole island in a floating sweatshop. We have addressed this at KillCastro in a number of occasions, and the more we look at it the more we see the corporations and the lobbies pushing for it. Human rights in Cuba? Freedom? they don't really care. They want a submissive work force, who will work for whatever little it's to be paid with no constitutional protection and hogtied by fear, so the consumers can find all sort of products with the label "made in Cuba" sold at a very low price in your nearest WalMart. By the way, this option will guarantee that there's no instability in the region, and that the economy in South Florida, New Orleans, or las Vegas doesn't get creamed in a snap. Enslaving the Cuban people also will keep Mexico as is, so there will not be any increase in illegal immigration. The Caribbeans economies will be protected, and they will keep on being as bad as they are, but without a free Cuba who will sink them in less than a year we will not have any illegal immigrants from those places risking it all to come to the States.
The sacrificial lamb at the altar of the temple of money and commerce is the Cuban people. And we all know who holds the knive.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I also believe that the administration no less than the island's military oligarchy wants Castro to remain in power because they are convinced that only he can contain the frustration of the Cuban people over what is undoubtedly the longest episode of rendition in history.

The Republicans, in particular, are relying on Castro to maintain the status quo at least through the next elections. They will no doubt assist him in any way they can to maintain his death-grip on the Cuban people.