Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oscar Biscet Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

It is heartening to know that Ileana Ros Lehtinen does have some influence with the president after all. One would suppose that she would have a great deal of influence, since her constituency is responsible for making George Bush president, as he has acknowledged. Her influence and that of the other Cuban congressmen is not enough to get the president to rescind Clinton's "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy. It is not enough for him to offer the Cuban people more than empty platitudes which most of his predecessor could have uttered and many did. It did suffice, however, to get Dr. Oscar Biscet the Presidential Medal of Freedom at Ros Lehtinen's recommendation. We have discussed that recommendation already; in it she calls Biscet the new "Titan de Bronce" [Maceo], which is pretty much giving with one hand and taking with the other. Still, even if the Presidential Medal has been degraded by past recipients, which include Mandela [terrorist], Robert McNamara [traitor], Robert Baldwin [Communist] , Jesse Jackson [con-man], Jimmy Carter [shill for tyrants], it still retains enough symbolism and cachet to be worth receiving; certainly the award to Biscet will restore some of its lost luster. I can't help observing, however, that if past recipients had the right to blackball new recipients, poor Biscet wouldn't have a chance of joining the confraternity.

Still, it's irksome that even in the last days of his administration, when he literally has nothing to lose — having already lost everything including honor — Bush will not go beyond a symbolic gesture when it comes to Cuba. In the end as in the beginning, we get words, honeyed words, spirited words, even martial words, but, ultimately, just words, words, words; and our beleagured countrymen, or at least one of them, gets a medal. Not much to show for nearly 8 years of unconditional fealty to Bush, but still as much as we have ever gotten from any American president.

The Medal may also provide additional protection to Biscet (though not as much as Gore's Nobel would have). The Castro regime may think twice before imprisoning him again because of the additional publicity. Or not. It depends on their whims, as do the lives of all our countrymen. In the last seven years those lives have not been improved in any way because George Bush was president.

2 comments:

Charlie Bravo said...

He's in jail, Manuel.... so there's no much protection to be afforded by the medal, on the contrary, being decorated by the US is now a liability for him. A few months back, some geniuses came up with the idea Biscet for President 2008. As if Biscet would run -by the spirit of the graphics and the date- in an American election instead of a Cuban election. Forget about democracy and having some other candidates, no, it was only done for Biscet. Of course, Biscet didn't know a word of this, and his wife has to send a letter that circulated in the internet about leaving her husband alone, literally, because he was getting extra punishment in prison. Talk about irresponsibility. The hyphenated politicos -to the best of my knowledge and the information I get- have never asked Bush for the elimination of the dry foot wet foot. They, on the contrary, press to imposse even more penuries on the Cuban people, as if with fidel alone it wasn't enough. Limitations in travel and remittances, tacit complicity with the dry foot wet foot, that's their legacy.
Let's not forget that the longevity of their political career is tied to the longevity of castroism, with or without "uncle" castro.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

charlie:

Even in jail it may provide some protection, or, as I also noted, no protection at all. It will certainly serve to publicize his fate, but that will go only so far as MSM are willing to take it, which doubtless won't be too far. You are right that it could be as much or even more of a liability than being ignored. Since we are dealing with the probable reactions of irrational people, drunk with power but also terrified by the thought of losing it, it is difficult to know how they will react to this "provocation." It is not even inconceivable that they might decide to dispose of Biscet and his family by the usual route to insignificance.

The genius who thought up the idea of running Biscet for president of Cuba was the indomitable Henry Gómez. I think he may also have appointed himself Biscet's campaign manager before wife intervened and begged Henry to desist before he got her husband killed. It is clear that Henry did not even figure in his calculation that running Biscet against Castro might actually lead to some unpleasant consequences for Biscet. Like all good libertarians, Henry is fighting by proxy for his freedom, not Biscet's. Biscet is only a prop, and, apparently, an expendable one.