02 March 2008

Cuba Never Had A Chance

I've finished reading and article about this escalating situation in South America between Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. What infuriates me is the careless and harmful use of the words "rebels" and "Marxists." This is representative of a great irony in American history, that when we act as saviors and bringers of liberty, our legacy has brought just as much, if not more plight and struggle.
This is most clear in the case of US relations with South and Central America. Here we have funded ruthless leaders the likes of which we wish to dispose of in the Middle East. I think mostly of the ousting of Allende in Chile and the reign of Samoza in Nicaragua. Actions such as these were portrayed as valiant and necessary, but in hindsight can be seen as shallow, ill-informed and disastrous. Those two deeds resulted in much death and years of plight for the people of Chile and Nicaragua.
And to what do we owe these atrocities? Why none other than the glorious fight of communism. Indeed, actions in Central and South American during the cold war tended to support violent military leaderships in an effort to crush in popular socialist, or dare I say, communist movement.
US rhetoric during and after the Cold War despised communism. I have had people accuse me of being a communist as if it were an evil despicable name. Truly, these people haven't the foggiest idea of what communism or Marxism was about. Any mention of it is discredited due solely to rhetoric created by the US government. I think this is the greatest example of the anti-intellectual tendencies that have and are plaguing this country today.
Similar strategies have been deployed against Cuba. Fidel was hounded as a dictator, Cold War relic. We saw only of refugees fleeing the island and of the human rights violations. Many point to the poverty that has enveloped that nation.
I instead, being the good HumanihilSOCIALIST that I am, stand up for Cuba and mention some of its good qualities, benefits that only a socialized government can bring. I also point out that perhaps the reason Cuba as struggled so and has been forced into conservative actions is because of the ruthless, indeed heartless, neighbor to the North. We have had the embargo on Cuba since the Cold War and despite the fact that Communism and Democracy are no more a threat to each other than one cow is to another cow, we continue efforts to keep the little starving nation isolated from a rich world economy.
These are not philosophical principals we are talking about here. This is not a battle between good and evil. This is firstly about greed (that epitomizes capitalism) and political legacy. McCarthy is long dead and his movement mocked, but his legacy lives on and we dare not threaten the American way of life, indeed the free world at large, by working in cahoots with an evil communist nation.
Hugo Chavez is lumped into this category as well. His rhetoric against the United States is strong, offensive, but refreshing to me. In the news story I read he was portrayed only as a loudmouth preaching anti-American sentiments and harboring Marxist rebels. Without any detailed knowledge of the history of Colombia and US involvement there I cannot sort out this situation. However, for a general public trained to accept news documents as accurate, this has grave consequences of misinformation.
People may suffer in Cuba and Venezuela, but this really has nothing to do with Communism. Some call the communist experiment a mistake or failure. I say it never had a chance. Cuba never had a chance and Venezuela will likely go on suffering for decades because of the greedy actions of the US government and the US people. Had we attempted to understand Marxism and communism, we would likely sympathize with the dreams of an abused proletariat that wanted only to find equality. But no, we instead wanted to furhter cement our own inequalities and portray communism as evil and capitalism as good. I need not enter the discussion on weapons technology either which further complicates this mess.
Current rhetoric on dictators and communism and socialism is informed not by intricate understanding of social economic matrices and movements, but rather of soulless, empty patriotism based on the greed of the rich and powerful. Our knowledge and approach to situations that are often extremely delicate and deeply-rooted in local history, is greatly biased, sensationalist and shallow.
We fight evil and destroy evil men and empires. But in our wake we leave suffering military dictators funded by the US military as well as social and cultural chaos. God Bless America. We're gonna need it.