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.