Thursday, October 25, 2007

Notable & Delusional: "How Rare Was Your Presidency, George Bush II"

"Yes, he [Bush II] spent too much in his first term; yes, he had steel tariffs in place for about two seconds; yes, the prescription-drug benefit is sketchy; yes, there have been mistakes on the war; yes, Harriet Miers — etc., etc. But do you realize how rare this president is? If you don’t now — I have a feeling you will later." Val Prieto, reacting to President Bush's speech on Cuba, Babalú blog, October 25, 2000

Yes, yes, yes, Bush has been a rare president from Day 1, America's first illiterate president (despite a Yale education or maybe because of it). But he sure can give a mean speech about Cuba on the eve of another election if the hard words are spelt phonetically. But words are meaningless (even when pronounced correctly) if they are not backed by the right actions. And, in respect to Cuba, Bush's actions have all been detrimental to Cuban freedom, from enforcing Clinton's "Wet Foot/ Dry Foot" policy (which he could have rescinded by presidential fiat) to gutting the embargo on the Cuban regime while instituting a new embargo against the Cuban people, denying them the assistance of their relatives and seeking further to separate the Cuban family. These are things that only Castro did in the past.

Val, of course, has always worshipped at the burning Bush. Yes, he has strayed on a few occasions lately, but it takes very little to bring him back to the fold: an invitation to a conference call from the White House, or a few honeyed words and empty symbolism are enough to convince him that no American president ever understood the Cuban people better or cared more about them. The same was once said about Ronald Reagan. And then we found out that he sent General Vernon Waters on a secret mission to Cuba to promote détente with the Castro regime while (successfully) repudiating détente with the Soviet Union. Maybe that's the reason that Russia is free today and Cuba is not. I wonder how many special missions Bush II has sent to Cuba with the same directive. We will find out shortly. When he leaves office.

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