Friday, December 22, 2006

The embargo that won't go away

I wrote a couple of posts over at Babalu about the publicity offensive that we are seeing against the embargo. Robert, a fellow Babalusian and also the blogger behind 26th Parallel, wrote a post that brings our attention to a column in The Miami Herald which I think articulates, better than I ever could, the reason why the preserving the embargo is imperative. Some excerpts:

I could note many failed American measures against Castro's regime since the very beginning, back in 1959, when the destruction of the so called ''Cuban Revolution'' was, or at least must have been, a top priority in the political agenda of this country.

Despite those failures, the United States approached the Cuban phenomenon as a kind of illegal entity that, by deceit and force, had submitted a whole nation, trampling on the rights and freedoms of its people. The demonization of Castroism was and has been in my opinion -- and in that of most of my fellow Cuban exiles -- the right response of the American government to that challenge; and the embargo, extended for more than four decades, its coherent implementation.

In other words, the U.S. embargo -- imposed at the onset as a simple punishment for the expropriation of American properties -- acquired along the years the character of a total and comprehensive moral sanction against a totalitarian regime that violated the human rights of all its citizens, and whose mere existence was a crime. That kind of global response, unique in the world with regard to Cuba (it doesn't matter how ineffectual it has been in producing significant changes in that country) has been useful to articulate in its essence a fundamental principle: the lack of legitimacy of Castro's regime, duly proportional to the lack of human rights and freedoms of the Cuban people.

Confronting a gross violator of human rights, as the Cuban dictatorship, with timid diplomatic approaches is a doomed enterprise. A more proper response -- as has been in my opinion the U.S. embargo, despite its gaps -- is one that underscores the illegitimacy of that regime.

Powerless as we are right now to directly promote real changes in our beloved homeland, we Cuban exiles discover that our relevant duty is to help preserve in the international arena, particularly on the American stage, the precarious status quo of Castro's regime (or his brother's) -- its instability derived from its lack of legitimacy -- as a foundation upon which to build its permanent removal. For those of us who have been waiting decades for that end, nothing else is advisable and acceptable. We just want our country back.

No comments: