Re: More re 'dreams and nightmares'

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Wed May 21 2003 - 11:46:05 EDT

>   To go willy-nilly down the other road (trials and
>executions), as
>Castro has decided to do, is no less fraught with danger.  The result may
>be: i) isolation, at a time when Cuba most needs friends internationally
>and, ii) handing the US new justifications for action.   I hope I am wrong,
>but I can't help suspecting that the US intended to provoke just such a

Well this is interesting, Nicky,  as you seem to be saying that the
US did have its hand behind the dissent which Castro suppressed as US
orchestrated. For my part, I am not clear as to whether all the
punished dissenters can be so understood especially after only a one
week trial.

>  But let's assume that I am
>wrong and that ALL of these cuban writers really did spy for the US, it
>would not bode well for Cuba (one would have to ask why so many writers,
>have decided to defect).

I just don't get the point. The US can buy "so many writers" (50 or
so?) with what is chump change to it; these writers can hone  the
force and resolve of a  opposition which despite this and other
external backing has little chance of winning a majority, yet  still
could become powerful enough vis a vis a poor state to stage a coup
that would prove to be against the interests of the poorest and most
vulnerable. As I said, I doubt that this well supported minority
would be succesful, or could count on direct US support. Yet it could
still wreak havoc on a very vulnerable nation. As Fred has said,
several million dollars can go a very long way indeed.

  I am getting the sense that you believe that Cuban dissidents should
be free to take money, though not arms, from hostile govts for the
purposes of propaganda work. And you seem to be saying that if the
Cuban govt cannot handle such externally financed dissent even with
its own monopoly over the official media,  then surely Castro's rule
cannot be said to have democratic foundations. Indeed perhaps you
believe that only if dissidents are externally supported by a
powerful state do they have a chance of effectively expressing their
criticism. I have the impression that while you may not yourself call
for the overthrow of the Cuban govt, you really can't see the grounds
to be opposed to it. Indeed what you have written gives little
incentive for working in solidarity against US harassment and
potential invasion of Cuba. Should the American left just be
unconcerned with Helms Burton?

Moreover, I think some OPE-L comrades are telling us  that we should
play close attention to the question of what the lives of the poorest
workers and most vulnerable people would be like under a post Castro,
pro US regime. Hence, the passionate appeals of some our OPE-L

Of course there are those who cannot stomach giving the appearance of
reconciliation with Bush and Haitian killer Asscroft even if this
means not signing what does appear to me a valid petition against the
Bolshevik Castro. And one of these petitions is indeed quite clearly
in opposition to US foreign policy; as Chomsky noted, it's
inconceivable that Otto Reich would be waiving it as the US organizes
a blockage or an invasion.  Yet I think you could be a bit more
sympathetic to this gut level response: these are difficult times to
be an gringo.

You also have to remember that the assault on the US left--led by
Hitchens, Walzer, etc--that it was soft on terrorism and cozy with
terrorist states. Signing this petition may have been a good
pre-emptive measure. I certainly think the much calumnied Chomsky did
the right thing for himself and for us.

Yours, Rakesh

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