Since his ouster from Babalú and subsequent rehabilitation, George Moneo follows Val Prieto's directives with more than canine devotion. Here he is seen buttressing Val's argument that "Cubans are their own worst enemies" by comparing them unfavorably to the Romanians who rose against Ceausescu and the Jews who rebelled in the Warsaw Ghetto. We should be grateful, I suppose, that he limited himself to these examples. He could have cited thousands of other cases of heroic resistance to tyranny in immemorial history and used those to belittle Cubans as well. At the same time, of course, George would have had to ignore the many signal examples of courage and sacrifice that the Cuban people have given the world in these last 50 years and throughout their history in order to be able to brand them as "cowards."
The two comparisons which he does allow himself are more than enough to show that he is not only ignorant of Cuban history but does not understand the real transcendence of the other cases.
The overthrow of Ceausescu did not happen in a vacuum. It would not have happened in 1956, 1968 or 1980 when the Soviet Union was at the height of its power. The implosion of Communism in the Soviet Union was the catalyst that led to the overthrow of Ceausescu. Without that impetus a mummified Ceausescu would be lying in state in his mausoleum on Revolution Square, in Bucharest, and his son Nico, an even more despicable version of Kim Jung Il, would still be raping women at state banquets except from the head of the table.
For Cuba, the fall of the Soviet Union, though catastrophic in its economic consequences, did not challenge the political structure because its survival did not depend on the Soviet brigade stationed in Cuba for 30 years. Castro relied instead on the Kennedy-Khrushchev pact, which has never been abrogated and which the U.S. upholds to this day, not to protect itself from Russia (successor to the treaty obligations of the old Soviet Union), but to maintain "stability" in Cuba.
In Fidel Castro the U.S. believes that it has found a reliable ally in its war against the Cuban people. So long as Castro can stifle the Cuban people's aspirations to be free and maintain absolute control over his subjects, avoiding such disruptions of comity as Mariel, the U.S. will continue to act as the guarantor of Communism in Cuba, as it has done since 1962; and American presidents will continue to blather and fulminate about "Cuba Libre" while maintaining in place all pacts, agreements, and policies intended to assure Castro's continued subjugation of the Cuban people.
I have never discounted the possibility that outside factors could achieve or hasten the overthrow of Castro as was the case with Ceausescu. The United States, however, is not going the way of the Soviet Union, and it is this country which installed Castro in power and has maintained him there since 1962 by what amounts to a contractual obligation.
If George expects that outside factors will as in Romania hasten Cuba's freedom, then he must be hoping for a convulsion in this country comparable to that which rocked the Soviet Union in 1989 and precipitated the collapse of Ceausescu and the other Eastern European satraps.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was a great moment in the history of the human spirit, and the Jewish people have provided many such moments in the history of mankind. But its glory lies in the fact that it was a exception, not the norm. 750 Jews participated in the uprising. 6-11 million Jews were killed in the Nazi gas ovens without ever having had the opportunity to fight for their lives as the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto did. No one but the grossest and most insensitive of men would dare suggest that the Jews who did not fight the Nazis because they had no means to fight them "did not die with dignity" and are therefore less deserving of honor than those who did. So, too, is it offensive to allege that Cubans, who have upheld freedom's torch since the time of Yara (and before), are lacking the moral fortitude or spiritual greatness to challenge their own henchmen.
Why, then, aren't the Cubans who fought at the Bay of Pigs, Escambray and in a thousand actions, known and unknown, against the Castro regime since 1959, allowed to represent, as they undoubtedly do, the heroism and resistance of the Cuban people, as the Jewish defenders of the Warsaw Ghetto represent, and rightly so, the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people?
What does George mean when he writes that "[t]he Jewish women who fought in 1943 had more balls than I am seeing today in Cuba?" Those heroic Jewish women have their counterparts in Cuba in both men and women. Can anything be more despicable than to use one set of tyranny's victims to attack another? Frankly, when a man goes around questioning other men's balls he had better have more than the usual equipment himself. If he needs to use the metaphorical "balls" of women to accuse other men of cowardice, then one may suppose that his own are not suitable for that purpose.
The history of the Cuban people is told in centuries and the history of the Jewish people in millennia. This is a very important distinction to consider. Between Masada and the Warsaw Ghetto there is a distance of 1,870 years. The 50 years that Cubans have waited for their freedom is but a season in the history of the Jewish people. I doubt very much whether the mal that afflicts our country will last the thousand years of the proverb.
What is needed now is for the Cuban people not to shed their blood merely to sate the bloodlust of their detractors. Cubans don't need more martyrs; it is the one thing the Revolution has produced in quantity. What they do require is the means to make their resistance effectual. Until the United States decides that a free Cuba is in its best interests it will see to it that Cubans are denied those means. The recent arbitrary admission of North Korea (!) to the family of civilized nations shows that the U.S. can accept any degree of human degradation so long as the degraders do not cross certain propietary lines, or having crossed them have the prudence to effect a timely and beneficial retreat. The Castro regime knows the generous limits that the U.S. has granted it and will always fall exactly short of provoking its ire, which, for us, means a marriage of convenience between the two countries which must be dissolved before the great heroism of Cubans is rewarded with a proportionate measure of freedom.