[News] The utility of Cuban prisoners

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 23 11:06:45 EDT 2010

The utility of Cuban prisoners

Posted: 22 Jul 2010 07:46 AM PDT

For whom are the [Cuban] prisoners useful? - 

Enrique Ubieta Gómez

Translation: Machetera

So here’s the problem.  The ex-prisoners arrive 
in Madrid.  The press clings to them for a few 
days.  If they’re lucky, they’ll begin to live 
from their labors and not from subversive 
activity that was quite well paid.  Perhaps some 
will manage a post in cyberspace.  But, as the 
Cubans say, no es fácil [it's not easy], in the 
midst of an economic crisis.  I have no idea how 
much they’ll be paid for their commentary (the 
offensive or threatening diatribes they launch at 
revolutionary bloggers), but if we don’t publish 
them, they don’t get paid.  Little by little, 
they’ll be forgotten.  They’re no longer any 
use.  In other words, they’re no longer any use 
for their former promoters, for U.S. imperialism.

The math is simple.  A counter-revolutionary in 
the streets of Havana is worth something, just 
not a lot.  They don’t inspire anyone.  Those who 
pay them prefer that they end up in prison or on 
hunger strikes.  Preferably moribund, or 
dead.  How many tales of kidnappings and 
15-minute public beatings without eyewitnesses or 
physical traces has Yoani had to invent for 
herself in order to feed the chronic lack of 
spectacle or heroism suffered by her cyberspace 
“dissidence”?  Over what argument will the next 
media campaign be launched?  Fariñas will need to 
take a vacation before launching his, I don’t 
know, 25th or 26th hunger strike.  And he’ll have 
to keep a good excuse at hand.  But the Ladies in 
White have been left with nothing.  Without a 
social goal, in bureaucracy-speak.

In the midst of the extreme triumphal excitement 
surrounding the prisoner release one can begin to 
see the first signs of unease.  The demands of 
the multinational mainstream press and 
politicians in the metropolitan centers were 
dressed in humanitarian garb, but the objective 
was not the liberation of the mercenaries, but – 
through blackmail – avoiding their release.  What 
was desired – what is desired – is the toppling 
of the Cuban Revolution.  And one mercenary in 
prison is worth more than five in the street and 
ten in Spain.  Now they say nothing has 
happened.  According to EFE, Raúl Rivero, whose 
poetic pen is compensated by the networks of the 
U.S.-Hispanic rightwing (I’m talking about the 
rightwing Spanish PP [Popular Party] – not the 
rightwing PSOE [Spanish Socialist Workers Party]) 
insists that the freeing of the prisoners is “a 
unilateral decision” by the Cuban government that 
has not been influenced by conversations with the 
Spanish government and the Catholic church; it’s 
some kind of trick.  The PP is trying to keep the 
media show going as long as possible for the 
ex-prisoners on Spanish soil, through anti-PSOE skirmishes.

The Cuban Revolution knows how to converse, on 
any subject, equal to equal.  If Obama’s 
government should care to do so, it would find no 
obstacles.  However, the subversive escalation 
has not diminished.  On June 18th, USAID tendered 
$3,650,000 to finance subversive programs and 
networks in Cuba: $500,000 for those it calls 
“political prisoners” and their families; 
$1,500,000 to open spaces for “freedom of 
expression” (U.S. style, in Cuba); $500,000 to 
create or strengthen religious and spiritual 
groups aligned with Washington; $500,000 to 
promote private unions; etc.  This money comes on 
top of the $15 million dollars recently unfrozen 
for USAID’s Cuba program.  Is receiving money 
from a foreign government with the explicit 
proposal of subverting order within the country 
itself not an execrable and punishable act?  U.S. 
and European laws carry heavy sentences for those 
engaging in this crime.  No-one questions 
them.  Who would call them “political prisoners” or “prisoners of conscience”?

If the Cuban Revolution does not fall apart, 
nothing has changed.  And the old mercenaries are 
now useless.  They’re just another bunch of 
hungry mouths in Madrid.  New ones will need to 
be found, to substitute.  And of course they’ll 
be found.  And they’ll be arrested and judged, 
just like in any city throughout the 
world.  They’ll be the new media “heroes,” 
shooting stars in the firmament of imperial 
war.  The Ladies in White, new ones of course, 
and perhaps some of the old ones signing on “in 
support” for nostalgia’s sake, will march with 
their gladiolas in front of CNN’s or TVE’s 
cameras.  The circus will begin again.  The 
prisoners are useful for the empire, only for the 
empire, but Cuba will not tolerate 
impunity.  Once again, the Cuban Revolution has 
made a gesture of the highest kind of policy, 
that of humanism; but apparently Obama doesn’t 
have the political courage – the balls – to free 
the five Cuban political prisoners, those who did 
fight to prevent death on both sides of the sea.

Enrique Ubieta Gómez is a Cuban journalist; 
editor of 
<http://la-isla-desconocida.blogspot.com/>La Isla 
Desconocida blog and managing director of the 
Cuban publication La Calle del Medio.  Machetera 
is a member of <http://www.tlaxcala.es/>Tlaxcala, 
the network of translators for linguistic 
diversity. This translation may be reprinted as 
long as the content remains unaltered, and the 
source, author, and translator are cited.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20100723/42a1426e/attachment.html>

More information about the News mailing list