Saturday, May 21, 2005

Freedom, the Fire Burning in the Minds of Men

Cuba Libre!

From and the New York Sun we get the news that the idea of Democracy is not dead in Cuba:

Friday [May 20} marks the opening of the General Meeting of the Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba, a nonviolent convention of 365 independent Cuban groups to discuss and plan for the nation's transition to a democracy from a communist dictatorship.

In a land, not far away, a dictator still holds power. Right off the shores of the United States. Since the fall of Communist Russia, the idea that this nation still lives under a psuedo-communist leader, must be abhorrent to our nation, to our people. There, 160km off the coast of America, sits a regime that still systematically incarcerates and kills any opposition. It's people live in abject poverty, far below those even of the poorest in the United States.

For fifty years, we have been playing a waiting game, hoping that sanctions and time would depose the Castro regime, yet, he seems to hold onto power, assisted by those who have learned to live and prosper within the regime at the expense of their fellow Cubanos.

Yet, it has been said through out history, that a leader can only lead if his people allow him to and it seems that finally, the rhetoric and repression has worn thin in Cuba and prospects of a better tomorrow continue to become a brighter light at the end of a long dark tunnel.

As of yesterday, more than 125 delegates had arrived in Havana and checked in with the Assembly, coordinators in Miami said. Earlier this week Mr. Gomez told The New York Sun, in Spanish, that it appeared more likely than not that Mr. Castro would allow the Assembly to take place.

Miami organizers said the Assembly's leaders had been so thorough in gaining foreign recognition of the event in the preceding months that it would be impossible at this point for Mr. Castro to prevent its taking place - as he did with the last similar attempt to stage a prodemocracy meeting, a planned gathering of the human-rights organization Concilio Cubano, in 1996 - without a significant international outcry.

As with many of the current "freedom" movements around the world, the eye of America and other free countries is having far reaching effects. We have let it be known that we support freedom and democracy movements around the world and we will not stand by and allow them to be crushed. Since Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine and Lebanon, the cry of freedom has become louder and more visible. The idea that people were alone in their struggles against their corrupt and oppressive regimes is being blown away in a new wind.

President Bush's Inaugural Speech 2005

We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies. [snip]

Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

When I look out on the world, I don't see just people of other nations, different from me in culture, color or religion, I seem MY people. I see "Me", but for the grace of God and accident of birth in this free country, I could be a woman struggling to feed my children, trying to survive, learn to read, yearning to be free.

The idea of multi-culturalism in this country was to learn about and find similarities in each other, admire and appreciate our differences. Through open information and the assimilation of peoples and cultures into this nation, we have grown in leaps and bounds. Yet, the one thing that many of us have learned from this great experiment is not that their is moral equivolancy in every idea and form of government, but that we do all have one thing in common:

We want to be free.

Free to live as we want without a government telling us that we can or cannot own something. Free to become who we will without a government telling us what job we will have, what God to worship and how. Free to own something, to create wealth and stability for our family without a government telling us that we cannot or that it is owned by the government. Free to think, to create, to believe.

That is the commonality of man. That is what multi-culturalism has taught me.

In countries near and far, there is a fire burning in the minds of men:


Cuba Libre!

Viva la revolucion!

Checkout Babalublog, Cuban American who still calls Fidel Castro, "that son of a bitch in Havana".


The President's Message to Cubanos (en espanol).

Short translation (forgive my hackney translation):

Happy Independence day from Spain 103 years ago. America honors the contributions of Cubans to industry and art.

Celebramos a los cubanos desinteresados, como Oscar Elías Biscet y Marta Beatriz Roque, que buscan la libertad de su patria.

We celebrate the dissident Cubans, Oscar Elias Biscet and Marta Beatriz Roque, that have embraced the liberty of your fathers (founders?).

"Ayudamos a las organizaciones a proteger a los disidentes y promover los derechos humanos.

We will work with(help) these organizations to support the dissidents and promote human rights.

Y estamos trabajando para evitar que el régimen represivo se aproveche de las divisas de los turistas y los envíos a cubanos. No aguardamos por el día de la libertad de Cuba; trabajamos para el día de la libertad de Cuba.

And we will work for the eventual (demise?) of the repressive regime to return tourism and the land (environement?) to Cubans. We cannot wait for the day of Cuba's liberty; We will work for the day of Cuba's liberty.

"La ola de libertad se extiende por el mundo y algún día cercano alcanzará las orillas de Cuba. Ningún tirano puede permanecer firme para siempre ante el poder de la libertad, porque la esperanza de ser libre radica en cada corazón. Entonces, hoy estamos seguros de que Cuba será libre pronto.

The idea of liberty is extending around the world and the day is coming when it will be heard (spoken?) of (in) Cuba. No tyranny can hold power forever against the march of freedom, when the hope of freedom resides in every heart. To that end, we believe that Cuba will be free soon.

"Gracias y que Dios los bendiga."

Thank you and may God bless you.


Scott from Oregon said...

Two things struck me about Cuba. The glorious amount of music made by its peoples....

How they drilled holes in disposable lighters so they could be refilled.....

MichaelH121 said...

"De Oppresso Liber" (-To Free the Oppressed.) US Special Forces Motto and Creed.

It is because inside of us all we yearn to be free.

Problem is "that son of a bitch in Havana" to borrow a phrase, has a family history of relatives living to be 100 years old.

He will outlive the next 5 or 6 US presidents at that rate.

Scott, there is a "people's government" for you to model your environmental and utopian ideas after. Everyone has free health care if they live long enough to see a doctor. All you can mention is how they "got one over" on some disposable lighter company.

They also got one over on Chevy cause they still make new 1950's Chevy's.

Just this year Castro anounced that the government would provide rice cookers to its people at about $5 each. Which the people cannot afford. But the black market is making and selling them cheaper already.

It may be a small thing and a little sacrifice for free health care to go without a rice cooker. Or a job, or freedom to speak against the government, or the right to know what has happened to the family member that disappeared last night.

Socialism, communism et al, as history has shown CANNOT survive.

The 1,000 year reich lasted 12, the rule of the Soviet Union 70 some odd years. The socialist countries have 12-25% unemployment and some up to 55%.

They cannot sustain forever the spark of liberty. Unless they cut out the candle from within. -ME

Kat, the idea that even in Korean and Chinese your posts make logical sense is not suprising.

Scott from Oregon said...

"All you can mention is how they "got one over" on some disposable lighter company."

Funny how you make these assumptions based on your own silly precognitive dissonance....

The lighter comment was to show the abject poverty in concrete terms.... Here, I'll try again. "The people are so poor, they must drill holes in disposable lighters and reuse them." It also demonstrates the lack of available and affordable 'goods' in the country.

The music comment was to demonstrate the joy of life still running through the people.....

As far as Utopian ideal, show me one single Utopian idea I have espoused....

Like I said, precognitive dissonance-- (lots of clamorous stuff going on in your head, but all without thinking.)

Finally, though I am not fond of Socialism because it cramps my own style with heavy taxes, using unemployment figures in no way confirms or refutes the social effectiveness of Socialism. Many of these countries are burdened with severe population densities, coupled with a lack of natural resources.... Unbridled Capitalism would simply create more sick and hungry in many of these cases, and be inhumane. Sitting in the US, with our resources churning, making these pronouncements, seems a bit ugly to me....

But then again, Utopia wasn't built in a day.....

Donal said...

Castro may outlive the next 5 or 6 presidents but how long he remains in power is another matter. The latest demonstrations are just another sign that he is losing control- I doubt the Castro of 10 or 12 years ago would have permitted it to go forward.

Donal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

LIBERTY? Ooooooh, the Democrats are gonna be PISSED at THIS one. They thought that was their schtick until they got tricked into opposing freedom.

And all Dean can be counted on to do is shove his stanky feet into his yeeeeeeeearghing mouth every other day or so.

MichaelH121 said...

Scott, name 1 country where socialism works. Name one that is thriving. Name one without huge % of unemployed.

Socialism produces poor and classes. Capitalism lets those who can do. Just remember we had socialism during WWII. The "rich" paid for the war. 90% tax.

The problem with your brain is you do not use it to form real ideas. It molds with your angst against anything capitalistic.

The US does not create poor people. But the Democrats keep them that way. Welfare keeps them poor. To sit and wait for your check. To not have to fend for yourself, means if society fails those people will be able to do nothing but steal.

Poor people in the US have TV's. The poorest are not in our urban ghettos. They are in the mountains and are called the Appilachians.

Scott from Oregon said...

New Zealand.

The US is a rich nation with an abundant amount of room, resources, and 'brain power'. If there is a single starving American who is not a slacker, I say shame on us.....

And again, when you look at population densities, natural resources per capita etc... you cannot compare the US to any country in Europe, because your comparison lacks fundamental equivalancies....

And oddly, after I told you I prefer living in a capitalistic society, you still make silly statements projecting your own antagonistic emnity like a shadow puppet so you can argue with what you are familiar with. I don't know if this is an exclusive Bush licker trait, but it seems common amongst ya'll.....