Wednesday, December 19, 2007

If You Never Read Anything Else on Cuba, Read This

[The following comment by Joe Papp, the most concise and brilliant exposition of the Cuban dilemma ever written, was left on the previous post about Stuck on the Palmetto. We do not think that it should be confounded with that topic and so have assigned it its own post as the first (and probably last) of our guest editorials. In our response to Joe's comment, we explained its importance and transcendence. Joe Papp is a Cuban by virtue of the fact that he is married to one (the Constitution of 1940 grants citizenship to the spouses of Cuban nationals); but, above all, he is a Cuban because of his love for our country and her people and perfect understanding of their plight, which Castro's refusal to release his wife and son has made his plight too].

joep said...

MaT, I don't know if this fits your topics of interest with regards Cuba, but I'm still waiting longingly for someone with your talent to write the definitive commentary or analysis on why internal revolt in Cuba is about as unlikely as my being invited back to the Vuelta a Cuba after I pissed on a statue of Fidel on the outskirts of Cienfuegos. I'm hoping for a piece that contrasts Cuba with Eastern Europe with particular attention paid to the relevancy of 1) The Cuban regime's having a monopoly on violence (no private ownership of weapons); 2) How the geographic isolation of Cuba, unlike East/West Berlin, or East/West Europe, makes it much more difficult for external players to meaningfully fund or support materially an internal resistance; 3) Total control of news outlets, an indoctrinating educative system that discourages critical thinking and strives to maintain a population in a total state of ignorance; 4) How material conditions (such as almost-famine) leave the population waging a daily struggle for sufficient calories, as opposed to waging a insurgency against government forces and (to keep this short and not make it a PhD dis.) 5) How policies in other nations, directed towards Cuba, actually enable the Castro regime to stay in power, through whatever mechanism is triggered (an example could be the US's banning family remittances to Cubans who don't fit a particular definition of "immediate" family). Will you do it?
12/18/2007 8:37 AM

Manuel A. Tellechea said...


I'm sure you don't realize it, but you have just written that perfect post: succinct, compelling and original. I can expand but not improve upon it. What you say is exactly what I have always believed; indeed, it is the only conclusion which a reasonable person can make. Certainly it is the one that most inhabitants of the island have already made. Your powers of penetration into the Cuban predicament are unrivalled by any American. All the millions of papers that so-called cubanologists have regurgigated over the last 40 years have not managed to analyze the Cuban reality as you have with such economy and brilliance.
12/18/2007 9:18 AM

For more reactions to Joe's comment from Charlie Bravo, Steve ["As In Blood"] Klotz and Carlos Miller, see:

1 comment:

joep said...

Thanks for the kind words, MaT. And just to be clear for those who haven't read my posts before, this latest is just a point of departure for further inquiry and exploration. It isn't meant to be my definitive analytical statement, though I do believe that the factors I cite all contribute to the continued survival of the communist regime in Cuba.

While there is always the possibility to claim exceptions to every condition, I am most interested in the consistent reality that is life inside Cuba and why fomenting rebellion against Castro is not likely without a sea change in the policies and activities of external actors.