Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Veinte de Mayo

When the U.S. decided 30 years ago that having three-day weekends was preferable to honoring the actual anniversaries of their historic holidays, it made an exception of the Fourth of July. It would not be celebrated on any other day but July 4th.

It is good to see that one politician at least honors our country on the actual anniversary of her independence. It is May 20th, not the 21st or 23rd that marks the birth of the Cuban Republic in 1902. I am always suspicious of anyone that seems to want to avoid that day. This year everybody except Senator McCain has moved the date to accommodate his schedule or his prejudices, including President Bush, the organizers of the May 21st Cuban Solidarity Day and Senator Barack Obama, who specifically requested that the Cuban-American National Foundation change the day of his speech to that organization to May 23rd. In his case, we are sure, it was no scheduling conflict.

Castro replaced May 20th with July 26th as the Cuban National Holiday. Instead of celebrating the culmination of nearly a century of struggles to obtain Cuba's independence, the Cuban people are obliged to mark the start of Castro anti-Cuban Revolution, which allowed every foreign country so disposed to recolonize our country, selling our hard-won independence to the highest bidder. Its 30-year vassalage to the Soviet Union, which ended only when the Soviet Union did, involved Cuba in dozens of mercenary wars throughout the world and cost the lives of more than 100,000 of our countrymen.

Still, the architects of our country's ruin purport that the Republic that was inaugurated on May 20th was imperfect -- a "pseudo-republic" or "neo-colonialist republic" -- because its sovereignty was compromised by the Platt Amendment which gave the U.S. the right to intervene in Cuba whenever it believed that Cubans were compromising their independence. This was indeed a monstrous imposition: no occupying power under international law has the right to limit much less conspire against the sovereignty of an occupied nation. But the Republic established on May 20th was not static as is Castro's anti-Cuban Revolution; it evolved politically over three decades and by 1934 had shaken off the Platt Amendmnent and achieved absolute sovereignty.

Why not, then, commemorate the abrogation of the Platt Amendment as the real anniversary of Cuban independence? Because that day would never have come unless May 20th had come first. The declaration of Cuban Independence in 1902 made it impossible for the U.S. or any other country to annex Cuba except through a war of conquest. The U.S. could meddle in Cuban affairs and did; it could even intervene militarily, as it also did. But it could not recolonize Cuba, that is, it could not abolish its independence and declare it a U.S. territory or state. After 1902 annexation became impossible, and annexation, of course, had been the goal of American foreign policy towards Cuba since the time of Jefferson. The U.S. waited for 75 years for the "ripe apple" to fall into its lap, but the prevision of Martí and the weight of his legacy, prevented it. The sacrifice of May 19th insured the victory of May 20th.

So, yes, May 20th deserves to be commemorated by all Cubans as the birth of our nation. Any Cuban who repudiates it is in fact repudiating our independence.

35 comments:

Vana said...

Manuel:

I never forget the date that gave my country it's freedom, (from the USA) how could I? and if I'm alive on that fateful day I shall never forget the date that my homeland became free of the clutches of the Castro clan.

Vana said...

Good speech by McCain, he wins my vote, seems he's the only one who remembered 20 de Mayo, may he be the one that trully aids Cuba, I'm so sick of voting for speeches, I want action.

Charlie Bravo said...

That's one thing that people forget. The independence of Cuba was not from Spain -which was defeated in 1898, and the glory stolen by the Teddy Roosevelt rangers, but from the USA after a four year occupation of Cuba.
Just to make things crystal clear, let's cling to historical facts.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

charlie:

The U.S. was bound by a conscience of Congress resolution that declared before the U.S. intervened in 1898 that "Cuba was and of right ought to be independent." Much as McKinley and Roosevelt tried to get around the Congressional Resolution, they couldn't without appearing like liars before the world and so were obliged to "grant" us the independence which Cubans had already won on the field from Spain.

Vana said...

Manuel:

what are your thoughts on the president's speech?

I was 100% disgusted, half of the speech went to thanking people, the world is watching the Cuban regime, I almost pissed myself from laughing, you mean the world is enjoying Cuban beaches and vacationong there, we are changing our regulations to allow Cuban-American to send phones. SEND PHONES! when was the last time anyone ATE a phone? Willy Chirino the new poet patriot, WILLY CHIRINO!!!!! please, he's not even worth of licking the Apostle's toe, I saw him at a Cuban festival last year, he walked around with his nose up in the air, while looking down at us with disdain, it was PALPABLE, I was not the only one who felt it.

I'm so angry I could burst!

Fulano de Cal said...

Manuel,

Thanks for posting McCain's speech for all to read. The NY Times had a small story on how Cuba had become "an issue." Now let's see if Obama, during his speech this weekend uses the words tyranny, dictators, or struggle (as McCain did) to describe the last 49 years.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Vana:

I have resolved not to blog about Bush's speech. What more is there to say? Eight times he has made the same speech to the same crowd. They seem to love it and so why change it?

This year, however, Bush took a page out of Raúl's book and declared: "Let them have cellphones."

Meanwhile, in the real world, Cuban refugees are still being hunted like animals on the high seas while Bush proclaims the right of all Cubans to be free.

Frankly, I'd be glad for now if all Cubans could be free of the predations of the U.S. Coast Guard following the orders of their commander-in-chief.

That would be a start. Eight years too late, but a start. But no. From Bush, as I've said a million times, we can only expect labia.

And so to the end.

Agustin Farinas said...

Since MAT has disabled the comments for the McCain speech, I will post my comment here.
As we used to say in Oklahoma, from the motto of our next door neighbour the State of Missouri, "the Show me State":
"I am from Missouri, show me!
I am sick and tired of promises from both parties to earn my vote and then continue with business as usual policies with regard to Cuba. I hope McCain means what he says but I have been lied so many times I do not trust either party when it comes to Cuba. I hope I am wrong but I see more of the same crap on the horizon. Talk is cheap and politician's promises are cheap talk.

Vana said...

Thank you Manuel for your answer, I agree with you 150% all his speeches about Cuba and freedom for Cubans amount to a pile of shit.

Vana said...

Agustin:

Like you I'm wary of all politicians promises, where Cuba is concerned, I've said it before, we are all alone, only we care.

Ms Calabaza said...

The administration knows who to invite who will kneel to their wishes. Until someone stands up to them and says no more talk, they will continue to use Cuban American leaders, bloggers, etc., as props for another photo op.

By the way, MaT maybe in Bush's way of thinking it's beneficial to have a cellphone when the Coast Guard picks you up in the gulfstream so you can phone home . . . what a sad state of affairs.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

We really have no choice. It's either McCain or Castro's One Thousand Year Reich facilitated by Obama. Thank God that McCain appears to understand what is at stake in Cuba and is unafraid to call a tyrant a tyrant.

However, if the choice were between Obama and Bush, I would advise you all to hold your noses and vote again for Bush. Better someone who does nothing for Cuba than someone who will do all the wrong things.

Better the lesser of two evils than evil incarnate.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

ms. calabaza:

I could not agree more with you. Bush has been a disappointment beyond even the expectations of the most cynical of his critics. The best thing that could happen to Bush's reputation is for Obama to be elected president. He alone might make us pine for the good old bad days of Bush.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fulano de cal:

I will be making just such a comparison of McCain's and Obama's respective speeches on Cuba. Although I believe Más Santos is toadying to Obama as his father did to Clinton, I am glad that he invited the presumptive Democratic candidate to address the Cuban-American National Foundation. If anyone still has a doubt about Obama's shilling for Castro this speech should put it to rest.

Anonymous said...

Will Val get the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George Bush?

Ms Calabaza said...

anonymous:

Bush gave the medal to General Franks (architect of the occupation who disagreed that we needed more troops and was Rummy's boy): George Tenet (Mr. Slam-dunk himself . . . beware of Greeks...) and (I forget his name, but the guy who ran Iraq to the ground right after the US occupation by disbanding the Iraqi military and police force thereby setting them free to join warring factions against the US~ I'll look up his name); so I think Bush considers it an honor to be a major f^ck-up. In that regard, maybe Val will get it.

Ms Calabaza said...

I just remembered his name: Paul Bremer.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

anonymous:

Since Val's definition of "freedom" differs little from Bush's ("Cubans in the pressure cooker and all's well with the world"), I don't see why Val Prieto shouldn't get it.

Fulano de Cal said...

I completely agree that all we have received from Bush is labia and the continuation of Clinton's abhorrent WF/DF policy. However, I am interested to see what Raul's reaction will be to Bush's cell phone measure. I wonder if he will reply "bring it on."

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

NEWS ALERT:

Anatasio "El Tortuguín" Blanco, a prodigal before George Moneo became a prodigal, has returned to the Babalunian fold. I suppose that some of the credit must belong to RCAB where Anatasio recently aired his disaffection with Babalú while claiming not to want to touch the subject. The dear Founder must have read about it here and reached out to Anatasio to repair the rupture. Another Babalú mess sorted through the good offices of your obedient servant.

Joey "Mugshot" Giggles said...

Ah, I maybe convinced him that he'd need a nickname worth of his salt. He returned as "Cuba Watcher" and not "El Tortuguin".
The goombah didn't wisen up, he still went back to share some cheese with the rats!

Fantomas said...

Estoy aqui

Anonymous said...

el que faltaba!

ay bendito!

Anonymous said...

manny,
you think George will go back to babalu too? Was he at nostalgia this week?

Anonymous said...

Fanto,
como te fue? te portastes bien? comiste mucho? cuenta, cuenta . . . que estoy desvelado mano. Oye mira que habia gente gorda ahi, no es por nada.

Fantomas said...

bueno me estoy acomodando ahora , se me ha perdido la llave de mi auto llevo mas de una hora buscandola. I'm upset now to write

escribire algo de nostalgia pronto y la primicia aqui como siempre

Vana said...

Unbelieveble is all I can say, guess they made up at Cuba Nostalgia, funny he struck me as a sensible man, guess I was wrong.

Vana said...

Anon:

El mas gordo era fantomas verdad?

Fantomas said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G7wd5Sj5kw

obama le responde al senior citizen

Anonymous said...

vana:
Gente gorda y fea no es por nada. La unica bonita es Claudia, la americanita. Ziva mete miedo! Val tiene tipo de gangster y Henry un nino vitongo con guayabera y bermudas. hay que ponerlos en el pressure cooker diet a todos.

Anonymous said...

Fantomas pesa 300 libras

Vana said...

Anon 11:38:

LMFAO..me cai en el piso del ataque de risa que me dio, por lo que veo el pressure cooker diet les vendria requete bien a los Babalunians...jajaja.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Welcome back. It's been rather peaceful and rational without you.

We are all anxious to hear of your impressions of the Nostalgia Convention and, of course, about your reception in the bowels of Babalunia. Your insights as an outsider will be just as interesting as if you had been embraced by Babalú's magnificent cadres.

Are you sure some individual cadre didn't steal your car keys as a "prank?" Do you still have your wallet? Have you checked to see if they struck a piece of paper or a billboard on your backside?

Did you meet any interesting people? I am sure that anyone who met you carried away a lifetime impression.

Did your mom have a good time?

We speculated about all that in a post that reach 84 comments without you.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fulano de cal:

I don't think that Raúl will be at all receptive to Bush's cellphone overture. His expectations have been raised too high by the prospect of Obama's election.

Besides, Bush is doing him no favor by permitting exiles to send cellphones to their relatives in Cuba. Raúl's cellphobes (new old stock) were rescued from the scrapheap and are been sold for top dollar at Raúl's chain of appliance stores where one choice is all you get.

If Cuban-American started sending new models to Cuba, what would that do to Raúl's monopoly on crappy cellphones? Think about it. What would be next? Computers, microwaves, or -- the ultimate nightmare -- toasters?

Which begs the question:

Is Bush trying to break the state monopoly on the sale of cellphones and other electrical appliances?

Is he now battling for the consumer rights of Cubans in lieu of human rights and political rights?

Fantomas said...

We are all anxious to hear of your impressions of the Nostalgia Convention

Coming soon